What a trip! I’m back from Paducah, trying to catch up. I have an in-town 3 day seminar next week to prep for also, so life is very full right now. Oh, and I just got an idea for a quilt I want to try to get into Houston…that I haven’t even started. Uh oh.
When I do these major festival/shows, I break it into two blog posts (or more) – the experience and the show itself. So here goes with the experience.
It felt so. good. to go to an in-person show that felt normal. Yes, there were masks, but most did not wear one and the vibe I caught was that everyone felt pretty comfortable. What a blessing!
Getting to Paducah from Sacramento was not easy:
I had a 60 min layover at Chicago’s O’Hare and good thing I had that time – it took 2,300 steps to get to my next gate! I did enjoy some of the scenery. It’s been a while since I’ve been through O’Hare.
And Paducah is ready to welcome us with a smile and some food. I instantly felt welcomed.
And it was right to work with my first class, Yes You CAN Free Motion Quilt! It was a fabulous class, everyone was ready to learn. I think that was the most over-the-top compliments I’ve ever gotten in a class. The love was mutual.
Lunch was interesting. All the vendors were in tents on the parking lot (there was one inside choice) and I think each one benefitted a local charity. Isn’t that cool? There was some darn good barbecue! It had a festive, county fair type of vibe. The lines were long at times but they moved quickly.
Good luck finding a seat under the tents! The majority of us sat on the curb or steps. For some, this was difficult. You can see the size of the center – it is fairly petite.
And there is this tradition that I heard about within like 2 seconds of landing in the food court – the Boy Scouts Strawberry Shortcake. I had to do it, ya know, tradition and all. I left off the ice cream, that was just too much.
This was fun, a map of origin of the attendees. I had students from east to west, north to south plus Spain!
Any traveling teacher will tell you that one of the best parts of teaching is meeting up with other teachers. This dinner was legendary. Susan Cleveland and I had arranged for dinner together but this came up and of course, we joined in.
This is a Who’s Who in the quilting world; from left – Ricky Tims, Wendy Richardson, Pat Nichols (who just won BOS at the New Greenville Quiltfest), Barbara Oliver Hartman, Karen Stone, Sue Nickels, Hugo Dos Santos (Ricky’s partner), Susan Cleveland and myself. Ricky, Sue and Susan were the judging team.
I was definitely the junior person in that crowd but what a time we had! Ricky offered counsel on some marketing type of questions that I had – how wonderful and unexpected that generous conversation was! I was on a high for sure. These people are FUN!
The food was downright spectacular at the Freight House (Kentucky Silver Carp with asparagus, wheatberry risotto, lemon poppy seed beurre blanc). Yes, I know, CARP??? Trust me, it was fabulous. And then, this for dessert – Sweet Pea Cake. Yes, the green was a natural color, not food coloring. It was fabulous, all 1.5 million calories of it.
It was great to catch up with friend and fellow teacher Heidi Proffetty, who by the way won a first in “Small Wall Quilts, Moveable”.
And I did get a chance to see the city too:
I know, not the prettiest photo. It shows the juxtaposition of two important things about Paducah: the river and the beauty of the green. Being a river city where the Ohio and Tennessee rivers converge, the river will flood. Often.
You need flood walls to protect the city. All along the river where most commercial development is, there are these formidable flood walls. They are not particularly attractive and they are intimidating but necessary for a river town.
And the green – see that row of green? It is beautiful! I didn’t get a chance to see the Dogwoods for which Paducah is known. It’s a cryin’ shame!
I did get a chance to walk the river walk. It is a gentle beauty. I am from a river city in Illinois and this made me feel right at home.
And then there are the murals that decorate the flood wall in the downtown area. You can see, they stretch as far as the eye can see. Just a few of the murals that caught my eye:
And one very special one facing the convention center:
This is based on a quilt by my friend and incredible teacher/artist/human, Mindy Bula. Her son was a Marine and this image by another artist captured her interest. She used that photo, with permission, to create this meaningful quilt.
And after all that fun and touristy stuff, it’s back to work. These class photos may look similar to you, but to me, they are treasures. I loooooved teaching at Paducah and hope to be invited back. Each class was truly special to me and I hope to my students. I did forget to take a photo of my last class.
Every class sold out, early. I am so grateful and encouraged by that! I think most of us are hungry to get back to in-person classes and shows. I am basking in the glorious memories of my first time to teach at Paducah.
Getting back to Sacramento was not easy either. I had to rent a car and drive myself to Nashville, then board a 5:30AM flight the next morning. I was lucky though – anyone flying United from Paducah got delayed from Sunday until Tuesday!
I happened to pick up the last one-way rental from Paducah and there were people clamoring for rentals. I invited a few to ride with me but their plans were too complex and did not fit around my timeframe. I felt badly for those left.
I did have a lovely dinner in Nashville but geez, the portion sizes:
That must have been at least a 3/4 lb meat loaf; it was a. loaf., not a slice! I’d be bigger than a barn door eating like that! It was good though. Do you know, it’s a thing there, “Banana Meat Loaf”. I looked up recipes and people say it’s delicious. Basically, you make a regular meat loaf and substitute bananas for the eggs. I can see that. I think I’ll try it.
I awoke at 3AM the day of my flight to thunder! I was shocked that we were able to get off the ground on time. Apparently it was a fast moving system – whew!
But this happened when I pulled my bag off the conveyor in Sacramento. I am currently fighting Southwest on my claim. They have initially declined it. Let’s see here – I put my 50 lb bag at check in with good wheels. I get it off the conveyor at my destination and the wheel is damaged. How can there be any question? My mistake was in not handling it right there at the airport. I really needed to get home, so I submitted my claim as soon as I got home. Don’t do that! Learn from me.
I don’t care how tired I am, when I return from a trip, I settle my money, deposits and sales tax right away and completely unpack. Here my quilts are resting in their preferred location, on one of the guest beds.
Hubby didn’t want to be in the photo so here’s Bayley. Home to my man and my girl; life is good.
I’ll post separately about the quilts and the show, so be looking for that post next week. I’ll be sharing here: