Wendy Reyes is a great example of adult education at its best. Wendy lost her regular job when her company downsized. She found quilting classes at Salinas Adult School enjoyable and so full of challenging learning that she created a new job skill for herself and is now gainfully employed through this creative media. She is loyal and supportive to her school and has a no nonsense approach to all challenges we face. Wendy typifies the adult learner who benefits from adult education at middle age and keeps on learning!
My Journey into a Home Business:
Thanks to the Salinas Adult School Program
In May of 1999, my husband and I made a trip back to Oklahoma to visit my 92 year old great Aunt Ruby. My Aunt Ruby had always been the keeper of the family treasures (nothing valuable). While we were there I asked her if I could have one of Great Grandma's quilts. She had one left and gave it to me. I was thrilled.
We had always had quilts in my family. I never realized the work that was put into making these treasures. When I returned from my trip and returned to work, I was promptly laid off. My company was downsizing and after 16 years of being an Accounting Operations Manager, I was one of the many who lost their jobs. I never realized it would be such a blessing.
After resting and recuperating, I found myself extremely bored. I made a short trip up to Oregon to visit a Great Uncle and again found myself sleeping under a well-worn family quilt. It was at this time I decided I was going to make a quilt. Now, I don't know what I was thinking! I didn't even have a needle or thread in my house. My family thought this was the most bazaar thing I had ever thought of doing, but supported me in my efforts.
I bought a book "Quilts, Quilts, Quilts" and bought dozens of "fat quarters" of fabric and off I went. Trust me, there wasn't a straight seam sewn and don't even think about corners meeting. I read about strip piecing but I didn't understand. But on I went. Well, seven weeks later I had a quilt, and it was hand quilted. Not quilted pretty, but I was proud as a peacock.
I decided to learn the proper technique of quilting and enrolled in the quilting program at the Salinas Adult School in April 2000. I am still attending to this day. After one year of learning new skills, I was lucky enough to win "Best of Show" at the Monterey Peninsula Quilt Guild Show. I was so surprised and shocked. I cried most of the weekend.
My work is better now but I'm not a perfectionist. I enjoy the process and I don't stress over the errors. I still hand quilt, but mostly I machine quilt. It is really fun. I now get such pleasure inspiring new quilters to take up the art.
I have now made over 150 quilts. I am now teaching workshops on Leaf Stamping and Machine quilting. I have found my passion. I opened my own home business in May 2005. I am now doing "machine quilting" for quilters who love to sew the tops but don't want to do the quilting.
The Salinas Adult School made my dream come true. How wonderful to be able to work and truly love the process. We are fortunate to have the Salinas Adult School as a part of our community education program.
Wendy Reyes, Student
Salinas Adult School August 4, 2005