Things Happen for a Reason . . .

Things Happen for a Reason……..

When I first visited the quaint Umbrian town of Orvieto back in 1979, the idea that I might return one day never entered my thoughts.  In those days I was working for Perkins & Will, a large architectural firm of international reach.  I was a young commercial interior designer, and was on the return trip from a project our team was doing in Kuwait. I was traveling with the architects in charge of the facade design of the building, and they needed to stop at the quarry just outside of Orvieto to inspect stone to be used on the job.  Out of interest, I tagged along and was immediately enthralled by the area–the countryside, the architecture, the serenity, the light, the color–the core beauty of it all.  As I write this, I’m anticipating my return there for what will be the third time in the last seven years, and my love of Orvieto has not changed.  It has only grown richer.

Yes, I will be returning to Italy at the end of this coming May to co-teach, with my dear friend Renee Nanneman, for an amazing couple, Kristi and Bill Steiner. Kristi and Bill own Adventures in Italy, a company that collaborates with artists and craftspeople to facilitate learning opportunities for the teachers and students alike.  Orvieto is amazing, but it’s the combined spirit of these two extraordinary people that makes this a “one of a kind” adventure in the truest sense of that phrase. For fourteen years, they have afforded those fortunate enough to participate in their special brand of creative travel singular insights into real Italian life, while providing access to the locals that might never have occurred without their knowledge and the genuine joy in what they do.  This is a treasure that most traditional tourists will never experience.

When they first honored us by asking Renee and I to teach in May 2015, I was overwhelmed by the serendipitous nature of it. Now Renee and I are returning to teach yet again this May, and by this opportunity we will be charged with stretching imaginations to new limits, and helping our students to simply see and be inspired by all that surrounds them. See the texture. See the color. See the design. See and interpret into our textile media the serenity that is everywhere in this beautiful setting.

Regrettably, Bill and Kristi announced, earlier this year, that this would be the last year for Adventures in Italy.  I am saddened that I will no longer see these two rare spirits as such a natural part of this Italian landscape, but this circumstance will make the coming trip that much more special–all the stops will be out for Renee and me. The reason I share this now, is that as of yesterday (Tuesday, February 14) we learned that what has been a full class up to now (and at times over-filled!) is now down one student and we have a surprise opening!!!  So . . . I am now able to extend one last invitation to some lucky traveler (or two) to join us on this adventure of a life time.

I am truly blessed, and a huge believer that “things happen for a reason”, so I can’t help but reflect upon my own good fortune to have had this opportunity myself. An adventure that started in my youth when I was a naive interior designer, now comes full circle as I return as the “quilt heretic”. You just never know when opportunities and adventure will present themselves. We need to be open to them.

Not everyone is a natural fit for something like this, but many certainly are. There is so much more to share about the wonders of Italy on a trip like this, that I encourage anyone who might be even vaguely interested to check out the Steiners’ website at — QUICKLY — as I’m guessing that this last available slot won’t be open for long.  However, if you find yourself reading this . . . that, too might be for a reason!

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