Our retreat ended Sunday after a filling brunch. By all accounts it was a very productive one. After getting the binding on my queen size block exchange quilt, I spent the rest of the weekend working on diagrams for the Treasure Chest pattern. It’s still taking me longer than I’d like, but it is getting easier. Here’s a pic of all of us. Not a very flattering picture of me on the right side.
Despite both sons being home sick all week (again! – it’s been a rough year!), I managed to finish the pattern and approved the proof on Thursday. I should have the pattern in the shop just before I leave for Estonia.
Best laid plans… I promised more about Estonia, but it’s been a little crazy here. We will be staying with family on my father’s side. Despite being an only child with virtually no family here, I have a pretty good size extended family in Estonia. Our trip is planned to get there just before one of the best holidays – Jaanipaev. It is a summer solstice celebration, complete with family get togethers and big bonfires. Unfortunately, this year the weather does not seem to be cooperating. It’s still pretty chilly, reaching only into the 60’s during the day and back down to the 30’s at night, with plenty of rain. 3 years ago, it was 3 weeks of sunny nearly 80 degree weather.
In addition, we will also be there for the National Song and Dance Festival. Estonians love to sing and dance in their national costume. The song festival has been going on since 1869! The song festival will included 1,000’s of people singing on stage at on outdoor ampitheater in the capital city of Tallinn. Learn more about it at www.laulupidu.ee/eng.
Each area of Estonia has a different national dress and it differs by century. The women have beautiful full skirts made from woven striped wool – the colors determined by region. The blouse is made from white cotton, and embellished with beautiful embroidery. At my wedding, I changed into the national costume for a portion of the reception and my cousin who attended from Estonia, wore a costume from the 19th century. Everyone danced to some traditional Estonian waltzes. It was a really neat part of the wedding that everyone remembers.
Estonia is an interesting country in that although mostly an agrarian scoiety, the people are very highly cultured and have a great appreciation for the arts, theater, music, and art galleries abound. I am sure it has to do with it’s strategic position on the Baltic Sea and the fact that it is been an important part of trading routes for centuries. Estonia has only been independent for small pockets of time, having been ruled at diffeent times by the Germans, Russians, and the Danes. Nonetheless, Estonians have still managed to maintain a strong sense of national pride. We are a strong and stubborn breed – my husband would heartily agree to that!
Best get back to laundry and packing!