Sunday, March 20, 2011

Quilt-full Getaway

My husband took me on a little trip for my birthday this past week. We headed out to Amish country, Lancaster, PA. We love going out there for a little getaway every once in awhile. Though I was struck this time by how built up and modern parts of Lancaster are, it's still much more country than the cityscape I'm used to. I love driving through the farmlands and seeing open space, cows, sheep, Amish laundry on the line (I want a clothes line!), old barns, and signs for fresh goat's milk. It feels like home, even though I've never lived in the county (if you don't count my podunk college town) and probably never will.

It worked out perfectly that while we were there the American Quilter's Society was having a convention where we saw some of the most amazing quilts. Some were like paintings, so incredibly intricate that the stitches literally made up the picture. Many were hand-quilted, which really blew me away, since some of them looked like king-sized bed spreads. Who has the patience?! I got a few good ideas, some new rotary blades, and a little inspiration to keep growing my skills. Even though I'm still very new to quilting, I had a much fuller appreciation for what I saw than I would have had last year. Even my husband was appreciative of the workmanship because he's seen the work that I've put into my relatively simple quilts. He was so sweet and didn't complain at all even though he was probably the youngest guy there (I've never seen so many 50+ women all in one place.) As we walked out, there was an older gentleman dozing on one of the hotel couches. Mr. Side Stitches nodded at him and said, "That will probably be me in 40 years." Likely.

(Sorry I can't include any pictures, they have tight regulations on posting pictures from the show. But you can see some of the award winners here.)

The rest of our trip was relaxing. We ate ice cream at our favorite ice cream spot, Lapp's Valley Farm. Homemade ice cream from farm fresh milk in a homemade waffle cone on a perfect 80 degree day!

Learned a valuable lesson: only get one scoop unless you want to explode. Probably not a lesson that I'll learn very quickly judging from previous experience. After we ate our ice cream, we went to say a big thank you to the cows whose generous donation allowed us the above stated goodness, which was by now sitting heavy in my tummy.

These lovely cows were hungry for some ice cream, too!

Lesson learned: don't eat your ice cream while thanking the cows. I did actually learn this lesson and we did not repeat it this time. But we did do it last time and cow smell does not mix well with rich ice cream. That can really turn your stomach. Enjoy the ice cream on the nice fresh smelling porch, then visit the stinky cows and let them know how much you appreciate them and their milk-producing skills.

We also stopped by the People's Place Quilt Museum in Intercourse, PA. I was inspired to try a cathedral window quilt at some point after seeing a beautiful one here. I just put a book about it on hold at the library so I'll keep you updated on that if I ever get to making one.

Overall, it was a great trip. Now I'm back to my regular life again. I'm hoping to get back to my Modern Meadow quilt, but my thread and extra bit of fabric are still in transit. Hopefully they will arrive in the next day or two so I can actually get this thing cracking. I never thought it would take this long just to finish the top!

1 comment:

  1. I like that you call you husband Mr. Side Stitches. I might have to start calling him that too. I love the picture of the ice cream cone--so vivid! And the cows too. A charming read, as always.