Quilt-y Travels

I realized it’s been well over a month since I’ve posted anything so I thought I should get busy!  I spent 3 weeks in the US seeing family and squeezing in some quilt-y sights.  My daughter and I took a little road trip to Paducah to see the National Quilt Museum.  It’s been on my to-do list for quite a while and it didn’t disappoint.  Plus, just spending time with my daughter was so much fun.

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I wish I could share pictures from inside but photos are not allowed.  You just have to see it for yourself!  And from what I understand, the quilts rotate and there are always new exhibits so there’s probably always something new to see.

While we were in town, we hit the Hancock’s of Paducah store which also didn’t disappoint.  I probably made my daughter crazy going up and down each row and digging through all the remnants.  I found some good stuff though!

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While I was in Jefferson City visiting with my mom I discovered that the local nature center was having a nature themed quilt show.

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Nature themed quilts – how cool is that?!  Mom & I had a nice afternoon looking at all the quilts and walking on the trails around the Runge Nature Center.

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I returned home inspired and ready to get back to some sewing and was excited to hear that my friend, Lisa, had finished quilting my Christmas-y Kansas City Star BOM quilt.  I finished that quilt back in 2013 or early 2014 and I’m finally getting around to finishing it.

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This was the block of the month project from the Kansas City Star newspaper in 2013.  It’s called “Rubies, Diamonds and Garnets, Too” and was designed by Bernadette Kent.  Since I used Christmas fabric for my sashing blocks, I’ll probably call it my Kansas City Christmas quilt.  2013 was a crazy year for me and this will always remind me of our short time in Kansas City.  I loved that the newspaper published a block every month.

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I looked forward to getting my Sunday newspaper and finding out what the block of the month was.  Unfortunately, I don’t believe they do a block of the month anymore.  I think 2015 was the last year so I guess this quilt is a little bit of history.

My pile of unfinished projects is getting smaller although I tend to add to it very regularly.

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French Quilty Trip

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This past weekend I finally had the chance to attend the European Patchwork meeting in France or Le Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork.  Even though it was my first time here, it  was the 23rd year for the event.  I booked a hotel in Strasbourg and dragged my husband along for the weekend with promises of great French food and some sight-seeing in Strasbourg after.

So the show actually takes place in 4 villages in the Val d’Argent area of the Alsace which was only about an hours drive southwest of Strasbourg.  We concentrated our time in the village of Sainte Marie aux Mines.  There were 9 exhibition sites throughout the lovely little town as well as a huge vendor expo area.  The exhibition sites were churches and other public buildings so, for me, it was a unique way to see the quilts.

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The only drawback was that parking was hard to find with people streaming in from many different countries to these little towns.  We circled the town and were only able to find parking back at exhibition site #1 which felt like it was about 10 kilometers from the rest of the exhibition sites.  It wasn’t a problem when we got there and headed through town to see all the other exhibition sites but when we were finished and had to walk back to the car it was pouring rain and we were tired.

One of the featured exhibitions at this show were some Amish quilts.  It seems this area in Alsace is where the Amish started out way back in the late 1600’s/early 1700’s (I learn new things all the time).  Of course we know that they were later kicked out and landed in America where they became famous for their quilts (as well as other things).

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The Amish quilts were displayed in an old church.

Another interesting exhibit was of Ian Berry’s denim art.  Ian is a British artist who uses denim to create works of art.

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I’m so glad I got to see them up close because I had seen his work in a magazine and thought it was applique since he is often lumped in with quilters.  It’s not applique but layered fabric.  Definitely textile art and more 3D than it comes across in photos.  Really cool stuff.

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It always seems like the European quilters are into very modern designs and interesting concepts.

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There were lots of interesting “quilts” to look at.

 

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I thought this one was fun.  Traditional blocks on the right give way to something fun and different on the left.

It was a fun weekend in France and I’m so glad I finally made it to the European Patchwork meeting.

 

Quilts all Around Us

I wanted to share some quilt patterns I found while I was traveling with my family over the holidays.

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This is the chapel floor in the church of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice.  It’s an interesting geometric floor that reminded me of a LeMoyne star quilt block.  The colors are dark but very striking.

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This is one of the mosaic floors in the Vatican museum in Rome.  Look at all the quilt blocks! (Sorry for all the feet.)  There’s a couple of Square in a Square blocks, or Ohio Stars – which ever way you look at it.  In the right hand corner ( I couldn’t get everything in) there are some Flying Geese blocks and there are some 4-Patch blocks in the middle.

Everyone else was looking up but I just happened to look down.  It made me smile to see these quilts blocks under all that beautiful art.  Of course, I think this is art too.

You just never know where you’ll find some quilts!

A Quilty Roadtrip

20160223_140321We’ve been having some nice weather here in Missouri so a friend and I took a road trip to Hamilton to visit Missouri Star Quilt Co.  All I can say is “Wow”!  This place has changed.  You might remember that I made the trip here from Kansas City about 3 years ago.  They just had this store (above) and we couldn’t find anyplace to eat lunch.

