It’s my busy time of year for teaching. I’ve been traveling for almost all of the past four weeks—less two days at home in the middle, where basically I did laundry and re-packed. Now, I love my work and feel blessed to spend my time (and get paid for it!) in creative ways, but this was maybe a little much. Good thing that the quilters I meet and teach are such a great crowd.

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My class from St. Augustine, Florida

This latest trip, that I returned home from two days ago, was to Florida. Not a bad destination when you’re traveling from Maine in February. First stop St. Augustine in the northeast of the state. This city is America’s oldest “continuously occupied” settlement—settled in 1565 (another benefit of travel is the free continuing education).

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With my St. Augustine guild contact Kathryn Metzger

Aside from absorbing some history in St. Augustine, I gave a guild lecture for the St. Augustine Piecemakers and taught a two-day fish, bug, butterfly class that I call Cutting Loose.

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Cindy Pilkington getting overly enthusiastic with her fabric selection!

The class is meant to present the fabric collage process in a fun and stress-free way with subject matter that are virtually infallible. With the simplified subject matter, we are free to play with the designs, patterns, and colors found in the fabric. It’s all about cutting fabric shapes and rearranging them within the spaces of the designs. As you can see in the slide-show below, the ladies did just that, in very fun ways.

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The second leg of the trip was to Naples in the south west of Florida, for which I rented a car to transport me and my supplies. I was encouraged by my first class to stop in Orlando at The Sewing Studio. What full-blooded quilter wouldn’t want to? Well I did stop, spent some money and spent just enough time to put me in the middle of stop-and-go-Friday-afternoon-beautiful-weather traffic. Took me a little longer than planned for that leg of the journey. Lesson learned. Skip breakfast to leave more time in the fabric store!

In Naples, I taught a four-day sea-life (fish, turtles, seahorses, etc.—plus bugs and butterflies) class. With a couple extra days to the class, many were able to get a little farther on their designs, especially with starting to figure out the backgrounds. A couple even got to the quilting stage! I didn’t necessarily get photos of all of them, so you’ll just have to take my word on that. It was a very hard working group, putting a lot of thought into their pieces.

Projects from Naples Quilters Guild:

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A color-challenged photo of me and my lovely Naples Quilt Guild contact, Judy Bauckham, at the guild lecture.

Two days after class ended was a guild lecture on Thursday evening, giving me a couple days to myself in between. Hmmm, what to do in sunny Florida in the middle of winter? Below is my answer to that dilemma. The slide show starts in St. Augustine, then moves south. Hint: excursions included the Everglades and a parrot sanctuary. Plus alligators!

My travels around Florida:

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Now I’m home for a week before travel to the Monterey Peninsula in CA for an Empty Spools Seminar at Asilomar Conference Grounds. Not a bad destination when you’re traveling from Maine in late February and early March….

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