Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

The Awards ceremony was last night and my quilt Five Bar Blues won 2nd place in the Merit Machine Quilting category at the Houston International Quilt Festival!! I am honored and thrilled!

The show opens tonight and I am looking forward to seeing all the quilts and quilters visiting Houston. Please stop by to say hi if you are in Houston – I will be here through the end of the day Friday.

If you aren’t in Houston (or even if you are) pick up a copy of the newest issue of the International Quiltfestival Quit Scene Magazine.

There is a great photo on page 25 of Five Bar Blues!


I will post again as soon as I can. When I leave Houston I am traveling straight to Manchester, NH to A Quilters Gathering for Saturday and Sunday. I have two new quilts on display in the judged show at the Gathering. One is brand new, just finished Saturday night!

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The first stop on my October Road trip is Chicago, where I am visiting friends.  We have spent the past few days seeing the sights in and around town.  First stop was the Art Institute of Chicago, where we saw a beautiful exhibit of Japanese kimonos, Chagall’s America Windows, architectural fragments of Chicago either donated or saved from buildings no longer standing, and a complete reconstruction of the Chicago Stock Exchange trading room.

We visited Millennium Park, right next to the Museum.  One of the amazing outdoor art structures in the park called ‘The Bean’ by locals (also known as the Cloud Gate) is a photographer’s dream!  It really does look like a bean:

Cloud Gate in Millenium Park, also known as the 'bean'and you can see the much of the Chicago skyline when the lighting is right:

Chicago Skyline reflected in the 'bean'Many people enjoyed finding their own reflection in the Bean.  My favorite view is from the inside / underneath the Bean, looking straight up:

Looking up into the 'Bean'

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I spent 40 very full hours in Paducah on Wednesday and Thursday, April 27 & 28.  I wish I could have stayed longer — there were so many places to visit, quilts to see, and wonderful quilters to meet.  I’m looking forward to returning for a more leisurely trip this fall.

I didn’t have very much time to shop while I was at the show.  Much to my husband’s dismay, I did manage to get not one, but two bags from Paducah (thank you RaNae!) with the AQS 2011 logo.  (He has been calling me a ‘bag lady’ for many years now and I suppose I do have plenty of bags… but … each one is unique, and bags from this show are really special!)

As I practically ran through the vendors, I noticed there were many vendors in Paducah that I have not seen at any of the New England shows.  I took a special trip to visit the Cherrywood booth to look at (and touch) their beautiful hand dyed fabric in person.  It was difficult to tear myself away, and I couldn’t decide what to buy so, very uncharacteristically, I bought nothing.  (I reassured myself that mail order is only a click away…)

Quilted in Clay Eyeglass holder necklace

One of my favorite finds was a lovely beaded badge holder (aka eyeglass holder) from Quilted in Clay.  Isn’t this a prettier way to wear your badge than wearing one of those grey elastic bands around your neck?  I really love it and am trying to figure out how I can wear it when I am not at a quilt show.

Of course, I picked up the show catalog and CD with photos of all the quilts.  Good thing, too, since I didn’t have a chance to see all the quilts … many too many quilts, all too beautiful and deserving of lingering at each…. and not enough time.  Unfortunately, I also got this at the show…

Yes, that’s my hand — my finger that had a run-in with the trunk of my rental car.  Lots of wonderful and skilled folks took care of me at the show as well as that evening before I returned home, and I was back on my feet within a short time.  When I saw my doctor on Friday, I discovered that the finger was fractured too.  Ouch!!  But no worries – it is expected to heal with no problems, and it is better now (10 days later).

So these are a few of my favorite things from the Paducah show this year:
Five Bar Blues with its ribbon for the Brother Wall Machine Workmanship Award
Scott Gramza from the Brother Corporation, AQS Sponsor of the award
Me with my new badge holder
Hiding my bandaged finger behind my back!

Scott Gramza, Brother Corp. AQS Sponsor, and Diane Loomis with her winning quilt Five Bar Blues

©2011 Diane Loomis All Rights Reserved

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Happy Mother’s Day!  We have two pink dogwood trees in our yard, and they are finally in bloom.  They are old dogwoods – the tree in the front of the house is over 100 years old (documented by an old photograph of our house).  Native dogwoods are rare in New England, and the pink ones even more so, because of a virus that has attacked almost all the local dogwoods.  Years ago, an arborist advised us to cut down both of our dogwood trees, and I have heard of many glorious trees that had been cut down.  But the trees were so glorious when they bloomed, I never could bring myself to remove them.  So we pruned, occasionally sprayed, and watered the trees.  For many years I sadly watched the trees decline, fewer and fewer blooms every year.  But recently they are doing better, especially the tree in front of our house.

