Sunday, April 24, 2011

Decisions, Decisions...What I'm Bringing to Paducah

Small, old, rare, and unusual - good choice!
Tomorrow I will fly to Paducah, Kentucky - my first time visiting the quilt mecca, which is home of the American Quilter's Society and the National Quilt Museum. It's a long way from home, and I've struggled with the decision about what to bring. I am taking two appraisal classes and a fabric dating class, and participants are invited to bring a quilt to share with each of these classes. Originally, Bobbie Aug was supposed to be the instructor for the two appraisal classes, but recently I learned that Gerald Roy will be the instructor instead.

Too big, too heavy, too bulky -
this one stays at home
When I heard the news about the change in instructors, I had to take the Album with Lyre Medallion off the list of possibilities. Gerald had seen the quilt a few years ago when visiting Portland for the Northwest Quilters Show. Although I'm sure he wouldn't mind looking at it again, I wanted to bring something he hadn't seen. The recently acquired Star Medallion from Rhode Island would've been a great one to show Gerald, but it's all wool, very large, heavy and bulky. It would take up my whole suitcase, and I wasn't sure I wanted to transport it that way. Luggage is usually searched, and sometimes lost, so I just couldn't do it.

From Kentucky, but I need
this quilt for an exhibit later
in the year.
I'd thought a lot about bringing the famous New York Beauty made in Kentucky in 1868 by a member of the MacMillan family - the quilt seen in the book "Kentucky Quilts" - particularly because I wanted the curator of the National Quilt Museum, Judy Schwender, to see it. Seemed like a great choice for a visit to Kentucky, where it originated. However, I took this quilt off the list because it is going to be part of the exhibit I'm planning at the Benton County Museum in a few months, and it's going to be one of the focal points of the exhibit. I really don't want to risk having anything happen to it, so it's staying home.

Two crib quilts on my short list will make the trip because they are interesting, compact, and fit perfectly in my carry-on bag. The first is an early 19th century applique crib quilt, the first picture at the top of this blog entry. The quilt is very old, very rare, and very unusual. I'm not sure if everyone in the class will know exactly what it is or appreciate its funky beauty, but I'm fairly certain Gerald will be very interested in it. This quilt has signs of glazing in the brown fabric, especially toward the edges, and 54 unique, paper-cut gothic snowflakes. Although it has some condition issues, I feel they would be a good talking point for the class.
This Amish crib quilt from the Esprit Collection
will fit perfectly in my carry-on bag. I'm bringing it.
The second crib quilt I'm bringing is an Amish Nine-Patch on point, which was once part of the Esprit Collection. It's a handsome little quilt with interesting solid fabrics, and its small scale would have made it a rare object among the Esprit collection. This quilt still has velcro on the perimeter edges of the back, a method once used by Esprit to display quilts in its San Francisco headquarters. Although it has the familiar look of an Amish quilt, I feel it's something you don't see every day in the genre.

I'm considering a third quilt since I'm taking three courses and wouldn't want students in all three classes to have to discuss the same quilt twice, but we'll see how much room there is in my bags and what would be compact enough to transport in a carry-on. If I bring anything else, I guess it will have to be a surprise! :)


  1. Good quilt choices! I took the classes last year with Bobbi and Gerald. You've met him so you know you will learn loads from Gerald and he does like quilts that are just a bit different.)

    Make sure you leave a bit of space for some new/old quilts. Lots to choose from! I'm driving this year so fortunately don't have to stress about packing this time...

  2. I'm sure the vendors will provide a lot of temptation, and if I give in, there will probably be a little room in the suitcase. I'm hoping to avoid temptation, though, and mostly want to meet some of the people I've bought quilts from, like Cindy Rennels. Not sure who else will be there...

    If you happen to see a tall guy who looks a little out of place, please come over and say hello.

  3. I'm sure it will be easier for me to spot you in the crowds than for you to see me...there are lots of short, chubby redheads there!

    I'm sure you've gotten the lowdown on the off-site vendors, the antique stores downtown, and the American Legion (or VFW?) Antique quilt exhibit. Last year was my first time there and I definitely suffered from overload...even more so than in Houston.

  4. I know very little about all that's available, but wasn't really planning to wander around too much. Trying to stay focused on the classes, but also have a ticket to the Rotary Antique Quilt Show, whatever and wherever that is! :)

  5. Bill you will have a wonderful time!! I have gone once to paducah during the show and need to go again.
    I loved your thought process on what quilt(s) to bring. I'm interested it what they say about them.
    Be safe! Have fun!

  6. That is it...the Rotary Antique Quilt show! (I get my civic organizations mixed up!)

    During the classes you get enough time to wander downtown (only two blocks away from the museum.) Lots of vendors set up downtown (the Finkel building is a good spot.) Also there are some good sandwich spots around there...A few folks tried to get over to the show during lunch but came back late. Enjoy!

  7. Oh, have fun at your classes. I like what you a have your short list of quilts to take. I will be there, my first time. We are driving tomorrow, can't wait!

  8. Paducah is such a nice town, even without the show. But you will love the show and all of the activities and exhibits around town. Have a wonderful time!