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Creating Community in the Heart of the Napa Valley

Pokey Bolton

 Hello everyone! I am so honored to be a guest blogger on the Meissner’s Blog!

My name is Pokey Bolton, I am the founder of Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors magazines, and founding host of Quilting Arts TV on PBS. I then went on to be the Chief Creative Officer for the International Quilt Market and International Quilt Festival in Houston…but having been out of California for 24 years, I have always dreamed of coming back home.

So in 2015, armed with my experience in quilt publishing, media, events, and craft adventures, I moved to Napa and founded Crafting a Life, LLC, a media and events company.  I also accomplished my forever dream and built an art barn on my property to host small sewing, quilting, and mixed media retreats. It is also my studio where I like to spend my days dyeing and printing my own fabric to then put into quilts.

In this day and age of digital media--of learning anything we need to know online--I have felt something missing and I don’t think I am alone: missing community. Online education and social media can only provide so much interaction and connection, and I have wanted to create a sense of actual community, a physical place where a variety of arts could come together in one venue and people could learn side-by-side, face-to-face. In January 2016 I launched Craft Napa, a multi-day, multi-class retreat hosted at The Embassy Suites/Napa where students can take workshops in quilting, sewing, collage, mixed media, art journaling, watercolor, and surface design. And, of course, being in Napa, we host a wine-blending event, too.

This next edition of Craft Napa takes place in January 11-14, 2018, at The Embassy Suites/Napa, and this time it will be expanding to a four-day retreat with 17 teachers and 41 workshops—everything from free-motion stitching, modern quilting, improv piecing, art journaling, bookmaking, mixed media,collage, lettering, and assemblage. (And yes, wine blending!)

Having been a BERNINA ambassador for years, it is truly an honor that both BERNINA USA and Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Centers are sponsoring this event by generously providing sewing machines for classroom use. This is a great collaboration and a terrific way to kick start a creative new year!

I hope you are able to join us for Craft Napa. More information can be found at


Happy Stitching,


Pokey Bolton

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