Friday, May 4, 2012

Red Roses of Paducah

Red roses at the IL Artisan Shop at Rend Lake, IL
At the end of my Paducah trip, I headed home on I 57.  One of the highlights of that drive is the Artisan Shop at Rend Lake.  It features the work of IL artists, there was a show of IL quilts and snack buffet for the quilters heading home! Because of my new emphasis on gardening, I have been searching for a new piece of garden art, not a turtle or a gnome, something else.  I found this metal calla lily metal sculpture that just struck my fancy.  By the time I finished purchasing it, I was friends with all the women working there. It was a delightful stop.  

Cally Lily sculpture in its temporary setting.

Let's talk about Paducah. My first evening was a teachers' meeting at the convention center.  I had never seen it without the ratty old adjoining hotel.  Now there is a huge parking lot, it would seem that it could hold thousands of cars before filling up--that is a good thing.

I taught 5 different classes, a rather strenuous schedule, even for me, after teaching for 30 years, it seemed almost overwhelming.  I was surprised at the number of beginners attending the workshops, they had no idea on where to begin.  It is good that there are beginners, because I don't want to see quilting die out, like it did in the 1940-50's.  But it was difficult to teach a wide range of abilities, on vendor machines, in a classroom with 20-25 students. Every class brought a new challenge or two.

Fortunately, I had Janome machines that for the most part caused few problems. On my second and third day, Karen Zimmerman was the Janome educator in my classroom, and she was wonderful.  She had a thorough knowledge of the machines and had a sense of humor that made each subject more fun.

Outside the front door, there were more red roses in front of the convention center.  They were planted downtown, near the river and at the entrance to their beautiful old cemetery. I guess we missed the dogwoods and azaleas because of the warm spring, but it was OK, the roses were colorful and fragrant. The city must have purchased a truckload of these old fashioned rose bushes, they were beautiful.

Another highlight was visiting Caryl Bryer Fallert's studio.  She has been there for about 6 years now, that's how long it has been since I was in Paducah last.  Her work is hung throughout the studio, as well as quilts made by other quilters of note.  I purchased one of her mugs with Corona II: Solar Eclipse on it.  This is my favorite quilt of all time. Many of her famous quilts are available on mugs at her studio/shop. And ......I couldn't leave without purchasing quite a few of her gradated fabrics and faux hand dyed pieces.

On my last full day in Paducah, I visited the Fantastic Fiber exhibit at the Yeiser, and went to the Quilt Museum of the United States.  Both of them were amazing, the exhibits were well presented, relaxing and uncluttered.  Next time you visit this quilt Mecca, make a point of going to both of these places. They are well worth your time. In all, I had a successful teaching trip at Paducah.  It is an honor to be asked to teach there.

I did have two chances to walk through the big show and competition.  Here is a link to the winners, it is a very well edited video put to Mozart. There were some great quilts there, and then there were the rest.  More on this subject at a later time!

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