The original store is now closed and undergoing renovations to become the quilting welcome center.  But don’t worry, there are 11 other quilt shops to look through!

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The shops are all super cutesy and the fabrics in each one are themed.  There’s the flower shop with all flowery fabrics, the holiday shop, the baby shop, primitives, civil war reproduction, 1930’s reproduction, etc., etc…  Basically there’s any kind of fabric you could want and some you didn’t even know you wanted.

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Quilters have taken over this town – but in a good way.  There are murals on the downtown buildings.  The one opposite this is a railroad mural so the town’s history is being celebrated too.

Missouri Star has their own restaurant now called “Blue Sage”.  We didn’t eat there this time but had an excellent burger at “J’s Burger Dive” which was quick and got us back to fabric shopping in no time.

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This whole block of stores have been taken over by the Missouri Star fabric shops (even upstairs).  The Penney’s store at the end of the street is where you can find fabric solids.  I’ve never seen such a rainbow of fabric solids – it was beautiful.  The ladies working there told us this was the 500th store that J.C. Penney opened and where he retired from.  He had a farm outside of town.

I have to mention that the shops include one called “Man’s Land” which is a manly place with recliners and pool tables and sports on the TV.  A place to park your husband while you go shopping!  These people are geniuses.

Quilt Gardens Roadtrip

We just got back from a quick trip to Michigan for a friend’s beach wedding and I was able to convince my husband to make a little side trip to northern Indiana to see some of the Quilt Gardens there.  We just had half a day so we only saw a few of the gardens but they were pretty cool.

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After our drive up, we had dinner in Middlebury at Das Dutchman Essenhaus so we could take care of two things – getting something to eat and finding one of the quilt gardens.  We had a thirty minute wait for dinner so we ran across the street to get some pictures of the garden quilt there.

They’re hard to photograph without an airplane or drone (I gotta get me one of those) but this one was on a little bit of a hill so you can see the quilt block.  They’re also very large; the sign suggested that someone get into the photo so you can see the scale.  I guess the photo with me in the garden is on my husband’s phone and he’s off finishing his vacation week on a fishing trip so I apologize.

This part of Indiana is Amish country so there are some pretty sights.

Along with the Quilt Gardens on the Heritage Trail, there are also quilt murals that you have to look for.  We found this one near our first quilt garden.

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The following morning, we found this garden in Elkhart at Linton’s Enchanted Gardens.

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It was really big and impossible to get the whole thing in the photo.

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Each garden and mural has a sign telling about that quilt block.

We also found this little guy at the enchanted gardens.

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The signs came in handy when we saw this next garden.  We couldn’t figure out what block it was supposed to be and it seems like maybe the blooms on this one were past their prime.  It’s actually a trumpet.

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The Quilt Gardens were fun; I wish we had time to see more of them but it was a nice side trip.  I’m not sure how many gardens there are but they suggest you allow yourself 2 to 3 days to see them all plus the other sites in the area.  And so you never get tired of seeing them, they change the patterns every year!

Another Quilty Roadtrip

I’ve been wanting to visit the American Gothic house in Iowa for quite a while and I found out recently that they had a quilt exhibit going on there so I decided now was a perfect time!  This past weekend we made the 2 hour drive north to Eldon, Iowa to see the house and the wonderful visitor center that goes along with the property.

American Gothic roadtripIt really is an adorable house.  I can see why Grant Wood was smitten and wanted to use it in a painting.  I don’t know why more people don’t put fancy church windows in their houses. ?

The visitor center is in front of the house and tells about Grant Wood’s life, the town of Eldon and the history of the house.  I love the story about the little old lady who lived in the house.  She looked out one day and Grant was sketching her house so she called her daughter and asked her to come help clean the house from top to bottom.  They even changed the curtains in the fancy window.  Then they sat down on the front porch and waited for him to return.  He didn’t come back.  I guess he had enough sketches to do his painting.  In fact, he actually never had the people pose in front of the house but added them in separately.  One was his dentist and one was his sister.  And he painted in different curtains!

The visitor center maintains a pretty, native wildflower garden in front of the house which adds to the charm of the place.

20150712_141433So now, about the quilt exhibit.  It’s called:  “American Gothic in Stitches: Quilts inspired by the famous painting.”  It’s going in now through October 18th and it’s sponsored by APQS, the Ottumwa Area Arts Council and the American Gothic House Center.  There was also a local quilt contest involved but I believe the submission deadline was the end of June.

20150712_132316There are several American Gothic quilt interpretations which are fun to look at.

This American Gothic quilt is by Lynn Czaban and Bonnie Keller and is called “Ms. MacDonald and the Old Goat Farm”.  They did an amazing job of re-creating the painting with colorful fabrics.  I love the flowers they put on the clothes!

20150712_132142I think I like this version better than the original painting.

This quilt is by Pam Holland and is called “American Gothic Revisited”.  I took a close up photo of a portion of the quilt so you can see the intricate stitching that really makes this quilt amazing.  All the details are there and it is awesome!

