My Best Friend and I went to the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY, yesterday to celebrate my birthday! To say it was inspiring is an understatement. Even though it took several hours to drive up and back, when I closed my eyes at night, stitches and patterns and colors were swimming through my brain. It's like when you've been on a boat all day and you finally lay down and feel the bed rolling... like that, except your eyes are full and the impression of all you've seen hasn't finished scrolling across the screen yet. Your brain needs time to catch up.
I carried my sketchbook around--to no avail. I tried to find a favorite--to no avail. Stars, lines, spirals... Mini-quilts that make your eyes bug from the precision, noting the difference between seeing a piece up close and then from thirty feet away... Every book you could imagine in the shop (I'll be checking amazon--I could not decide at the time but flipped through several excellent tomes).
One of the highlights was the first quilt you saw when you walked it. We came to it last. It was Lord of the Rings-themed!!! The central panel depicted Aragorn's marriage to Arwen. Gollum was in the lower left corner, noticeable only because he was outlined in precise, free-motion stitches. The artist had copied Tolkien's artwork of the Doors of Moria and the script from the Ring inscription exactly. See an image here of "Tribute to Tolkien" by Sue McCarty.
Another highlight was the work by Sharon Schamber. When Best Friend and I encountered her first piece, we were reminded of fashion pieces by couturiers from the Golden Age of Couture exhibit we'd frequented at the Frist. Come to find out, Schamber has a background in bridal and couture fashion. Of course! These photos do NOT do her pieces justice. AT ALL. "Sedona Rose" in particular. The back is solid goldenrod with thousands of hand-applied Swarovski crystals in black and garnet and forest green. It is suspended from the ceiling like a room divider so you can walk around and see front and back. IN-CREDIBLE.
So all in all, it was an amazing trip. The only downside? I missed the first meeting of the Music City Modern Quilt Guild!