A Big House and the Mistress of Free Motion Quilting

In Woodbridge, VA

G’day, Mates!  We’ve got a few days in North Carolina to catch our breaths, so I thought I’d update you on our travels.  There’s lots for a kangaroo like me to do in these parts.  We’ve been hopping!

We had a quick visit to Woodbridge Virginia to C&J’s THIRD visit to Cabin Branch quilters.  It’s the first time I’ve been there, though, and they treated me very well.  We’ll be back in Virginia again very soon, so this was just a taste. Cathy said it was awfully good that it wasn’t raining like the first time they were there.  As for me, I didn’t hear a “y’all” or see any biscuits and gravy while we were there, so I knew we weren’t in the Deep South anymore.

From there, we drove back down to North Carolina.  This is another new state for C&J, and they told me they were very excited about it.  The first gig was in Shelby, a town just west of Charlotte.  Our hostess was Leah Day, and she took us out for dinner and some great conversation. I’ll tell you more about her later. I call her the “Mistress of Free Motion Quilting”.  Then we met the Foothills Quilters and they LOVED me!!!  I loved them, too.  I hope some of them read about my adventures here.  People from North Carolina call themselves “Tar Heels”, which sounds really messy, but I guess they’re proud of it.  They say it comes from a Civil war battle where the North Carolinians held their position under great duress.  But I want to see them with their shoes off, just to be sure.

The next day we drove up to Asheville for a day of sightseeing.  There is a huge, “you beaut” mansion there built by a Mr. Vanderbilt, and said to be the biggest house in America.  Cathy and John really like seeing nice things, but decided not to spend the $120 it would have cost to get in and see how the other half lives.   Instead, we drove into town and took a walking tour around to see the Art Deco buildings and learn about the history of the area. It was a beaut day, and a good chance to catch some rays.  They had interesting stuff at each stop on the tour, and Cathy found this huge iron. 

The biggest iron I've ever seen!

Cathy has been writing a song for the new CD about “yarn bombers”, people who like warming up fountain cherubs and wrought-iron fences with knitting, so she was REALLY excited when she saw three shoppers, one of whom had a black knitted scarf around her neck!

We have a few days off before we sing again, so C&J have been working hard in the hotel room.  It’s been pretty boring for me, really, so I’ve been bugging them to take me out for some fun.  Today was sunny and cool, a perfect day to go back out to Shelby to visit Leah at her studio!

Leah has a great website (http://www.daystyledesigns.com/) and is currently blogging every day with a new video of free motion quilting patterns! By the end, she’ll have done 365 of them, and they’re all free!  Wow.  I don’t know how she had time to see us, but she showed us around her studio, including her stash, and we had a nice chat about the Internet and quilting.

Isn't this a masterpiece?

Her stash is all organized on clothes hangars!

The quilt behind us is called “Release Your Light” and is heavily quilted with some of her wonderful designs.  She told us there is hardly any applique on the quilt.   She quilted it all first, bound it, then PAINTED it with Shiva colours!  It was really neat.

Everybody has been telling Cathy about Mary Jo’s fabric store in Gastonia, so on the way home, she made us stop for a visit.  I went in to take a look, and just about fell over with all the fabric in there!  Wow. And not just quilting fabric, either:  silks and satins, bridal whites, lace, upholstery fabrics – everything!  Cathy was in there for a LONG time and came out with an armful of stuff.  Hmph. And she says “There’s no room in the car to buy anything new”! Yeah, right.  So why can’t I stock up on Vegemite and Tim Tams?


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