February 3, 2009

Seeing Old Friends in Holland

One of the wonderful things about my life as a quilting professional is the joy of meeting so many quilters around the world. Some I only know briefly and others become good friends. My latest adventure took me to a wonderful show in Holland, where one of my special treats was visiting with some long-time friends.

In the spring of 2004, Sonja Eerhart was inquiring by email about our Drunkard’s Path templates. Sonja and her husband live in The Hague (Den Haag), and it happened that the International Quilt Festival was going to be there a few weeks later. After a couple of emails, Sonja discovered that I would be coming to the Festival to teach and she offered to pick me up at the Amsterdam airport.

Oh, my gosh, don’t say it if you don’t mean it! I travel with large suitcases of quilts! Which means trains are not fun. Coincidentally, Katie Pasquini Masopust was on the same plane. Sonja had a big car and was able to give us both a ride to our hotels. It was tulip time in Holland, and Sonja stopped the car so Katie and I could enjoy the spectacular tulip fields.

The next thing we knew, Sonja was taking us to the famous Keukenhof Gardens. Keukenhof folks claim the Gardens to be the most photographed place in the world. It was definitely one of the highlights of all my travels and I was happy to help with the photography "statistic"!

My original plans were to meet my friend Liuxin Newman, the Thimble Lady from Australia, at the airport but there was a problem with her flight. She didn't get to share the beauty of the Gardens, but on the last day of the show, Sonja and her husband, Philip, drove us around so Liuxin could see some of the tulip fields.

Over the years, Sonja and I have had several occasions to spend time together and there is always email in between.

All of that to say, once again, Sonja met me at the Amsterdam airport. We drove to Andalst to meet with Rhinetex, one of our wholesale distributors of From Marti Michell products. I would be giving 4 classes/day for shop owners and teachers, and Sonja is fabulous at keeping me organized! After getting everything set up for classes on Friday, Sonja and I had dinner with Alex Rodriguez, who is the Sales Manager of Benartex, Nancy Halvorsen of Art to Heart, and one of the Benartex fabric designers, as they were also in Holland for the show. I had never met Alex and had only visited with Nancy briefly in the past, so there was another bonus.

I was happy for the opportunity to catch up with old and new friends, and looking forward to sleeping late the next morning to catch up on the time change.

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