Las Vegas Girl Trip

by Sandra Bruce

For over a year I have been excited about going to Las Vegas to visit the Desert Quilters of Nevada. It came up in conversation when I was hanging with my friends Marlene, Robin and Michelle, and it was decided then and there that we would make it a girl trip. They volunteered to help me during my lecture/presentation and 2 days of workshops with the guild. We drove, as we wanted to enjoy the scenery which is beautiful and so different from what we have here at home in Northern California. (Yes, the snow was mostly absent, sadly!)IMG_8470

It has been over 15 years since my last visit to Vegas. The area is such an interesting juxtaposition of 150 million-year-old rock formations, expanses of land and sky, the “Strip” (old and new), and people on the street from every imaginable strata of humankind. This is in front of the Bellagio at night, where they have water shows set to music. Lovely!!! It was interesting to note that The Flamingo Hotel and Casino (seen in the photo, tiny, behind the water), for which I lettered/illustrated a logo “update” many years ago, is still using both the old and new logos on their building and everything else.


At the Bellagio Casino they have a conservatory decorated top to bottom in celebration of the Chinese New Year. Flowers everywhere!IMG_8496

We were fortunate to see an exhibit of Dale Chihuly’s work. Here are a few shots:


Lots of sights to see. Look at the display of chocolate below! I confess to picturing in my mind being inside that window and availing myself somehow of it ( face into it, mouth open and catching it, swimming in it…..whatever!) How could you not!IMG_8514

My presentation with the Desert Quilters went very well, and I was glad to have my friends with me, who were mentioned of course, in my lecture. Robin showed her video at the end, of the making of her 80-inch Matrix Self-Portrait. Fabulous! The Desert quilt ladies made me feel very welcome, and bought buttons, earrings, and my 2 latest patterns, “Hugs and Kisses”, and “Color Dance”.

The first workshop day was “Wake Up Cup”. Diana exclaimed right away, “Look!! I did it!” with her first Matrix square. It feels great to see that enthusiasm.IMG_8527IMG_4370

I had one student who worked at half size (1″ squares, instead of 2″)….IMG_8533

……and 2 ladies who tried their own color schemes. I’m happy to see the variations, and applaud all the hard work!IMG_8536

Next day, “Sew Ready” and a new group of ladies (including one who came back for more from the day before….kudos to you, Penny!)

A special thanks to Laurel who contacted me initially to come to Vegas. She saw my quilts online as a result of an interview that a blogger in India, Shruti Dandekar, did on my work (“13 Woodhouse Road”) some time ago. Love that social media at its serendipitous best!IMG_8540

That night, finished with teaching, Marlene, Robin, Michelle and I went to a fabulous show, Cirque de Soleil’s “Zarcana” at the Aria Casino. I have seen Cirque de Soleil twice before, but they never cease to amaze me. I spent some of the performance holding onto Marlene’s arm (tightly!) while these talented athletes twirled….and leapt…with such balance and beauty! Some of the acts left me truly speechless.IMG_8594

One more shot of decadent desserts. Works of art, aren’t they? IMG_8610On our final day we took a short trip outside of Vegas, past Lake Mead to the Valley of Fire State Park where we took a hike back into time, so to speak. Rock formations millions of years old marked with petroglyphs came around each turn on the rocks as we walked. The rock is red, mostly, set against a brilliant blue sky.IMG_8628IMG_8639IMG_8658

A great trip. Thanks to the Desert Quilters of Nevada (all 400 of you!) and to my friends: Michelle, Robin and Marlene, for all your help, sisterhood, and female energy! IMG_8520

A quick note about the Zephyr workshop in September…we have been working on the registration form and all the details, coming to you next week! For now, have a good weekend and those of you here in California, do a little rain dance, will you?

11 thoughts on “Las Vegas Girl Trip

  1. Sandra, what a great trip you all had. Mix some work, some fun,too good. And to see Chihuly glass pieces in person, amazing! And Cirque de Soleil, that was the ONLY reason I have wanted to go to Las Vegas. But you showed us so much more, I might want to go now. All that creativity going on, what fun

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