I am back from some of my travels and the Ricky Tims retreat in his gallery in La Veta, Colorado. I have had the good fortune of this being my 2nd time there. It was wonderful. I went this year with the intention of making a Rhapsody quilt which I had sketched out prior to my arrival. I was also determined to use all hand dyed fabrics (mostly mine). With help from Ricky, I got all my designs to fit the designated areas and was able to cut out all the background pieces and start the appliqué pieces. I have most of them cut out. Picture at right shows about 1/4 of the design. It will be repeated in all 4 quadrants. I don't even want to think about quilting it yet. I have drawn out the designs for the border but have not cut them out. I want to see what it all looks like before I add them.... I may have to add more or take something out when I see how it all balances. Justin has named this piece Bullwinkle and Miranda.
Before going to Colorado, I had the chance to do some traveling in Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy. My SO's company is headquarted in a small town in Italy named Butrio. It is about an hour and a half north east of Venice. They call themselves the City of Wine. There are vineyards all over the place and the grapes were just being picked for the early varieties or just ripening for the later ones. It is very picturesque. Croatia was spectacular. We only had a few days there and I would go back for an extended vacation in a flash. It was all postcard gorgeous, clean, and the people were friendly. In Slovenia we stopped in Lipica which is the home of the Lipizzaner Stallions. This was the original Hapsburg farm for breeding these awesome horses but most of the world is now more familiar with the farms in Austria and other places that were part of the Hapsburg empire. The horses are magnificent and it made me yearn to own a horse again. Been there, done that, and I cannot handle another expensive hobby! For those of you who do not know, the horses are born black and turn white as they mature. Some remain black always but their offspring can be white.
I will not be home much until the beginning of December when I hope not to see a plane or a suitcase again for a long time. I am going to Houston and hope to get to meet new friends there.