It has been almost six months since I closed my retail business on July 1 and announced my “semi” retirement. It is hard to figure out where all the time goes. But I have certainly kept busy traveling to visit family and having friends and family visit my home.
I had three different trips planned with Craftours and, because of the pandemic, all of those had been postponed and rescheduled. I was able to go on my first trip with them in October and what a trip that was!
When I told people I was going on my first overseas trip since before the pandemic, they would ask where I was going. When I said Uzbekistan most people immediately had a strange look on their faces and had such comments as “Why? Where is that?, Is that a country?, Is it safe?”
Well, I had never been but had done a lot of research and could hardly wait to see the mosaic designs that seemed to be everywhere. I was not disappointed and was simply overwhelmed by the experience. In my mind, Uzbekistan is a hidden gem and if you ever get the chance to go, I highly recommend it.
The first thing that struck was how clean it is. It has to be the cleanest country I have ever been in. The people are extremely friendly and so very proud of their country. And then the mosaic designs are everywhere you look, not just on ancient buildings……stair treads, walls, furniture, clothing, ceramics, and on and on. It was a wonderful trip with a great group of travelers. We planned a sewing project based on the mosaic designs we saw.
For the last 20 years I have been so busy planning seminars, traveling to teach, running a retail store and on-line business, designing fabrics, that I simply did not have time to plan what I call “a personal quilt”. I have definitely designed a lot of quilts during that time, but there were for kits to sell and frequently had some restrictions. Use certain fabric collections, not too many fabrics, no set-in seams, easy to sew, etc. While it was fun to design these quilts, there was not a lot of personal satisfaction, and I have been waiting for the opportunity to design something that I want. The trip to Uzbekistan gave me the inspiration to begin a quilt project that has been rattling around in my head for a long time. Inspired by the beautiful ceramics and the geometric designs, I have begun my quilt. It took me three weeks to finally get the design drafted. I am using colors that we saw throughout Uzbekistan, blues, teals, purples and golds. I will keep you posted on the progress as I begin hand piecing this quilt.
I have two more Craftours trips planned, coming up before you know it. We will be going to Ireland in May and Greece in June. Keep watching for the fall 2023 dates of another tour that is still in the works.
I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season