Monday, April 28, 2008

Report from Paducah

Even with all the laughter and fun of being with good friends who share a common interest, Paducah proved to be a grand disappointment this year.

Maybe my expectations from former years' experiences were too high, maybe all the heartache and frustration of losing reservations (again) was too much to bear, but no a/c in the Convention Center and fighting too many people to get an "up close and personal" look at ANYTHING was just too much for me this year.

I won't be going back to Paducah for the AQS Show. We did find out that the show in Nashville this year will be moved to Knoxville in 2009. That's a much closer location for travel and will offer as much as I can stand in a quilt show, so that's probably where I'll be in August of 2009.

You can see all the winning quilts here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Paducah, here we come!

It's April, and that means the American Quilters' Society show in Paducah, KY. Several thousand quilters converge on the tiny town for a week of shows, competition, galleries, tourism, and (dare I say it???) shopping! It is truly a quilter's Mecca. I'll be leaving here on Sunday, returning the following Saturday. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Farewell to one of my "best friends"

It has been a week (yesterday) since we lost our beloved pet coon hound, Liberty. If you knew her, you know she loved you. She was large (over 85 lbs.), loud (loved to bark at the birds high up in the sky), clumsy (tripped over her ears until she finally grew into them), and affectionate (she gave the best hugs ever! We "rescued" her from the side of a busy intersection when she was just a pup, on September 11, 2003. She had been neglected, abused, and starved. She quickly recovered and claimed us as her family, trusted us to always be here for her. She quickly found her way into our hearts, though she never lost that drive to dig holes in the yard, bury her "toys", and visit the neighbors. She was scared of thunder and would tremble at the sound, even when it was so far away we couldn't hear it. We lost her in the worst way imaginable, under the wheels of my car as I was driving. An experience I'll never forget, and one I can't seem yet to get past. Goodbye, Pretty Girl. You took care of us, guarded us, protected us, and loved us unconditionally. You tried to teach us all those lessons. You certainly defined "unconditional love." We'll miss you.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Easter 2008, Orlando

Easter Sunday of 2008 was a day I'll never forget. After 2 full years, I was finally able to deliver quilts to Adam and Jason that were made from their mother's fabrics. Even though the quilts were finished last year at Easter, we couldn't make the trip to Orlando because Gordon had just had his first surgery on his leg and could not travel in a car for that long and he was not allowed to fly. Now that he is better and can travel, we were able to fly to Orlando for spring break and I took the quilts with me. You see, the presentation had to be done "in person" because I had to tell them the story of how their mother, Judy, had told me what to do with her fabrics. I had to tell them that the king-size quilts would hug them, keep them warm, and comfort them like she used to. Their reactions to the quilts when they opened them up was as perfect as any quilter could expect: their eyes lit up with memories they didn't even know they had, "I remember that shirt!" "I remember those shorts!" "I remember when Mom was making something with that fabric!" The longer they looked, the more memories they shared. They even started to remember things about their mother that didn't have anything to do with the quilt fabrics, but still were loving experiences for both of them. There were laughs, giggles, and even tears as they remembered their mother and her love for them. Now I know it was meant for their gifts to wait another year before giving them. It gave Jason and Adam another year to heal and recover from their grief and be in a better place to receive their mother's gifts. I was blessed to have a been a part of it.Of course, being in Orlando with our son, Cory, and his family meant spending Easter with his entire extended family, which meant lots of food, egg hunts, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, grandparents...they are such a loving, caring, generous family, and Cory is truly blessed to be a part of it. They always make us feel so special when we visit. The family is growing by leaps and bounds! Seems like every time we visit now there's another baby, or one on the way.

I hope your Easter was a blessed as ours.