Adventures in Denmark
article and photos by Vikki Pignatelli
Being a quilt teacher is possibly the best career in the world! I am truly blessed…fortunate indeed that I have the opportunity to follow my passions to make my living. My love of all art forms (quilting in particular), travel and teaching have all combined in the most amazing way.
In the past fourteen months I’ve taught in locations I never dreamed I’d have the chance to visit or teach: New Zealand (a month), Australia (a month), Ireland (a month), Denmark (3 weeks) as well as England, Hawaii and every corner of the USA.
I’ve met the most amazing people and I’ve discovered that quilters are the same all over the world. They are enthusiastic and eager to learn new techniques and ideas. They want to use their quilting not just as a hobby or business, but also a as self-expression to convey their innermost feelings, joys, passions and as a healing tool or personal therapy.
This spring I taught in Denmark for the second time in three years. My husband, Denny, and I stayed with our very good friends Lone and Teddy Schaadt. Lone is also a quilting teacher, Teddy, a fine artist. Lone and I taught dual classes, which is not only fun, but takes some of the pressure off of each teacher and allows some break time.
We taught two different sessions in Koege, a week retreat In Vigersted and in Viborg. As always the Danish students were terrific! Danes learn English in school at an early age and I’ve seldom run into any language barrier problems in Denmark. Some are self-conscience and hesitate to speak or make sentences but almost everyone understands English. Many of the programs on TV in Denmark are in English.
A week before we were to come home, the volcano in Iceland erupted. There were some anxious moments wondering when we could fly again….airports were closed and flights cancelled all over northern Europe because of the ash cloud. And we were flying on Iceland Airlines. As luck would have it, the Copenhagen airport reopened on an hour by hour basis… on the day of our originally scheduled flight out of Denmark and our flight was among the first flights out after the eruption. We were very lucky, many passengers were stranded for a long time.
Our tense moments were rewarded though when we flew into Reykjavik to change planes. We flew right by the erupting volcano…and it was on my side of the plane and I had a window seat!! What a joy! It is amazing and humbling to witness the most powerful force on earth. To realize what I was seeing brought me to tears….but not before I whipped out the camera for some terrific shots!
Teaching in Denmark is always a wonderful experience! Please check my website at www.vikkipignatelli.com and click on my “student gallery” to see some of their work.