Thursday, April 24, 2008

Road to Paducah--- Part I

Oh my gracious gravy goodness! (That sounded really old, didn't it?? HA!) The much anticipated trip to Paducah is over and done with, it was so much fun! I had the best trip EVER to Paducah, and it not only continues to be my number one quilt show/market pick in the good old US of A but it was even better than trips past!

Before I go any further, y'all are going to ask me why I think Paducah is the best and I'll give you my opinion (which of course you may place do with whatever you like). I think that Paducah is the friendliest city where a quilt show is held, hands down! Paducah folk are kind, helpful, cute as pie, and they even have sweet tea for pete's sake! The town itself is clean and safe, full of history and wonderful architecture. I can't say the same for Houston, sorry. The area around the convention center is a little dicey and the city itself holds no comparison to Paducah. In terms of quilts themselves, I think while the shows at other venues are very nice and wonderfully inspiring, Paducah is consistently top shelf. The 20K best of show prize is certainly an indication not to mention the fact that this IS the home of the National Quilt Museum.

Normally, I go to Paducah on a Friday, never ever on opening day. Watching the weather however, yesterday (Wednesday) was the best of the days and it was a fantastic pick. The day came with such eagerness I almost didn't mind getting up at 5:30 to get ready to hit the road. Fortified with a travel mug of Irish Breakfast tea properly Splenda'd and creamered, camera and partner in tow we were on the road! Woo Hoo-------------

Would you like to take a road trip to Paducah???? Sure you would, come on........... let's hit it!

I'm not even going to bore you with the wind up shots--------- when you have quilts to look at, who needs to see feet on the dashboard? Just know that as we passed over the Mississippi River we were amazed and shocked to see that the river was still so high! Farmland was still very much underwater.......... and what had receded was near quicksand. Several of the ferries along the river are still closed down. We will stop for a tinkle break and a nice sweet tea en route and plan on arriving in just under three hours. I can't wait!

Look---- we have arrived at Quilt Mecca! THE AQS Quilt Show!!! Parking wasn't even too bad this year, we found a great (and free) spot on the street about 3 blocks away. Just a couple clouds in the sky and the temperature is in the mid 70's, fantastic! C'mon, let's pay our $11 and go in!

Wow, the 24th annual----- I wonder what is on tap for the 25th anniversary? Bet it will be something really special.

The doors are open!!!! That looks like a lot of people, but trust me, it is the very teensiest tip of the iceberg! The main Expo Hall has vendors around the perimeter and the award winning quilts are in the center of the room along with probably 1/3 of the entered quilts in aisles. Before I go in I have to stop at the ladies room------ where you can actually rub elbows with the likes of Diane Gaudynski, she is an award winner you know and I'm always gratified to know that she uses the tinkle parlor too! Last year I stood in line for Burritos with Ricky Tims and now I wash my hands next to Diane Gaudynski------ another brush with greatness!

Once you enter the hall (and the quilt show spills out into the adjacent space in the center, through the hotel, into the basement and out into the town!!) you just can't even feature how many people are here. ZILLIONS OF THEM.

Most of them got here on THIS:

Big ole' buses, and lots and lots and lots of them. I traveled to Paducah by bus one year and while it was fun and we did stop at Cracker Barrel and all, I just like the ability to call my own schedule. Looking around, I'd have to say that those that did not arrive in the comfort of a bus came driven by their retired husband. There were a herds of them hanging around in various states of discomfort. Please don't get me started on baby strollers.

Just one of the aisles.............. lots of people.

Lots and lots of peeeeeeooooooooooooooooople. Many of whom have checked their brains at the door. I know, this is Paducah, this is the bigtime and we are all here to oogle quilts, shop and visit and chat and have a big old time, I'm all about it..................... but I do really feel that one should clear the damn aisles if possible. Think about where you stop, pull over if you can. We were stopped on a stairwell (about 40 quilters) when a group of ladies just stopped in the middle to chat. Seriously. Beep Beep.

Hey! It is John Flynn! I love John, his work is impeccable and that man can machine quilt on that invention of his to the moon and back! I actually purchased the Flynn system many years ago and discovered that I was too impatient and too klutzy to make a go of it. I don't remember who ended up with it. Watching John quilt with it is poetry in motion!

This is FAR more like it, and of course I want one!

