The world of quilting has it's great times and not so great times. Things can be outstanding and sometimes underwhelming. Such was the case, in my opinion, concerning my 4 days spent in Paducah, Kentucky for the 24th annual American Quilters Society (AQS) quilt show. The wonderful, outstanding part was the place we stayed, the lovely Fox Briar Farm. We had a great room, delicious food, which was served in 3 courses by very nice local women that seemed to have stepped be right out of a Norman Rockwell painting. The farm has cows called Belted Galloways. I've always called them blanket cows, cause it looks like they have a blanket on their backs. The Galloways are from Scotland and fair better in colder climates, you can see the longer hair that helps keep them warm. Besides being a Bed and Breakfast during the quilt show, it's a working farm and the cows are all the work. There is one horse, cause you know this Kentucky, what would a farm be without one. The picturesque setting included a lake with geese and fish that jumped. There was a porch that wrapped around and a few dogwood trees to complete the setting.
The show was it's usual of hodge podge rambling venues contained in 3 buildings that can be daunting to navigate for first time visitors. The underwhelming part, to me was the quantity of show winning quality quilts. I wonder if their aren't more quilt shows competing for the really great quilts and those quilts can't be in 2 places at once so they are spread around the country. In the years past, it seems to me at least, that there have been many more "show stoppers" in this quilt show. I don't know, it just occurred to me, the plethora of quilt shows can't have all the quilts at once. Maybe I'm wrong, any thoughts? The winning quilts were certainly worthy and deserved the prizes they won. This is the grand prize winner, inspired by her grandmother's handkerchief. The usual gossip, I heard it was in the paper, so maybe it's not gossip, the $20,000 winner didn't want the money. So, that means the she can keep the quilt and it does not go to the museum. I've heard that before, but, someone told me the person changed her mind and took the money. I don't know for sure, I think even at $20,000 if it took me 2 to 10 years to make a quilt worthy of this prize, it still wouldn't be worth your time...but, I'd take the money.
There were lots of familiar beloved faces, none more so than Elenore Burns. Ricky Tims rode a Harley Davidson onto the stage for his show, complete with fog and lighting like Chuck Norris coming out of the burned out barn to save the day. He was pretty good, but, the woman that sang with him, really blew him and all of us away, Cat Bowser, I think was her name-just a singer/comedian, not a quilter and soooo funny.
Here's my purchases. I'm getting into wool rovings and hand sewing a Grandmother's Flower Garden, which before it was called by that name was known as a mosaic pattern. I got this fabric to put in a scattering around the quilt, more on my progress later. I can never go to a quilt show and not find some very unusual embroidery items, this is silk ribbon embroidery thread. I've got another needle threader that works with bigger eyed needles. I did get it through a big eyed size 12 needle, but, it's not worth the effort. Use the heart shaped Clover needle thread for your size 12 needles. We also didn't have a bad meal, the Whaler has great butterfly fried shrimp and Toucan's had the best tuna fish sandwich I've ever had. Food in Paducah can not be mentioned with Patty's Settlement, home of the mile high meringue and pork chops-this can be split very easily between 2 people. Here we are, my mom and me relaxing after a wonderful bit of R and R. Now it's back to business and time with my daughter, who is still undergoing chemotherapy.