Sunday, March 2, 2014

"Hello, Winter! I'm Home." Ugh

   All good things must come to an end, they say. My 84 degree days in Naples, Florida ended Sunday when I got off the plane in Moline, IL in 22 degree weather! It only got worse from there as it got colder this week ending with 6" of new snow yesterday and blowing conditions overnight and 1 degree above this morning. I am SOooo over this winter! Go away, please.

   Enough whining. I had a great time in Florida and met some very nice quilters. Everyday I had a new "chauffer" who took me to and from my classes, out to eat, and seeing the sights. I visited 2 quilt shops, one in Naples (Flash) which is spacious, offering brights, modern prints, & batiks and hosts  lots of classes in a humongous classroom; the other was in Ft. Myers (Quilter's Hangout), featured in an 2011 issue of Quilt Sampler. It was also large and had about every type of fabric, but best of all...a large selection of Civil War repros. (Yes, I bought yardage!)

   I had a wonderful audience at my presentation Thursday night, including quilters from Scotland, England, and Canada, besides all the northerners representing many states "snowbirding" there as well. It was the largest audience (over 200) I've had at a single program, very exciting.

 
   Introducing the Christian Staffinger quilt...


   I taught a class on my pattern, Hardtack & coffee to a small group on Friday. There was a retreat going on at the same time that prevented some ladies from taking my class. We were small, but mighty and had lots of fun!

   Getting started...


My new Scottish friend, Carol, is hard at work...


Carol's Hardtack & Coffee blocks...

 

 Blocks ready to square up...


   A lady brought her c. 1833 quilt for me to admire. What a treasure it was! It had trapunto initials and the date in the quilting .

 
The date, 1833..., the initials BS, and YS. Maybe a wedding quilt?




     On Saturday, I taught Reap the Whirlwind to a larger group including 3 ladies from the first day's class Most chose the full-size version of the quilt, but 3 chose to make the paper-pieced mini. There was a wide selection of fabrics used. I always have fun seeing the fabric choices of other quilters and spying Civil War prints that I don't have. (Yes, there are a few I haven't bought.) One lady had some CW's by Margo Krager that I've never seen before. She graciously let me cut a 2" strip from each one! More than enough to add to my 2 Courthouse Steps quilts I'm working on, one 6" blocks, and the other 4".

Here I'm showing Susan, who had never paper-pieced before, how to trim her seams between steps.


    This is Susan's first finished mini block...


 
Some other's  finished blocks...





    Carol, says her bright colors will bring her sunshine during the gloomy days in Scotland...

 
A mini in purple, black, green, and yellow...


    Someone's favorite color is purple...

   
        A happy group of quilters at the end of class #2...


   I have to include an "oops" block of Linda's, (the guild president, 2nd from left). We hurried her to finish a block for a picture and when we had taken the picture, something wasn't quite right. She took the good-natured ribbing we gave her well...

  It happens to the best of us, doesn't it? Linda assured us she'd fix it later. Poor girl, she had to get up at 4 AM the next morning, (Sunday) to drive Michelle and I to the airport in Punta Gorda for our 7 AM flight home. I'll bet she fixed that block as soon as she got home at 6 AM! : )

  As always, the best part of speaking and teaching classes is the feeling that I've made some new quilting friends. I've thought of them often this week and not just about how they are enjoying the sunshine and 80+ degree weather while I suffered through yet another snowstorm! It was a pleasure to entertain you and get to know you all! Maybe we'll meet again somewhere in quilt land. I received invitations to speak in 2 Michigan locations and one in Pennsylvania as a result of this trip, so I'll see some of you again for sure.

  I've been sewing Courthouse Steps blocks every evening this week. The pile is growing. I'll share photos of them next time along with my newest acquisitions to my doll quilt collection. (I've been a real bad girl!) Heehee. Until next time, keep stitching! I'm heading to my studio now.

Becky
 

4 comments:

  1. It has been a bitter winter for many parts of the USA and I am sorry you had to return to such cold weather. I live on the opposite side of Florida from where you were doing your classes but have visited right above Punta Gorda many times.
    I like the names of your blocks that you were teaching.

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  2. Your time away in Florida looks wonderful!! A nice group of ladies too, and that old quilt one of them shared is truly wonderful, the pink print still showing off its vibrancy after all these years!!!!! We are just now into the first days of Autumn, it has been a lovely feeling in the mornings as I sit on the verandah with my cuppa, that slight chill and freshness that's always the mark of March, we've had such a hot time of it over this last summer, I doubt we'll have the winter you've had to endure, but am looking forward to putting on heavier quilts on the bed when the season does change!!!! Would love to go to one of your classes, history/sewing combined, maybe Australia could be in your sights one day.........(Brisbane would be good....hint, hint.....I'm only a couple of hours away......) Just a thought LOL!!!!..........

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  3. I love naples fl.....you look like you had a great time with all those girls....sorry about the cld weather when you got home...did you warm it up yet.....I leave in a couple weeks for Michigan....brrrr......I bet it was hard to leave the 80's.....I kinda like the goofed up block...she could start a new pattern of her own....maybe call it her own name....hope you are having a good weekend....linda

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