Saturday, August 29, 2009

Events at Convention Part 4

Now we have reached Friday and the half day of classes begin as usual at 9:00 AM. Once these end at lunchtime, it is off to pick up the meal for the day which is a boxed lunch (you will be informed where to pick these up). Maybe you can enjoy this lunch outside in the fresh air with all your friends old and new before you head off to the Chapter Presidents Roundtable (if your chapter's president is not attending Convention, you may want to represent her at this meeting). Here various items are discussed such as Wee Care distribution, attracting new members, hosting a national teacher to name a few. Following the roundtable, there will be a SAGA Focus Group, the topic will be announced and if you want to join in the discussion, please do so, they usually prove to be lively events!
Once these meetings are over you may take some time to visit the Mall, work on a Wee Care bonnet or blanket (remember those extra special raffle tickets) or rest for the big event of the day-Market.
Market starts at 3:00 PM and runs through to 8:30 PM so you have plenty of time to rush through, buy all the bargains, go back to your room, have a show and share with your friends, and then head back to market to buy the things your friends bought and you missed! You may want to start making a list of things you need now so you have some plan of action once those doors open! Don't forget to bring a big bag for all those purchases!
The excitement of Market over, you now have time to relax a little and socialize with your friends, but don't forget to get some sleep as tomorrow is another busy day!
Saturday already? Where did time go? Off to classes again this morning for 9 AM and today when lunchtime comes, you are on your own-where will you go? The Mall is close by, maybe you need to go there to eat, walk about or buy that last minute accessory for your outfit for Banquet tonight? (You can see the stores that are in the Mall by following this link
Don't forget you need to be back in class for 2:00 PM. Oh! And lunchtime today is your last chance to buy or place any -the drawing is tonight at Banquet!
Once classes are over today, you have an hour or so to get yourself changed and ready for the Annual Banquet, which begins with a cash bar at 6:00 PM. I wonder what the table theme will be this year? Terry Campbell always does such a great job. Hopefully you can remember what table number you signed up for? Banquet starts at 7:00 PM and it is not just eating that takes place. Tonight we say good bye to some members of the board; we install the new 2009-2010 board and we have the Presidential Handover to name a few events. We get to see the Artisan Achievers who are present and congratulate them as well as the Design Show entrants and winners. And in between all of these events, Cheryl Cox will be calling the raffle basket winners and her team of helpers will find the winner and deliver the prize. Now, if you have never been to Convention and won a raffle basket, there is something you should know-you need to make yourself known so the basket can be given to you. How do you do that? You jump up and down and shout loudly and your friends all clap and shout too! Just sitting and quietly putting up your hand up won't work, we need to see and hear you!
Once all the business items and raffle baskets are drawn, Banquet comes to an end. If you are an Artisan Achiever or Design Show entrant you will need to remember to find Julie Stilwell, SAGANews Editor, as she needs to get you in the group photos that will be in the next issue of SAGANews.
Now it is off to your room to maybe get some packing done as tomorrow is the last day of Convention. Classes begin earlier on Sunday (8:30 AM) and you need to go to breakfast first, at 7:15 to see everyone for those last goodbyes as everyone is leaving the hotel at different times and you may not get to see them again today. Breakfast today is a lively buffet with everyone eating, hugging, crying and saying "See you at next year's Convention in Norfolk!"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Events at Convention Part 3

Thursday arrives and if you have something for the Show and Share display, this morning you must have it ready to hand in before you head off to class. Entry forms for the Show and Share will be in Hospitality. You can complete these ahead of time. You are limited to three entries, but these items are not judged, nor is there an entry fee. This is purely a celebration of completed projects. Remember that your items must be clean, pressed and if appropriate on hangers ready to display.

Today you head off to class with a little more confidence as you know your way around the hotel and don’t feel quite so lost. So, same procedure as Wednesday, arrive early, pay the kit fees to the Teachers Angel and set up ready to start. Luncheon is only a few short hours away!

Thursday luncheon will probably be in the same room as Wednesdays’ luncheon and remember to have your Thursday meal ticket (with your name on the back) ready to hand in at the door as you rush to grab a table for you and your friends. Also, if you have any Proxy Voting forms from your chapter, please hand these in at the door also (these forms may be found on page 14 of SAGANews Volume 30 Issue 3 and may be copied, but must be signed to be valid. Please bring them for the members unable to attend). Once lunch is under way, the Annual Business Meeting will be convened. If you have something to say at this meeting, please follow the correct protocol, which will be read out by the Secretary.

Business Meeting over, the Wee Care presentation to representatives from local area hospitals will be made (sometimes this happens before the Business Meeting, depending on the schedule). It is so nice to see the gowns received and admired by the ladies from the hospitals. They are always amazed (and so am I) by the work that goes into many of these tiny items. The presentation at luncheon is just a token, as the Wee Care items continue to arrive all week and at the end of Convention are then divided up and delivered to the hospitals. The donated Wee Care items will all be on display in Hospitality.

