Thursday, October 19, 2006

Paducah Daydreamin'

Museum of the American Quilt Society

The Grumpy Old Man Waits for Me to Catch Up
I'm just back, fresh off the road from my first trip to Paducah. Reading comments that were left on my last post describing the itinerary, I laughed when I read jenclair's: "... have a great time, get inspired, buy stuff!" She must have ESP.

For those who have yet to visit, the Museum of the American Quilt Society is a lovely facility, though not terribly large. It's informal--no watchdogs--and visitors are allowed to get right up to the quilts, noses just inches away. You just can't touch and you can't photograph (darn it), but it's delightful to examine all those tiny stitches and subtle touches from a perspective you cannot get behind a chain at a quilt show or from a book. I knew I was deluding myself that Don would entertain himself, but he was actually a good sport and an enthusiastic one. It was kind of fun to point out things to him. His first response was, "Man, this place makes you feel like a pair of tennis shoes at a dress ball." Since he is not the quiltmaker in the family, I must infer that I am the tennis shoes. But hey, as I was saying, if the Nike fits ....

When he tired of making like a
Hermitage-nik (the old ladies who guard the rooms at The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia) on a folding chair and benches, he moseyed out to the car to find a place to catnap. Before leaving me to continue at my leisure he asked, "You know how most things never quite measure up to your expectations? [Well, they don't usually in his world, anyway.] Did it meet yours? Because I thought it would be good, but I had no idea it would be this good." I smiled and said it had met my expectations, and a bit more.

The Fons & Porter exhibit was interesting in that it showed the evolution of their work over their 25-year collaboration. Whether their sort of traditional quilts are your cup of tea or not, their devotion to teaching the art of quiltmaking, as well as their entrepreneurial bent, have made a significant mark on the quilting world. But the Marston & Moran exhibit absolutely stole my heart. Talk about feel-good creations that made me actually laugh aloud a few times! I see the direction of my next project.

The next stop was a local quilt shop where there was a Little Gracie frame set up, complete with Janome 1600. While I don't harbor much interest in getting a similar contraption, even if I had the room, Don found it intriguing.

Then it was on to Hancock's, a most unimpressive building just off I-24.

Hancock's of Paducah

But, inside?


Whoo-ee! It was stunning.


Again, my sidekick was patient, though he kept running inside to borrow my cellphone, bring me a contraband soft drink, make suggestions to buy (duck-print flannel being his favorite ... uh ... no thanks). Several dollars later


I left, weary of foot and back but resolved to return this morning.

Back at Harrah's in Metropolis,


The view from our window .... Gotta love Mother Nature.

we tried our hands at blackjack and slots, planning the bigger house we would buy when we hit the jackpots ("You'll have a 30 x 30 quilt room."). The closest we came was when I'd pumped $52 into a "Triple Cherry" and ran it all the way down to one last dollar. I grimaced at him and slapped the spin button. The darn thing hit, paying 60-to-1! On the last buck I had left (for slots)! (Darn, just before I was down to the last dollar, I'd been making $3 bets. One spin earlier and it would have paid $180!) But we both laughed and knew it was a sign to STOP, just take the money and run. So 60 more dollars went into the Hancock's fund.

I knew I wouldn't get to do all that I wanted to do with my companion along, so there were no visits to Paducah's art district, no antiques shops, no sightseeing of any sort. But the experience of the museum and Hancock's was head-spinning enough to have made the trip a success.

We learned that once we get out of Nashville (no trivial pursuit), it's only a 2-hour drive on sparsely used I-24. I'm so lucky to live so close to two such inspiring resources, and now that Don knows where and how and what, he'll be happy to send me off by myself for a daytrip when the urge arises. Then I'll get to do the full Paducah experience.

It was a geezer trip--you never saw so many buses of senior citizens. We sat next to a fellow who ate his breakfast cereal from a stemmed glass and clanked it so much, scraping every last morsel out, until we thought we'd have to go kill him. [Note to self: Add plate/bowl/goblet scraping to list of irritating noises, like tuneless whistling, to avoid making after 60.] But you're right about another thing too, JenClaire: it was work to have all that fun when we were younger. Or at least it would be now. I love doing just what I want to do at my own pace. It was fun; I got inspired; and I bought stuff!

The Loot

And I will go back.


Angie said...

Sounds like you had a great trip...and you're lucky your GOM sounds like he actually made it quite easy on you!! LOL I haven't been yet, but one day, some day..... :D And you go, girl, on "buying"!!! :D Looks like you got some good loot. :)

Anonymous said...

Oooo! You bought some good stuff!!

I would have loved all of it, but especially the Moran-Marston exhibit. Those quilts could bring me out of a deep depression--hardto look at them without smiling. I now must pull out my Collaborative Quilting and browse again.

Sounds as if you and The Grumpy Old Man had a good time without having to get on a bus.

By the time I get there it will be on a bus with my walker! But, damn it, get there I will - some day. :)

Anonymous said...

Oooh, fun fun fun!!! Thanks for taking us along with you. It was really exciting to see the picture of the inside of HOP. I can't wait to see the direction your work takes now with this new inspiration.

I wanna go!!!!

debraspincic said...

Paducah isn't that far for me so maybe I should plan to go soon. I doubt I would have the resolve you had at Hancock's though. . .WOW! some cool pieces!

Glad everyone was still speaking by the end of the trip!

Kay said...

I like that black and white with the bright spots, and you've got one of my favorite books, Fabric Shopping with Alex Anderson. Sounds like a great time.

Jane Ann said...

Debra, I think my resolve was to go deep in debt. I know I would have died had I not just coasted right by (numerous times) all the batiks. Oh, my. But I've decided batiks are like Keebler cookies to me--I never met one I didn't like. So I'm trying to go cold turkey on batiks. I'm surprised you, the decorator, didn't mention the black & white chair prints. How could I pass those up?

Had to have me a little Kaffe fix and finally found the right red solid, that I've looked for for ages ("Chinese Red" Kona cloth), and I like the cobalt marbley piece. The adult-colored print is of Little Red Riding Hood, a piece I saw at home a couple of years ago and thought was no longer available. I think it would make a cute vest with khaki or black jeans. Someday. The wild multies show my Freddy inspiration.

Kay, at the museum shop I picked up the Alex Anderson book because I'd heard it was helpful. There are some boxes of notecards (sewing themed, of course) for Christmas gifts, and a child's stencil book of leaf patterns. I thought it might be useful--for $1.50 I tossed it in the pile.

I've already urged Jenny Claire to hop a SouthWest funfare to Nashville, and we'll zip up the pike to Paducah. Can I count on you too, Debra?

(PS I love it: the word verification for this comment is o-u-qlt!)

debraspincic said...

Funny, I was thinking while sewing today that Jen and I could probably make a nice trip to Paducah. Yea, I am game. Wes has a hunting trip in Nov and Dec for 3-4 days so I could come then (or anytime really). If you are serious, keep me in the loop.

I would also like to see CBFallert's studio/gallery.

Jenni @ Fairybread said...

I never thought I'd see the inside of Hancocks! My credit card number is in that building, but that's as far as it goes. What a sight! I too am eyeing off brights after my recent reading - I have been picking things out of the stash that have been there for years. Couldn't the husband find anything else to do for the day?

Hedgehog said...

You bought some really cool fabric!! Sounds like a great trip - and lucky that you're close enough to go back soon.

Anonymous said...

Gosh I'd have thought I'd died and gone to stash heaven!!! Why oh why do we lack these shops here in the UK? :o(