South East to Charlotte, North Carolina

The first email came from Cheran in July 2018, inviting me to visit the Charlotte Quilters Guild. Just 18 months later there I was at their February Guild meeting, sitting in the front row taking pictures of the wonderful quilts that had come in that month, all to be donated to various local causes.

The quilters made a circle right around the room and one by one showed their donations to each other.
For the young,The not so young,And the definitely not young!There were over 50 quilts to be given away. What a generous group of ladies. That’s a lot of stitching!

With a quilt show coming up next month there was a lot of business to get through before Show and Tell.

This quilter had three tops finished. A bright and cheerful Double Wedding Ring,A Storm at Sea / Snail Trail hybrid,And a pretty flowery machine appliqué quilt started in a class. The flower petals are designed to blossom when the quilt is washed for the first time.A second stitcher had her own version to show, started in the same class. Similar but different?This was a very clever swimming tote, with spaces and pockets for everything.A painted and thread sketched pet portrait.And a quilt made for a friend retiring from his job in Alaska with motifs inspired by petroglyphs.I hadn’t gone all the way to Charlotte to sit and take pictures all evening… time to get up and do my thing!

Let’s start by recording the audience for posterity? Looking to my right,and to my left,and let’s not forget the committee chairs sitting at the tables.There was a good crowd to share my Trip Around the World in Folk Art Stitches. Lots of threads were distributed for winning (and losing) answers with two big winners guessing very close to the right answer for the final question.

Back to my hotel with a quick supermarket stop to lay in some supplies, get some sleep and back out again the next morning for our Walking Foot Quilting class. Becky shared her BERNINA with me so I could do my demos in style.Everyone worked well.machines humming nicely.What you can’t see in the pictures is that it was storming outside. We had a tornado warning during the lunch hour… It stayed a few miles away from us but we lost a couple of students mid afternoon when they got called away to survey the fallen trees at their homes…

I generally like to fly in the day before I speak at a guild and stay until the day after I’m done so there is no panic and rush. I enjoy adding margin to allow for any unforeseen circumstances 🙂

It was very handy on Thursday because the airport was shut for several hours  but all was well by the time I was due to leave on Friday afternoon.

Cheran and I enjoyed a late breakfast at a local diner we had found on line. We took a selfie in the parking lot…

Then Cheran had a treat in store. The midday traffic was backed up but we persevered to reach our destination…Yes, it’s a Dairy Queen, but this is a very rare Eskimo girl sign. Opinions differ as to its origin, and whether it’s replacement or not, but everyone agrees there are not many left standing and this one is in Charlotte! (Did you know the first DQ opened in 1940 in in Joliet IL? not too far from Naperville)The sun finally appeared in time for our plane to take off. I snapped a quick shot of downtown Charlotte as we ascended above the clouds.Just time for a short movie and we were nearing home, over the snowy fields of Illinois,A quick loop over the lake,and past the familiar Chicago skyline,for an early arrival at Midway.

One of my bags took a detour on its way to the luggage carousel but all’s well that ends well. The friendly Southwest luggage agents helped me track it down just in time to meet Steve as he pulled into the parking garage to take me home…

What a fun trip for my first guild visit of 2020! Thanks to my hostesses Pat and Cheran who looked after me so well. Perhaps there will be a return expedition to explore some embroidery stitching in  my future?

I got home to some fun mail. I’ll share it soon 🙂