Lunch over it is back to class, but not before designating someone to sign your name on a table for Banquet on Saturday. Yes, the Banquet sign-up sheet will be available after lunch today, so you need to have a plan of action to get the table you want with all of your friends. (I have to say this is usually my job and I have a list of names I have to remember-not an easy task).

After classes end the events that are planned for Thursday evening begin with the Design Show/Show and Share displays. If you signed up to be a White Glove Lady the Design Show Chair, Maggie Bunch will be there to give you the white gloves-the essential part of your uniform. Only you will be allowed to handle any of the items and help people view the inside of a garment or get a closer look at something. Who and what will have been judged the Best in Show this year? Will your Design Show entry have a ribbon-of course it will! Just look at all the creativity in one place. Who would have thought there was so much talent out there? Plus you get to vote for Viewers Choice, how do you decide? Then on to the Show and Share, who had the time to make and complete all those wonderful items? (One item to note here is that while you may take photos in the Show and Share area, you may not take photos under any circumstances in the Design Show area).

If this wasn’t enough, there is also the Teachers Showcase to view. Here you can see examples of the SAGA approved classes offered by the wonderful teachers and also get to see some new classes they are planning to offer. Now is your chance to get their contact information for that workshop your chapter plans to host soon (and don’t forget you might be able to get a SAGA grant to help defer the cost).

All that talent and inspiration in one area is overwhelming, but it is so good to see that smocking and the related needle arts are being kept alive.

The last thing to do Thursday evening before you head off to enjoy some free time (or bed), is to pick up your entries from both Design Show and Show and Share by 9:00PM.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Events at Convention Part 2

Now we move onto the real start of Convention, Wednesday and this morning bright and early is when you need to have your Design Show entry all finished, clean, pressed and ready to handover (the place and collection times will be in the on-site brochure). If you are taking a Design Show piece for someone else, please make sure you have a written note saying you are responsible for dropping it off and picking it up again.

Next it is off to your first class! The teachers and classroom locations will be in the on-site brochure and there will be signs outside each room indicating the teachers name and that days class. Couldn’t be easier, right? Please try and arrive at least 10 minutes before the start time of the class in order to get set up. Once in the classroom, you will need to find somewhere to sit and of course you want to be with your friends but remember, we are all friends at Convention. You need to locate the Teachers Angel to give her your kit fee (all ready in that labeled envelope) and she will give you your kit and any handouts. Then you just need to arrange yourself and your required sewing items comfortably and wait for class to begin!

As an aside here, please remember some classroom etiquette:
· Arrive early
· Have your kit fee ready –correct change or check made payable to the teacher.
· No eating/drinking
· No smoking
· Turn off your cell phone and put it on vibrate. If you receive a call, please leave the room to take it.
· No children or pets in the classrooms.
· Please be respectful of the teachers and your fellow class mates.
· Please refrain from wearing strong perfumes, as classrooms are small and many people suffer allergies.
· Please keep your neighborly chatter to a minimum.

You are so engrossed in your class that you are surprised to find out it is time for luncheon. This is when you need to have your Wednesday meal ticket with your name on the back ready to hand in at the lunch location. Tickets are usually collected by a Board member and these are your entry into the Door Prize Drawing for that day. The door prizes are called at various times throughout the meal and you must be present to collect it. A good reason not to leave the lunch too early! Door prizes can be anything from a pattern to a pair of scissors; from a collection of magazines to a collection of fabrics and fun to win whatever you get!

Tables in the lunch room usually seat between 8-10 people and of course, you want to sit with someone you know and seats do get saved, which is fine. If you are a First Time Attendee, you may not have friends to sit with, but don’t worry, there is usually a table especially marked for you so you can join other First Timers and make friends. If you are a First Timer but have friends you want to sit with, that is alright too. Where ever you sit you will be amongst friends.

(Again I will mention that if you have a food allergy or special diet requirement, please notify Terry Campbell as soon as possible so she can make sure you have something to eat-see the previous post).

Wednesday lunch also sees us enjoy a guest speaker and this year it will be Regina Madory Walter who is going to lecture on Christening Gowns, their history, styles and materials. It should be a great talk and I personally hope she has lots of pictures and samples to share.

Luncheon over and it is back to the classroom for more work on your projects before the next event of the day which will be the Region Meetings. Each SAGA Region Representative hosts a half hour meeting for members from her region. Here various issues are discussed, people in the same region get to meet each other and someone is nominated to represent the region on the Nominating Committee. This is an important job and to be nominated you must be a SAGA member and have served in some capacity on the board for your chapter. You will then be the person who co-ordinates the nominations from your region for the next SAGA board and you will liaise with the Nominating Committee Chair. Please think about volunteering to take on this essential job. You are helping SAGA in doing so.

