Thursday, May 30, 2013

Where I've been

Well, hello! You're still here! How lovely of you to keep checking in while I have clearly checked out.

It has been a crazy travel year for me. I had set up a perfect schedule, with just enough trips, when two offers came in that I just couldn't say "no" to, starting with a trip to Denver in January to tape with Craftsy.

Then there was Atlanta, GA, and Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas. Arriving extra early for the Texas trip, I was able to spend a delightful afternoon at the Dallas Arboretum. Oh, my, it was a sight for sore eyes, this beautiful day of color and sunshine. We've had such a dreary winter here in Michigan. These teaching trips have the side benefit of recharging my color-deprived winter soul.

With hardly a moment to catch my breath, I was off again, this time to Portland, OR. The invitation to add this retreat sponsored by Quiltmaker to my "perfect" schedule is one that I will never regret accepting. Not only did I have class after class of marvelous students, the organizers made it easy for we teachers to find time to chat.

Most of the time we work alone, flying from guild to guild to do our job. The opportunity to chat with our peers is priceless. We can learn so much from each other about the business of teaching, and dealing with the downsides of being an itinerant teacher.

The folks at Quiltmaker put on a fabulously fun retreat. Even if the next one is not nearby, it is worth the trip.

In April I was back in Denver for the Arapahoe Quilt Guild of Denver (hello all you clever quilters!), and taught for two more guilds here in Michigan.

May started with a delightful trip to Duluth, MN. Just like Saginaw, Duluth was also hanging on to winter with a death grip. Quilters braved freezing rain and snow to drive from near and afar to get to the classes. (Thank you for that!)

Helen, the organizer, and I have been playing calendar tag for ages. It has taken some time for the trip to actually come to be, and we were both excited to have the trip finally happen. She was so happy that she ordered cupcakes for us decorated with the design of the class project. How very cool is that?

Helen is delightful, and so are the rest of the guild members. I almost always enjoy the people I meet on the road, but sometimes I meet someone that I just bond with. Helen is one of them.

The students were very productive, and a joy. The chemistry was so perfect, they played along so beautifully.

As always, I have been tinkering around with how I teach my classes. I've revamped the Forget Me Not project. The new way gives the students time to get more of the project done in class.We were all very pleased with the results!

I have one more trip to go, I'm off to Big Rapids, MI next Saturday to lecture at their quilt show, and then I have a travel break until mid-September, and no other deadlines. Whoo-hoo! I'm taking a summer sabbatical. I'm not really sure what that means, other than I'm giving myself the gift of a "should-free" summer. What gets done gets done, whether it's work in the studio, gardening, spinning, knitting or simply contemplating my navel. My mother's day gift was a new hammock, and I intend to wear it out.