Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Back Home Again

After playing 'catch up' on sleep after a very long return trip, I'd like to share some photos of my "Alaskan Adventure". I was fortunate to have two wonderful hostesses (Pam Sprout & Dee Carpenter), who saw to my every need, escorted me to places I would never have gotton to on my own, shared their passion for quilting, fine dining, and good old 'companionship'. I found the students to be very excited by every new thing I would pass on to them, and willing to 'dive into' new projects without hesitation. I learned to 'text message' (never did that before), to communicate with my son who is currently working in Africa and does not have internet available. I was fortunate enough to be able to view The Northern Lights, which I'm told came out of hiding a bit early, just for my benefit. If you get the opportunity to work with the Cabin Fever Quilters of Fairbanks, you will not be disappointed!

Alaska Arts Center

Lecture and workshops were held at the Alaska Center For The Arts in Pioneer Village. All 'commercial operations' had ended the week before, and we had the place to ourselves. Outside the building all the parking spaces had PLUGS for your vehicles for the winter weather, which, I'm told, can go as low as 40 or 50 below!!!! After leaving the relatively mild temperatures of Fairbanks (30's & 40's), I arrived home in Atlanta with velour pants, long sleeves, and 3 jackets on, to a day that was 91 degrees!

How Does Your Garden Grow workshop

Saturday was spent with "The Garden" class, which was a great hit with the students since the night before there had been a killing frost taking away all their spectacular (and large) blooms. The workshop area provided each student with ample space to work, and was a delight for me as a teacher.

Friday Workshop

Thursday was our "Putting Patchwork in Perspective" class (which I forgot to take photos of!). Friday's class had each student create a unique block which could be foundation pieced, then played with for various configurations. I will say that BRIGHT is the operative word when it comes to Alaskans choosing their fabric! Must have something to do with the long winter nights.

A "different" arrangement

The "Creative Foundation Blocks" class on Friday found the students being excited by the 'changing' views of what they had created. This is a second version of one of the projects after rearranging the blocks.

Tanana River View

Views such as this are everywhere. Folks will build their homes to take advantage of the spectacular scenery. Imagine waking up every morning to see this!

Farmers Market

The Tanana Farmers Market operates until the last weekend in September, and is amazing. A rainy day didn't add much to the ambience, but the produce was still available. Purple potatos are quite the rage!, as are 100 lb. cabbage. Texas doesn't have anything to equal it. I did indulge in some local favorites such as Goat Milk Soap, and of course, MOOSTARD.

Pipeline and directions

The Alaska Pipeline stretches over 800 miles from the North Slope to the Gulf of Alaska. Vewing it, it seems to go on forever. The 'map/directions', lends a sense of humor for the location.

The First Family

This lovely statue sits in the center of Fairbanks in honor of the "First Family" to settle in the area. Behind it you can see Pioneer Church, one of the oldest in the area.

Is this "Rudolph"?

The illusive MOOSE hid during my visit, only to show up 15 minutes after my plane left Fairbanks, on the highway we had just driven. I did, however, find part of Santa's helpers being well taken care of prior to his December journey.

A Quilter's Kitchen

Who of us wouldn't want to have a kitchen designed with "Quilt Blocks" as the theme. A visit to Material Girls Quilt Shop provided just such a wonderful space, attached to their classroom area.

The Last 'residents'

Driving up through the tundra we were able to see the last group of swans spending their last days in Alaska before heading south for the winter. There had already been a killing frost, and snow would be arriving shortly.

Alaska Range

The Alaska Range is a breathtaking sight. A clear day on the highest point of Fairbanks provided this spectacular view. My photos cannot begin to do it justice

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fairbanks Alaska

Heading out early tomorrow for a very exciting trip to Fairbanks Alaska.
I'll be doing a lecture and three workshops for Cabin Fever Quilters.
I've added a link to their website and hope to post pictures from
the classes, and whatever 'wonders' I encounter.