Paducah is known for its flowering dogwood trees;  they bloomed just before the show this year, and the storms that preceded opening day swept any of the remaining blooms off the trees.  All the ribbons given out at the AQS show were topped with beautiful handmade dogwood flowers, and of course, the ribbon on Five Bar Blues is definitely one of my favorite things from Paducah.   I love the pink ribbon – it reminds me of the pink dogwood blossoms.

My next favorite thing in Paducah was all the wonderful quilters at the show.  I met old friends, and made new ones!  I ate two wonderful dinners with friends (after being nervous about traveling to Paducah without knowing anyone) and enjoyed talking to the quilters who stopped to see my quilt while I was there.

Stay tuned for more favorites to follow ….

©2011 Diane Loomis All Rights Reserved

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Paducah has installed cameras on the river side of the floodwall.  Check out this link to the live images to see how high the Ohio River is now.  The first camera shows you the floodgate at the end of the floodwall murals. Yesterday’s photo of a floodgate (with me standing in front of it)  is the next floodgate down the wall, about five murals to the right of the first camera image.  I remember driving down this street and looking at the huge floodgate at the end of the murals as I turned at the corner. Right now the water is at least half way up the floodwall. (While I was writing this, the view from the 2nd camera disappeared — it showed the river flowing over the Executive Inn berm.)  The river will crest in Paducah on Thursday.

I grew up in New Orleans less than 10 blocks from the Mississippi River and its levee.  There’s something fascinating to me about the force of nature vs. our man-made levees and walls.

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Although I have never been to the quilt show in Paducah before, I know this was a very unusual year for the show.  Due to high water in the Ohio River, Paducah installed the floodgates the weekend before the show.  The Floodwall Murals painted on the concrete walls that usually overlook the Ohio River were impressive and I wish I had more time to enjoy them.

Paducah Floodwall Murals

Here is the floodgate installed just to the left of the murals above.  That is me standing in front of the gates – they are high and sturdy!

Paducah floodgate installed

Here is a photo of the same place I was standing (you can see the same mural to the right), but photographed farther away and from the second floor of a restaurant.  You can see how flooded the Ohio river is.

Ohio River at Paducah Floodwalls

The main venue of the quilt show – the Expo and Convention Center – is outside the floodgates.  So the quilts had to be relocated from the Expo Center to different venues in Paducah at the last minute.  Most of the quilts, award winners, and many vendors, moved to the Pavilion (we called it the bubble).

The Pavilion at the AQS Paducah Show 2011

It was very busy in the bubble, especially in the morning — you had to be determined to make your way through the crowds, and Thursday morning I could not even walk through the aisles.  The quilts were beautiful, the vendors were busy, and the quilters were admiring…

Inside the Pavilion at the AQS Paducah Quilt Show 2011

Crowds in the Pavilion at the AQS Paducah 2011 Quilt Show

The wall quilts, including the wall quilt contest winners (and my quilt!)  moved to the first Baptist church in Paducah.   Although there were fewer people at the Baptist Church, it was still busy.

Five Bar Blues recipient of Brother Wall Machine Workmanship Award AQS Paducah 2011

Brother Wall Machine Workmanship Award

And of course, Five Bar Blues was there.   Stay tuned for more from the show in my next post!

©2011 Diane Loomis All Rights Reserved

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You have TWO MORE DAYS  to get to New York to see this incredible exhibit!!

Infinite Variety - 650 Red and White Quilts

If you are able to get to the Park Avenue Armory in New York City on Tuesday March 29, or  Wednesday March 30, do whatever you can to get there.   Experiencing and seeing the remarkable exhibition ‘Infinite Variety’ – 650 antique red and white quilts hanging together – has left me speechless.   This is one of the ‘Year of the Quilt’ exhibits put together by the American Folk Art Museum, and is free, but will only hang in New York for 6 days.  For more about this and other quilt exhibits, visit the American Folk Art museum website.

As I walked in to the show, I looked at the quilts hanging, and then looked through my camera, and declared “there’s no way to photograph this exhibit”.

Nevertheless, I tried.  Remembering that I’ve never returned home from a quilt show feeling that I took too many photographs, I took lots of pictures.

Go to my website to see the slide show of  photos I took.  I’ll be adding and rearranging the photos for the next few days so visit more than once!

(On my website go to Favorites / Photos to find the page with the photos – http://dianeloomisquilts.com/dianeloomisblog.htm)

And leave me a comment to let me know what you think!!

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