I love to travel. One thing I watch for when traveling is random quilts in unexpected places. Quilts like to pop up in places that don’t scream, “hey, a quilt is on display here”.
And as we all know, I am always excited to see quilts, talk quilts, and make quilts.
I have traveled to Maine annually for many years – the scenery is beautiful and I get together with a group of friends for a quilt retreat. We have way too much fun sewing, visiting, and eating too much but it’s such a great time. It’s a time away from jobs and normal day to day stress to just enjoy quilting and good friends.
But I also spend several days in the Rockland area just enjoying the lighthouses, the used book stores, the wonderful scenery, the great food, and the slower pace.
Below are some quilts I have found while in Maine in places I would never have expected to find quilts:
How about the US Post Office in Round Pond, ME? Yes this lovely sampler quilt featuring blocks that have to do with coastal Maine is hanging in the lobby:
Museum & Gift shop
The museum and gift shop at Marshall Point Light in Pt. Clyde, ME has these two beauties hanging up. I love the pebble fabric that is around all the counted cross stitched blocks. https://www.marshallpoint.org/
Watch for Random quilts in unexpected places
The next time you are out and about or on a trip, look around for those random quilts in unexpected places. You might be surprised where quilts hang out.
So far this year I have not been to a single quilt show, and I am missing seeing quilts by other quilters. Quilt shows are fun. Great way to meet other quilters, see quilts, and just generally enjoy being a quilter. I am sharing photos of a show many years ago. It’s fun to see how quilting styles and colors change over the years. Enjoy these memories of a quilt show in Billings, MT back in April 1995.
Enjoy each day, the time flies so quickly. I was looking through photos and found these. Twenty five years ago I had small children, lived in the country in Montana, and was still feeling like my quilting style had to be similar to other quilters.
Time and experience have taught me that my quilts do not have to look like other people’s quilts. I have grown comfortable with taking ideas from other quilts and making those ideas my own.
Quilting fills a need in my life that family and job do not fill. I love to quilt and hope to encourage you in the process and completed quilts that you make.
Look at these photos and enjoy the finished quilts. I do not know what inspired each quilt, but each one has a unique story. The makers are unique people so the quilts show be unique too, not just copies of other quilts.
When you have a chance, please visit a quilt show. Take a friend along and make a fun day of it. My mom and I went to this one. She was not a quilter, and seeing the quilts through her comments was really eye opening for me. Enjoy the memories of a quilt show in Billings, MT back in April 1995. More importantly, enjoy the process of your own personal quilt journey.
PERSONAL QUILT SHOW & ROAD TRIP – The corona virus is getting to all of us it seems. I love being home and able to do things here. But after a week of “quarantine” even I needed a change of scenery this past Tuesday.
My husband had the day off and so we decided to do a road trip to see if we could see any barn quilts. I also thought it would be nice to take along some quilts and stop at a state park to photograph them.
Most of our trip was in Vigo County, IN. The first thing of interest was a round barn.
We also found two barn quilts. They actually seem to be getting more common and I watch for barn quilts now when I am driving around.
Our road trip goal was Fowler Park, which has several things to do normally. We walked around the Pioneer Village and used it as a backdrop for taking photos of the quilts. The day was cloudy but warm and dry. The park had only a few other people walking around, so we could safely do the current status of “social distancing” while enjoying the outside.
This quilt started out as a Birds in the Air quilt, but I was not happy with how the blocks looked laid out that way. So after moving blocks around and combining them with more of the same blocks, I came up with this design.
This quilt was really fun to do. All the teapots are different. The tea cups around the border just give it a nice “finished” look. It was hand quilted. After looking at it again, I am thinking about making another one. For more info: https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2010/06/teapots.html
And so I come to the end of my PERSONAL QUILT SHOW & ROAD TRIP for this time. It was a nice way to spend a few hours outside and exploring an old pioneer village.
My Challenge to You
I know that right now we all need to be careful to stay healthy and avoid situations that may spread corona virus. However, part of staying healthy is exercise and sunshine.
Quilts look different outside in natural light. Usually the colors are brighter and the quilting design is more visible. Even if you don’t want to take a road trip, try taking a quilt (or quilts) outside and getting some photos of it (or them). Wash lines, tree branches, fences, and porches are also great places to display quilts outside.
