One of the original buildings. I thought it was pretty.
Every year our small community hosts a small Quilt Show. They open various historic buildings and fill them with quilts ladies in the local quilting guilds have made, and erect tents in the central " courthouse green" area for vendors of quilting supplies and other sewing materials.
Welcome to the show!
They even set up chairs in one tent and host lectures on various quilting topics every hour or so. Last year, our favorite lecture was about how to judge the age of a quilt by examining the fabrics and the style of quilt (my favorite tip: a quilt is only as old as it's most recent fabric...duh, right? Well, I'd not really thought of that before and it was a revelation to me!). The entry fee for the show is a whopping two dollars, which covers admission for both days of the show...not quite free, but close. I LOVE it!
I'd love to sit here with a friend and while the afternoon away...
This year, my mom and I attended on Friday, since the forecast was rain for all day Saturday (and rain all day it did!), and antique (or new) quilts and rain do not mix well...neither does rain encourage two ladies to have a good time in the out of doors, if the general preference is to stay dry.
Looking for that special something...Do I need another project?
On our way to the show, we checked out the quilting store and a new antique store, but had no luck finding treasures in either place. That's okay, because I didn't really want to spend money, and if I'd found something charming, I might have had to get it!
Mom found this interesting piece using small yo-yos, but alas, it was not for sale. I did, however, get a photo, so now I can copy it!
Once we got to the show, we checked out the indoor display of how quilts had been used historically to aid in slaves find their way using The Underground Railroad. There was an appraiser there, too, who for a fee would look at old quilts and give you an approximate value for them.
The Flying Geese pattern told them to go in the direction the geese were migrating.
In an adjacent area, we met a lovely lady who told me some fascinating facts about our local area, and offered us some interesting handouts to send with Flat Stanley when we send him off next week. I got a coloring book of local sites for my kids to use, and a few postcards, too.
Next, we wandered around the booths, looking at the beautiful fabrics in a myriad of colors. There were dozens of interesting and colorful books you could buy on the topics of quilting and sewing, a wide assortment of tools, and many well-crafted items you could snap up.
Mom bought a book, and she was kind enough to also buy an issue of Mary Jane's Farm for us to share because it talked about quilting, not to mention all the lovely photos and the articles about canning and other country topics in it.
One of these days I need to subscribe to this magazine...now there's a good Christmas gift idea!
Our last stop at the quilt show was to check out the display of quilts people had made during the year at various quilting guild meetings. Some of them were a bit intimidating to an amateur like myself, but they were all impressive works of art.
This was my favorite. It is a quilt depicting the artist's home and neighborhood. Doesn't it look like somewhere you'd like to visit?
There were also some that were family heirlooms folks had been kind enough to share, and it was fascinating to read the stories behind how different ladies had chosen their patterns, fabrics, or the histories behind the older quilts.
These were two of our favorites: the one on the top depicts the state flowers for all fifty states. The one on the bottom shows gorgeous and colorful butterflies and irises. I LOVE that combination!
On our way out we stopped at the County Museum to pick up a sticker for our county tour sheet. The kind lady from our earlier stop had clued me in to the fact that various local stops keep stickers which you collect and put on a sheet of paper, then once you have collected a certain number, you send it in and get a prize. Cool, huh?! I collected three just in the one trip, and plan to get more with the kids when we use our flea market find of a local tour guidebook to explore our town over the next year.
We walked back toward the car, and I convinced Nanny to let me treat her to lunch at my favorite restaurant. It has a very classy decor, they play mellow Sinatra-style tunes (sometimes sung by a favorite of mine, Michael Buble, and other times, by the original Rat Pack members), and the service is always excellent. The food is absolutely divine...I ordered my favorite, the quiche-of-the-day (from Quiche Lorraine to Vegetarian Quiche...all are delicious), served with a garden salad, and Nanny had another local favorite, the fish and chips. Topped off with a cold raspberry sweet tea, it was a marvelous end to a refreshing day.
On our way to the restaurant, we passed one of the stops on our travel guide's tour...our fire department's fire hydrant.
Of course, all that quilting inspired me to work on my own quilts this week. I am not so ambitious at this point (or so brave) to think that I can take on the piecing and stitching of an entire quilt from scratch at this point, but I do like to "rescue" old quilts that I find at flea markets and yard sales for bargain prices. I usually don't spend more than twenty bucks or so on an old quilt (though I think the royal blue one below might have cost a bit more...it's my best one), and I do enjoy sitting down and mending the worn spots to give them a new lease on life.
I worked on this one first, since it required the fewest repairs. Most of the problems were simply areas of stitching that had loosened and needed fixing. It looks like new now!
I am not so much a "put it on display" person, as a "use it for what it was made for" sort of person, so these are the blankets you will find being gently used on our beds or for picnics. I figure if they are still around after years of use by others, with care, they will last years more being used by us. One of these days, I'd like to learn more about the patterns and fabrics on these pieces, but for now, I am just having fun finding them, repairing them by hand, and giving them a home where they will be appreciated.
Since I finished the other quilt, I began working on these. They have more places that need patches and larger rips that need stitching...but they are nice, just the same. Not perfect, but then, neither am I!
Quilting is an art form that has been around for a long time and I am loving learning about it with my mom and my daughters. After we got back from the quilt show, Ladybug asked if she could make something while I stitched on my old quilts, so I found her two pieces of fabric and she is making a pillow for her dolls.
From me to my girls, from my mom to me, generation to generation, the face of quilting may have changed (it's more commercialized now, and more of a hobby than a necessity), but the appreciation of it and the joy to be found in it remains the same.
Do you quilt? If you do, please share a link to your own quilting stories in the comments section. I'd love to hear what you have to say!