20150712_132132I highly recommend this little piece of Iowa if you are traveling through or anywhere close.  Eldon is just south of Ottumwa.

And before you leave, don’t forget to have your own photo taken in front of the house.  The visitor center has costumes in all sizes for you to use and then they pose you in “the special spot” and will take your picture for you with your own camera.  Just make sure you bring a willing friend!

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Fabric Field Trip

We’ve been having some very nice weather here in central Missouri – for January that is.  So with the sun shining, I really wanted to get out and take advantage of it.  I thought it would be the perfect day for a fabric field trip.  I heard about Homestead Hearth Quilt Shop in Mexico, MO a few years ago from a Quilt Sampler magazine Shop Hop article.  I was like, hey, I know Mexico, Missouri!  I planned to visit there in 2011 when I brought my son to college but I had problems with my rental car on the day I wanted to go.  Then we moved to the western part of the state and it was just too much out of my way.  Well guess what?  Now I’m only 45 minutes away!

fabric at Homestead HearthThis store goes on and on and on.  It has about any kind of quilting fabric you could want, patterns, books, kits, thread, candles, you name it.  And for those of you not within driving distance, they do a booming mail order business from their website.  Sign up for their emails and you can hear about their sales and all their ongoing block of the month programs.  If you are within driving distance, it’s worth it.

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(Sorry about the poor photos but I was carrying a lot of fabric and gawking.)

I actually went to look for fabric for a new mystery quilt that the quilt guild here in Moberly is doing.  I’ve stayed away from mystery quilts in the past I guess because I don’t like surprises.  I’m having a hard time even picking out fabrics when I don’t know what the end result will look like.  We decided we won’t even share our blocks each month so I’m a little terrified that I’ll put this whole quilt together and it will be totally wrong.  Maybe I’ll share them on here and if they’re wrong, someone will kindly tell me!

Barn Quilts

I’ve been on the road again this week looking at real estate.  I’m not sure about finding my dream house but I did find several barn quilts!  The first one I saw was on Hwy 24 eastbound -I think.  I cut through the country to get from Kansas City to Moberly.  We took highway 210 to 10 to highway 24.  I drove 115 miles with no one in front of me or behind me so I was cruising along enjoying the drive and all of a sudden, there was a quilt block painted on a barn over to my left.  It’s somewhere along one of those roads but I just can’t tell you exactly where.  You know how you think – did I just see that?

We came back on I-70 and saw 2 more barn quilts!  Those really come at you fast.  We were heading westbound and saw the first one off to the left at exit 111.  I don’t think you could see it if you were heading eastbound.  The next one was on our right side near exit 106.

I checked the internet for some kind of directory and found this wonderful map and website.

It looks like you could take a whole tour through central Missouri to see all the barn quilts.  I tried hard to find a map or directory for other parts of Missouri but couldn’t find any information about the area I had driven through.  I’m sure there are more barn quilts out there but maybe they’re just not as well documented.  Keep your eyes open for these lovely and unusual roadside decorations.

Fabric Field Trip

I took a little trip this week to see a well known quilt shop that’s not far from me…

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Maybe you’ve heard of the Missouri Star Quilt Company and all their fun online tutorials?  Well, I found out that they are just an hour away from me so I decided to check out their actual store which is located in Hamilton, MO.  It was a beautiful day so I packed a picnic lunch and headed out.  Hamilton is located about 12 miles off of I-35 north of Kansas City.  I can report that there isn’t a lot to see there besides the quilt shop.  It’s a sleepy little Missouri town with some actual horse & buggy traffic!  (I guess they have some Amish residents.)

The store is fairly large and smells new.  They have a nice selection of fabric but I didn’t see many patterns or tools.  The staff is super friendly and they told me that there are sometimes busloads of ladies that visit them.  I had decided before I got there that I would limit myself to a yard or so of some background fabric for a US map quilt that I’m working on.  This meant, of course, that I had to look over ALL the fabric so I could make a good choice.  I found my fabric, looked around town and headed back to Kansas City.  I would say they do most of their business online and they have those awesome tutorials which I love.  Check out their website here.

Cool Sewing Statue!

I’ve been trying to get out and see the sights in my new city when the weather cooperates.  Kansas City is known for it’s fountains and it’s sculptures and  I had to check this one out especially since it celebrates the old garment district and something near & dear to my heart – sewing!

Kansas City Garment District statue  This button & needle statue is near the corner of 8th and Broadway downtown and is in the heart of what used to be the garment district.  Apparently, from World War I through the 1940’s, the garment district here in Kansas City employed nearly 4000 people.  There’s even a Kansas City Garment District Museum (which I wasn’t able to visit because it’s only open on Friday afternoons).  According to their website though, during the heyday of the garment district, “1 out of every 7 women in the U.S. purchased a garment designed and made in Kansas City”.  Pretty cool little piece of history.

Kansas City button & needle statueIf you’re in the area you have to stop by and see it.  It’s right off I-70 in downtown Kansas City.  There just aren’t enough sculptures/ statues that celebrate sewing!