Longarms have come such a long way since their inception I just can't get over it! There were probably no fewer than 8 booths that had them, including the grandaddy of all, Gammill. That is me playing away. I have hidden my neck from you because I had a really great day and don't want to speak of other things. This was a Tin Lizzy 18. I have to say that I really liked it! Super easy to use and it felt nice and sturdy. Although the "other" big boy longarm would call it a hobby machine----- it was pretty cool! I use a longarm once every 4 years and was able to start the machine and do a really nice continuous patters very easily right out of the gate. I wanted to try some of the other machines but the booths were just too crowded. Get me out of here, I'll look at the big award winners later this afternoon!!!!!!!!

I have forgotten Paducah 101 in my haste and excitement to arrive! Head for the back of the hotel and start there and move up!!! When everyone buys their tickets they naturally enter the expo hall up front and hence the major clogs. I am peopled out for the minute so let's head out............... and wander off to the other part of the building.

Quilts first of course! In no particular order, just some of my favorites from the 1628 entered and displayed for all of us to admire:

"Yellow Chair Loves Apples"------ is it not wonderful? Original but not fussy----- artsy fartsy and great use of color and texture. Love it! Entered by Laura Wasilowski, it was actually for sale and I didn't inquire!

I am absolutely WILD about the quilt above! LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT! There was no doubt as I came around the corner and was immediately drawn to it that it was created by the talent of Becky Goldsmith of Piece O' Cake fame. I have loved Becky and Linda from the "Gramma Ruth's Gazette" days when they were so wonderful and gracious to me as an e-publisher. The title, "Live Well and Be Happy" along with the colors, the fabrics and the spirit of the piece makes me smile!

Are you tired yet? Your feet hurt a little? Need to do a little shopping and lighten up that wallet a tad? You bet........ we can definitely do that! Let's head to the sides of the room and check out the vendors who are here with all of those yummy things for our consideration!

Oh my! Triplets!!!!!!! Are they cute as pie or what?????? Matching t shirts! Do they wander off? Get lost?????? I see a lot of the matching hats, the matching vests, even the matching backpacks of the women here as a group or guild--------- but I do have to say it is the first time I saw the whole t shirt theme. If you ever (and I mean EVER) see me at any quilt or knit festival or show and I am dressed alike with anyone (A.N.Y.O.N.E.) please come up and smack me hard. The lady sitting next to them on the left of the shot is actually taking a picture of me taking a picture of them. I think she hated my neck!

I came here with a very short list of "I'm buying.........." and this was from that list! Amy Butler fabric! In the pink family (of course)----- love it! I found it at a great booth from Franklin Tennessee, The Quilting Squares. They were very nice, had a darling booth and managed to cut great fabric in a space the size of a postage stamp. The other thing on my must buy list was a jelly roll of Dandelion Girl--------- and would you believe I found jelly rolls of just about everything else but no DG! I think I am going to have to go ahead and i-net it! I love all of the Amy Butler fabs and would love to own cuts of it in every colorway and design! The above is for a bag I have in my mind.

Now THAT is way cute fabric! Because I have had limited fabric buying lately (really, it is all relative after all) I hadn't seen this. It was made into a pair of the cutest pajama pants from a Cindy Taylor Oates pattern. I have had that pattern for awhile but of course haven't actually MADE anything from it! If any of you great blitters know who makes this fabric let me know as I walked on buy and didn't shake out my credit card.

Time for a few more gorgeous quilts............ there are so many and even the ones I don't personally 'love', I do appreciate the time and effort and most of all the love that went into each and every one of them.

Above is #1437-------- AMAZING!!!!!!!!! The teensiest little pieces all set so perfectly! Colors are wonderful too. The quilter is Christine Wickert and she says in her show bio that she started this in a Sally Collins workshop from a Jinny Beyer Compass and the rest are pieces from other notable designers. This baby was hand quilted. Sigh.

Time to look at one more quilt before we take off for lunch because the English muffin I had for breakfast is starting to wear pretty thin, are you hungry too?

As we head off into town, such a short and pretty walk on this gorgeous April afternoon, I leave you with the quilt above. Isn't it gorgeous? I was so taken by the colors and texture of the quilt. I am woefully ashamed that I can't tell you who the talented quilter was who created this vision!!!

Part II tomorrow, lunch, more shopping a bit 'outside the doors', the award winning quilts and we finish our day with a KNIT shop!


melissaknits said...

This would be a dangerous venue for me,

PamKittyMorning said...

Eewwww.. so crowded. I hate crowds where you can't see stuff. And really, what's up with the stroller people. And the chatters. Glad you had fun.

dana said...

thanks for the road trip. didn't know we had a national quilt museum. there is an adorable small museum down the road in golden. have you been to that one?

just mowed the lawn for the first time. you are an inspiration.