John and I have a week off between our gigs in Fallston Maryland and Dover, Delaware. What to do, what to do? Well…. we could drive for two days and get to spend two days at the quilt show in Paducah!
So we did. Via my cousin’s hospitality in Columbus Ohio (where there were no leaves on the trees), we had a very pleasant drive back into spring here in Kentucky (where the leaves are fully out – all in one day!).
We have found (with Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry’s help) a B&B a few blocks away from the quilt festival (thanks, Caryl!). It is amazing to be right in town with everyone else. The last time we were here for festival was 10 years ago, and we had the RV. People book even the RV parks a year away and available accommodation is very rare for those of us who can’t plan that far ahead.
The first thing we did was wander over to the Bryerpatch to thank Caryl for helping us out.
This is a purpose-built two-story building that Caryl designed to be part retail, part residential house, and part studio. The main entrance leads into the retail part, and the main floor is mostly quilt shop and gallery space. The moment we walked in, someone approached us and asked if we’d like to take a guided tour of the house, which was just about to depart. Of course!
We entered a door to the private area – a living room open to the top floor, with huge ceilings. There were quilts and paintings on the walls by other artists whom Caryl admires. The way up above was a trompe l’oeil ceiling with blue sky and clouds, and a soaring bird.
If you know Caryl’s work this is so appropriate.
We moved on to one of the biggest kitchens I’ve seen in a house. Caryl does retreats in the building, and this would be action central for much of the non-quilty action. During the floods in Paducah a few years ago, I believe there were many many meals made there for the community who had lost power. Everywhere, there were little tasteful collections of cool things. I loved the gekkos on the wall of the kitchen.
Artists have such cool houses!
We then moved upstairs, where there is a huge working area, a few bedrooms for retreaters, and office space. First, a visit to Caryl’s stash.
Her studio has lots and lots of light, a huge design wall and everything like power cords hanging from the ceiling so that people (including her) can’t trip over things on the floor.
There’s a large floor space available for squaring up quilts, with a huge cutting mat for the task. The design wall was wonderful.
We emerged downstairs again into her gallery area. And there was Caryl, amid her 30 quilts for 30 years exhibit.
She and her husband will be packing up this entire building and moving it to Port Townsend WA very soon after the show closes. The building will be taken over by Paper Pieces (the English Paper Piecing template company) when they go. If you are anywhere near Paducah during this week, I would highly recommend visiting Bryerpatch, and taking the tour. It was fascinating to see how a professional quilting studio, designed by a thinking person, turned out.
We checked in very briefly at the entry to the show, and got ourselves accredited for the next two days of our visit, but it was too late in the day to see anything. We did see on the schedule, though, a Big Show by Eleanor Burns that night, so we decided to attend.
The last time we were here (10 years ago) was in similar circumstances – we had driven for 2 days from Virginia so that we could attend Eleanor’s 25th anniversary celebrations. She had asked to use my song “100 Ways to Hide Your Stash” as part of her presentation. I had no idea what she would use it for – and that’s why we had to come to the show. I was absolutely delighted when she aired the MUSIC VIDEO for the song!
This is now her 35th anniversary. It seemed appropriate to go.
It was very well attended with all her fans from over the years. She proceeded to present a 1 1/2 hour trunk show with videos and quilts and lots and lots of stories. It was hilarious! She even played the video again! We were sitting off to the side, but in the front row, and she actually spotted us (didn’t know we would be there) and introduced me to everyone. It was delightful.
So that was our first day at Paducah. Whew! Two more to go…..