Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Travelings and Ravelings.....

October's the month that I like most of all,
It's the one that just speaks to me.....it whispers "fall...."
Though autumn announces that Nature is slowing,
I still seem to meet myself coming and sewing.

  I just returned from a most enjoyable quilt show in Des Moines, Iowa.  I just love that event!  It's not the most financially successful show we do, but it's one of the most fun.  Everyone always seems to be in a friendly mood and ready to just have a good time.  We're all more relaxed ~ or simply worn out!  Whatever....we make the most of our time there.
  This year my good friend Gail met us in Des Moines and gave us a hand in our booth. Gail is a Hawkeye, having graduated from the University of Iowa, but now she lives in Columbus and masquerades as a Buckeye (since she works at OSU!).  Gail photographed the entire show, and told us about all the cool places she insisted we visit.  It was fun to see the show through the eyes of a non-vendor, and a photographer.
   We arrived in Des Moines Monday evening after a 10+ hour drive. We were weary ~ it was a long drive in windy rain and heavy traffic. Ugh.  The good news is we arrived just in time for Happy Hour!  We checked into our hotel, met up with my AQS editor and some other AQS friends, and had drinks and dinner and lots and lots of laughs.  We decided right then-and-there ~~ what happens in Des Moines stays in Des Moines (unless it gets posted on facebook!).
  We spent the entire day on Tuesday setting up our booth.  That's a huge task, which if you read my last post you can imagine, but in Des Moines we never feel rushed. We're not open Tuesday night, sew we have time to experiment a bit with rearranging the 'furniture' and hanging our displays.
  Finally satisfied with our booth set up, we met with some other vendor friends and headed to our favorite destination ~ Court Ave. Brewing Company (www.courtavebrew.com).  Friends think we're simply creatures of habit, but when we finish with a long day of talking, laughing, demoing, selling (and shopping!), we want a guaranteed good dinner....and it doesn't hurt if "everybody knows your name".
  Every morning we hopped out of bed, juggled 4 women in one small bathroom, grabbed coffee and a quick complimentary breakfast, and headed to the show.
  The show not only had the spectacular AQS quilt entries on display

   ....but the huge Des Moines guild show took place in the same venue!

Quilters from the guild were an invaluable help to AQS in successfully presenting their event.  Quilters-helping-quilters!
  I am not one to enter quilts in shows, but since I'm an AQS author, 2 of the quilts from my last book, Everyday Quilts hung in the show, too.  This one is titled Sawtooth Irish Chain.
            And this one is Ajo Star.

 I spent all of my show-days demoing the fabulous, Made-In-The-USA Creative Grids!  When I sold out of one style, I changed-out the display quilts and went on to something else.  I think it made our neighbors crazy!  It sure confused the customers! (But kept them coming back to see what we were up to NOW!)

On the second day of the show I gave a stage presentation called Ruler Magic.  I demonstrated a variety of the weird (in a good way!) Creative Grids rulers and shared a trunk show of quilts that were made with them. 

The third day of our four-day show, one of our crew suffered a bit of a digestive-disturbance.  Hmmmmm. Not sure how to say this in a genteel manner, but she had a Fiber One bar that did nothing to make us want to get up-close-and-personal. The nose knows, ya know what I mean?  What that meant was nearly-uncontrollable bouts of giggling in our booth and very careful positioning on her part.
  Because the weather was wonderful, we walked the 10 blocks or sew to our brew-pub. But late at night as we walked home it was chilly, sew we meandered through the skywalks back to our hotel.  This particular night as we walked ~ luckily never running into any other pedestrians,  [the entire population of downtown Des Moines could have been beemed up to Scotty it was sew quiet after-hours!] there was a sound like a Tommy Gun coming from the nether-regions of our disturbed crew member.  We simply dissolved into laughter. We could barely walk. That, of course, made things worse.  By the time we reached our hotel room we were in tears from laughing sew hard!
    Another example of Quilters-helping-quilters ~~ an emergency gas mask!
  As we drove east wending our way homeward on Sunday we made a serendipitous stop at a roadside rest.  Gail had told us about this rest area, but I had forgotten about it, and didn't remember exactly where she said it was.
  This is what I saw as I pulled into the parking area.  Then we walked inside!!  Oh my!  The entire rest stop was dedicated to signal quilts of the Underground Railroad!  Cedar County, Iowa, very near the Illinois border, was extremely influential in organizing the aid given to runaway slaves.  Many Quakers and pacifist religions were located there and they actively lived their beliefs.
  This rest area was an amazing wealth of information on this subject.  In two weeks I'll be traveling to Michigan to give my lecture on Signal Quilts of the Underground Railroad, sew I'll post more pictures and information on my blog at that time.
  In the meantime, I hope you're having a wonderful autumn and laughing uproariously with your friends!  Girlfriends are just The Best!  May you, too, be lucky enough to snuggle under Everyday Quilts!  Your friend in raveling stitches, Rita

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