Region Meetings over, it is on to the next meeting, that being the Artisan Meeting. If you are in the Artisan Programme, you should attend the meeting as Kim Gimblette, the Artisan chair will be discussing any changes to the programme as well as answering any general questions you may have. If you are not in the programme, but want to learn more about it, then attend the meeting. (You can find out more about the programme before Convention from the SAGA web site Kim will also be presenting this years Artisan Achievers with their award certificates and bars for their pins. Did you pass a level (or two) this year? Then you don’t want to miss this meeting. (If you have a very specific question concerning the programme, Kim will be available at the Artisan Help Desk held on Friday during Market).

Artisan meeting over and now time is your own to enjoy a meal with your friends or visit the Hospitality room to buy raffle tickets or just hang out. Don’t forget to try and get some sleep as you have another busy day ahead of you on Thursday!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Daily Events at Convention Part 1

Okay, so now we are even nearer to SAGA National Convention and hopefully you have started to gather the items suggested in the last Blog (or at least thought about it)? Maybe you are also starting to write down all those things the family at home must remember to do while you are away? It’s okay to leave them a list, but don’t worry if they don’t read it-they will survive quite happily without you. Things may not be done the way they would if you were there, but let it go and remember you are going to have a great time with your sewing friends-who cares what they are doing back home ( as long as the mess is cleaned up before you walk in the door)?

Besides attending classes what else happens at Convention? Well, lots of things happen. In fact it is hard to find time to do the things you want to do (work on the new stitch you just learned; finish your Design Show entry; grab a meal with your friends or even get some sleep). Every day there is something to see or do.

Convention starts officially on Wednesday, but are you taking a pre-day class on Tuesday? If so, you need to be there at least by Monday evening. Even if you are not taking a pre-day class, you may still want to arrive a day (or two) early to get the time to find your way around the hotel; hang out with your friends and generally relax a little before the main event begins.

Tuesday starts with the pre-day classes and lunch for those attending the classes. Many Convention attendees will arrive during the day and what fun it is to see friends that you only get to see once a year. Lots of hellos and hugs-the lobby is never quiet! Hospitality should be open sometime during the day for you to pick up your registration packets (remember no name tag holders this year, so bring your own!). Your registration packet will contain all of your meal tickets (if your name has not been printed on the back, please write it on as these are used for the door prize drawings); your class schedule and onsite Convention brochure. The onsite brochure will have classroom information and locations, as well as details of the events for each day.

A note here from Terry Campbell, Meetings Chair about meals. Terry says that if anyone is vegetarian or has a diet issue (for medical reasons only) like gluten free, allergic to peanuts, diabetic, etc. They should email her at Please put "SAGA special diet needs" in the subject line. The sooner Terry knows about this the better. Please don’t leave it until the first luncheon!

Hospitality is also a good place to arrange to meet friends as they arrive, or leave messages for them on the notice board. Once Convention really gets underway, Hospitality is open all day and you can get to see the SAGA Stitches programmes as well a buy SAGA items and the all important raffle tickets (don’t forget those address or name labels). You will get to see the raffle basket display and watch it grow daily as Cheryl Cox receives more baskets in the mail as well as those hand delivered to her. The Hospitality area is staffed by volunteers and if you checked that box on the Convention Registration form, you will receive a notice of the times you will be needed in your registration package.

Tuesday also sees the start of meetings and planned events the first of which is the Teachers Angel Meeting starting at 5 PM. Did you check the box on your registration form saying you would like to be a Teachers Angel? (You will have a reminder in your registration package if you have been chosen as angel). If you are a Teachers Angel, and are able to attend the meeting, please do so as you will learn what your duties will be. Teachers Angels are very important as they help with taking class attendance, taking kit fees and giving out the kits as well as running any urgent errands for missing supplies.

The next meeting follows fast on the heels of the Teacher Angel meeting and that is the First Time Attendees Meeting. If this is your first time at a SAGA Convention, then this is the meeting you must not miss. You will be given a brief overview of Convention events and what to expect as well as help on understanding raffle basket etiquette and door prizes. Plus you will get to meet some new friends who are First Timers also.

As if those two meetings were not enough the evening continues with the Welcome Reception. Here you get to meet even more friends old and new as well as the SAGA Board and Committee Chairs and the all important faculty. This is a good time to mingle and socialize.

Welcome reception over and you are free for the rest of the evening before Convention really begins with classes on Wednesday morning. This may be your last chance to get out of the hotel for a meal with your friends, unless of course, you still have to finish your Design Show entry so it is ready to hand in by 8:30 Wednesday morning……..