Saturday, March 16, 2013

Happy Quilting Day!

In view of it being National Quilt Day, I figured I should share my fabulous trip to Lancaster, PA with you. Lancaster, of course, has a long tradition of quilting going back to the Amish who settled the area many years ago. Over time, it became a destination for quilt lovers due to the Lancaster Quilter's Heritage Celebration Show, which ran for many many years ( like, 25?) in the Executive Inn and Conference Center. I attended that show , entered quilts in that show, bought huge amounts of fabric there, and generally had a wonderful time each year, as I drove there from my home in NY with some of my best quilting friends. I had many laughs with various quilting teachers who became good friends. So I was sorry when the show organizer retired, and even sorrier when I moved to the Boston area, because it made it much more difficult to go.A few years ago, AQS ( American Quilter Society) decided to stage an annual show in Lancaster, to replace the QHC, and I was especially inspired to go this year because I learned that the Tentmakers of Cairo (
(    would be there, exhibiting their amazing quilts and showing their techniques. I was enthralled by their artistry and their spectacular work, and was drawn to see their show and perhaps meet some of them. A documentary is being filmed by Kim Beamish ( and I was eager to see what the work was like in person. So a few months ago, I reserved a hotel room, and thought about how I was going to get there. I asked my good friend Benedicte to join me, but she was facing a lot of situations and could not go. I looked into flying, but the costs were so high, it would be prohibitively expensive and time consuming with the changing planes and various flights and times.. Also, it was during my sons' vacation week from college, and I did not want to be away during that time. So I followed the cause on Facebook and various media and thought about it a lot...meanwhile, driving from Boston would be an 8 hour proposition, too far for me to withstand, given my fibromyalgia issues.
However,the goddess conspired, first to lay off my husband from his job, which left him with time to be available, and then to provide a small window of clear weather. Luckily, he is a pilot, and he offered to fly us down for the day! What an opportunity! It all worked out so well, with one day for clear flying to re-qualify him to fly, and the next clear day to let us actually go!
Flying at 3500 ft over Connecticut
It was really cold up in the air, and on the ground, so issues with rising air made for a bumpy ride.But it was beautiful, and glorious to be going so fast!
Hosam Mahmoud stitching away

Tarek Abouelenin with admirers

Me watching Kim Beamish filming
Beneath The southern Sky-Australian exhibit

One of the amazingly intricate and beautiful Egyptian artworks

Home safe and sound on the ground with my favorite pilot!
We left in the morning, after having to change planes because the first one had some wiring issues, but after a rather bumpy 3 hour flight, we made it to the show! We went directly by taxi from the airport to the show, and right up to the Tentmakers' exhibit. It was a magical day, and I got to see a lot of gorgeous artwork, ran into some friends, and was overwhelmed by beauty. It was so wonderful to meet Jenny Bowker, the Australian artist who was instrumental in getting the ball rolling to share the Egyptians' work with so many quilters around the world. I am really lucky to have had the opportunity to see this show! The other special exhibits, the general show and the vendors were also wonderful. It was a quick, whirlwind tour, but I am glad I went. Now back to reality and renewed inspiration.

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