I'm back from Pennsylvania. It was a great trip. The centerpiece was my high school reunion, which made for three days of get-togethers both organized and impromptu. I'm still smiling.
And of course, there were quilt-related activities. I teamed up with one high school friend, a quilter based in North Carolina, for a road trip through the Allegheny National Forest (where there is NO phone service, but there are mountain roads where you get to drive right through the clouds). Destination--the Warren, Pennsylvania area and its quilt shops. We email back and forth about our quiltmaking, but it was a real treat to get to compare notes in person. Yak yak, yak. Good thing the guys stayed home.
In the Warren area, we visited one shop we liked very much, and one where we, to put it delicately, did not feel the love. A proprietor's hovering over us like she expected we might shove bolts of fabric under our shirts? Seemed a bit over the line. We ended up in Bradford, PA at Little Fabric Garden, owned by high school friend Judy Pascale Brown. Judy's shop was crazy busy that day, and it was fun to see everyone enjoying Judy and her shop. Wish I could visit more often.
I got back home Tuesday afternoon, after making the return trip into a two day drive. That was good thinking on my part; it's no fun at all tackling Chicago traffic at the end of a thirteen-hour drive. I broke up the return trip with an overnight stop in Shipshewana, Indiana, a place I'd heard about for years. There was a stellar quilt shop there,
but I found it all a bit unsettling. I'm not entirely comfortable with the concept of turning the Amish, or any religious group for that matter, into a tourist attraction.
Still, despite any reservations on my part, the Amish appeared to be completely on board with everything in Shipshewana; I guess they need to earn a living too.
Anyway, I hit the ground at home and immediately had to turn my attention to the next set of T Blocks, due several days later.
These blocks just can't be rushed. If you give them the right attention, they turn out perfect, but they take a certain amount of time. I grind my teeth as I'm making them, but in the end, they're soooo cute.
Three T Block exchanges completed; SIX more to go. Oy.