Sometimes a change of scenery can be inspiring and encouraging. A new perspective can lead to new ideas.
Have fun and stay well.
Please note that all the quilts in this post are mine. I also took all the photos. You are welcome to use the photos, but please give proper credit. Thank you.
Last week I had a chance to combine work and a road trip for fabric !!! I was in Washington, IN for the day. Instead of eating lunch I made a fast trip into the Stitching Post for some fabric I had already perused on the website for a planned project. See here: https://stitchingpostquilts.com/index.html
I haven’t been anywhere close to this store in a year or two. It has been here many years and always has an outstanding amount and variety of quilting fabric. If you are in the area, it is a great place to shop for fabric.
I like the wooden quilt squares on the outside too.
But you ask, “why were you there? You have made 2020 a year to work in scraps.”
Why? I saw some photos of several quilts I did 10-15 years ago that were super simple but had a definite theme. And thought it would be fun to make something to do with sewing /quilting in that pattern. The stash did not have enough of any themed fabric to do a planned quilt. Oh the distress…….
By looking at the website ahead of time, I knew the store had fabric that would work perfectly for what I had in mind. Even better the fabric I wanted had been moved to the sale room.
I purchased two yards of the burgundy fabric with the sewing supplies, and one yard each of the other three in the photo. I have plenty of solid black, solid burgundy, and a small print grey in my stash that will be worked into the design.
Road trips and buying fabric – quilters they go together so well.
QUILT SHOW – PADUCAH, KY 2013: For quilters, going to the quilt show in Paducah, Kentucky is a special dream come true. I am lucky enough to live a few hours away so I use a few vacation days and just go.
Please enjoy this small taste of the wonderful quilts that were on display at the Quilt Show-Paducah, KY 2013.
In 2013 there were two male tent makers from Egypt demonstrating how they do the applique for tents – fascinating.
Paducah is a great place to be recharged with ideas for the next quilt. I thought that others would enjoy the photos I took at the show. The quilts, though, are so much better in person. There is no rhyme or reason for the quilts I took photos of except that these quilts caught my eye.
This does not seem to be a show for hand quilted quilts though. The show to all appearances is for machine quilted and/or art quilts. There are so many quilts to see it can be overwhelming. I come away from the show with so many ideas for quilts to make.
During quilt week, Paducah has shows within shows. The main show in at the convention center, but there is also a show at the Rotary Club. Plus quilts of all sorts are displayed in shops and around the downtown area of town. Paducah dresses up in quilts for this show. Just walk around downtown and be amazed. Each year is a new and different show.
There are also vendors from around the country with every possible fabric, quilt gadget, and quilting book possible. It is wondrous to behold.
If you can get to Paducah during quilt week please do so. It is well worth the trip. Quilt shows are fun to attend and shop at, but Paducah is amazing.
None of the photographed quilts at in this post are mine, but I did take all of these photos.
Quilt shows come in all themes, sizes and locations. I had the opportunity of enter quilts in the Quilt Show of Powell, Wyoming in 1994. While many people would not consider this a big quilt show, it was fun and easy to enter. A nice thing about my own (or your own) quilts hanging in a show is that they are seen from a totally different perspective than on the bed or wall of home.
Before moving to central Indiana in 1996, we returned to the area of Montana both my husband and I grew up in after several years in the military. Distance out there can make travel a challenge, especially in winter months. But road trips for quilting and scenery change are usually a learning experience on some level.
This quilt show in Powell, Wyoming in 1994 would be considered small by many people. The variety of quilt patterns and themes was amazing. Quilts that were western themed, but also traditional scraps quilts too.
Give any quilter some thread, fabric, batting, and an idea and they will create beauty.
Why go to a quilt show?
Attending quilt shows gives all quilters a chance to network with other quilters. Plus being surrounded by new color combinations, new techniques, and new patterns is like being in quilt heaven. It never ceases to amaze me how someone can take fabric, thread, and a pattern or idea and make it into a completely personal creation.
I encourage quilters to enter quilt shows. If you’re a new quilter then a small local show is a great way to start. For the more experienced quilters bigger or more distant shows give you a chance to compare your skill sets to others.
I look at these pictures and am happy for taking time out of my busy schedule to travel the distance to go to this show. So many ideas and inspiration to keep quilting. My life was chaos working full time and having two children not yet in their teens at home.