Monday, June 13, 2011

In the Beginning .......

there were 12 "gals" from Charlotte, NC who went to Myrtle Beach for a weekend.  Back in 1989 I invited  a group of  women from my quilt guild to to Myrtle Beach for a winter weekend.  We had become friends and I had a one night sleepover at my house to finish up projects for our upcoming quilt show.  I thought we needed a whole weekend.  So after a guild meeting I suggested we go to the beach in January.  It is the ONLY time in my life that ALL 12 that were invited could actually make it. We took our own projects and stayed in some condos. We had a wonderful time making a calender of crazy pictures with each of us taking a month. (Ours husbands were less than thrilled - it wasn't exactly made with professional photos.)
The next year there were 15 of us. We made another calender, played practical jokes and just had a wonderful time.

After working on the 1990 North Carolina symposium in Charlotte I was burned out and kind of down when one of the gals suggested I start a party at the beach and invite other women to join the fun.  What a great idea!  I went down and booked the Holiday Inn Oceanfront.  We had 80 students and 4 teachers the first year, 1991. The party was 2 days and the classes were 3 hours each.  The teachers moved and the students stayed put.  Everybody got the same classes and the teachers                          
                              1991 Teachers and Helpers
repeated  themselves 4 times!!! 
As the years went by I changed a few things and I kept looking for a bigger place.  In 2006 we moved the party to the Sands for 3years.  We outgrew that and moved to the Hilton  2009.  For the 20th anniversary we went to the Embassy Suites. There were 2 students and 1 teacher who had been all 20 years!  And for the 2011 party we were at the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center and had the first Vendor Extravaganza.  I had hoped to return to the Sheraton but could not get a contract.......
So.. for the 2012 party we will be at the Marriott!!  Where there is room for the 2nd Vendor Extravaganza!!
Over the years I have LOVED getting the party together.  I have always tried to look at this as a GIANT sleepover -- with quilting as a "reason".  I never had slumber parties as a teenager so I have made up for it!!
I have made so many wonderful friends!!  I hope to continue for a lot more years....because  I have come to realize this is "My Calling".  See you soon.


  1. I live in the Myrtle Beach area and would love to attend. What are the hours??? Thanks for organizing this.

  2. I am so lucky to have found you all several years ago! You are all so welcoming and fun! This is my quilt highlight of the year! Thank you so very much Mardelle and crew: even Mr. Mardelle!! Hugs, Deb Johnson, Winston Salem