Mar-May 2004

Marti's Journal

My Mom used to joke, "If it weren't for the last minute, when would we get anything done?" I'm beginning to feel that if it weren't for waiting time at airports, I would never have time to catch up with the journal.

After being home for a few weeks, I hit the road running for a March 19-21 retreat with the Thimble and Thread Guild in St. Louis. We had a great group and very nice facility and weather - most of the time! At least there was no snow. As many times as I had been to St. Louis, I had never gotten out to St. Charles. Linda Cantrell and I came in on the same plane and we were met at the airport and taken to St. Charles for lunch and a quick tour...it is very cute! Speaking of Linda, I hope you all get a chance to see her quilts someday - they are wonderful - and better yet, to hear her tell the stories of her quilts - what fun!

The next two months would be get home, repack, get new class handouts, leave again and then repeat steps 1 through 4. The next trip was March 24-28 to Chicago for the second International Spring Festival. We had a busy booth. I taught every day but had great help and even took advantage of them by "letting" them tear down and pack up the booth while I left immediately after the show closed to get home on Sunday night.

My sister and her husband were going to be in Atlanta for a few days - a rare treat, and besides, I was leaving again on Wednesday for Durango, CO. This was the second year for Quilt Durango - another fun town and very nice event. It was small enough to be inclusive, large enough to have a good and varied faculty group and nice special events. The first two days we had perfect 72-degree, low humidity weather, but April Fools Day brought snow! Actually, it was not a problem in town, but those people who had to drive over passes to get home were glued to weather and road condition news. There were delays flying out on Sunday, but for most of us only a 4 to 6 hour wait.

There was an entire week at home before I packed up and drove about an hour and a half to a guild retreat in Toccoa, GA. The Curahee Quilters were having a ball and I was pleased to be included. Having jobs where I can drive has become a real treat. The packing is easy - if in doubt, throw it in the car and typically there are no lines, etc. Again, this retreat was at a terrific facility.

During the previous week when I was at home, the Rose Garden fabric line started arriving from Maywood Studio! The significance of this is that my name is on the selvage, as I had worked with Maywood Studio to develop the line, and now it was time to furiously sew and get models made for Quilt Market in the middle of May. I'm quite pleased with the results. The fabric is beautiful, clearly of the "let the fabric do the work" style, the engravings are terrific, the colors are wonderful and the best part... they are turning into beautiful quilts. I hope you will check it out and ask to see it at your favorite stores.

The next week would be the AQS show in Paducah. I almost passed on going. Again, I had a very good staff for the booth and I wasn't teaching and I really needed to be home, but... the draw of the show was too much when I luckily discovered a friend who could share the driving with me. We left Atlanta very early Wednesday and got home very late Thursday. We hit the highlights and told lots of stories in the 6 1/2 hours between Atlanta and Paducah.

As I rushed out the door on Monday the 26th of April for my flight to Amsterdam, I admit I was glad I had not stayed a minute longer in Paducah. There is always so much to do in the time at home. Most traveling quilt teachers who fly to jobs face the same problem of too many heavy bags. Bad enough when we go from car to airport to a waiting car at the other end. It is really hard when the travel involves getting from airports to trains as frequently happens with international teaching. Soooo, when I fell into e-mail conversation with a customer who lives in DenHaag where the 2004 International Quilt Expo would be and she offered to pick me up at the Amsterdam airport, take my teaching bags to the Expo Center and me to my hotel, you probably heard me shout with glee! As it turned out, Katie Pasquini Masopust was on the same plane and Sylvia had a car big enough to take both Katie and me and our bags!

It was a picture-perfect day in Holland, and tulip time! Definitely one of those things where you have seen the pictures and know it is beautiful, but have no idea until you are there. By the time all of the bags were deposited, Sylvia had offered to drive us to the Keukenhof Gardens. People come from all over the world to see these gardens and Sylvia had not been there since she was young, so it was a treat for all of us. Well, everyone except my roommate, Luxien Newman, the Thimblelady, who had missed her flight from Australia and so missed the Gardens. But, Sylvia to the rescue again! On Sunday night when the show closed, Sylvia and her husband took Luxien and me out to see the tulip fields. As beautiful as the groomed and landscaped tulips at the gardens were, I was just overwhelmed with the acres and acres of bright vivid color in the fields.

The Expo was wonderful. Quilters from around the world, although mostly European, were packed shoulder-to-shoulder between the booths. Actually, that is only fun for a while and then you wish there werenÕt so many people so you could see the quilts and shop more easily. I learned to go after I finished teaching because the bus tours left about then.

That brings us to May. I'll be catching up again in another airport soon!

Happy Quilting,

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