Friday, April 13, 2012
Yesterday's drive from Carthage to Paducah was uneventful. That's just the way we like our travel days. Even though we've passed this way before, it's always fun to cross a state line.
Paducah is an old river town that is working hard to redevelop its historic downtown. While the bulk of the shopping, dining and entertainment options closer to the interstate than than the city center, this area is breathing some signs of new life. It's all quite charming.
Adding to the city's charm is its proud identity as Quilt City, USA. That makes this sleepy little town a sort of "Mecca" for quilters. Each Spring, some 35,000 quilters from around the world decend on Paducah to attend the American Quilter's Society Quilt Show. The 27th annual event is in a couple of weeks. Darn!
At the center of this Quilting Mecca is the National Quilting Museum. This 27,000 square-foot facility has been committed to the preservation and advancement of quilting since 1991.
Paul passed on today's visit. I was happy to explore alone. I've been eager to check this place out since we started our travels. There were no pictures allowed inside, so this outdoor sculpture saluting the history of quilts will have to suffice.
Inside I found several captivating exhibits. The largest highlighted a permanent collection of 20 years of award-winning quilts, and others donated to or purchased for the museum. Another permanent collection is a display of miniature quilts. These amazing creations are no more than 24x24 inches, but they are not small quilts. Rather, these tiny wonders are full-size quilts reduced in scale. A temporary exhibit features quilts from the United Kingdom. And, another featured finalists and winners in the annual "old blocks in a new way" competition. This year's competition challenged quilters to design by taking a fresh twist on the old basket block. The sign above the entrance declares its purpose to honor today's quilter. Today, I was honored to call myself a quilter. I was also highly intimidated and quite inspired!
After my tour, this freshly inspired amateur quilter stepped across the street to a cute little shop and found my four fabrics to represent Kentucky in my "traveling" quilt.
While I was visiting the museum, Paul was taking care of a few things around our rolling home. We parked at a different place than we did the first time we overnighted here. And, we learned, that was a mistake. The view outside our front window was of the Paducah Auto Auction. And, today was auction day! We've never had so much activity buzzing by our moose. It was loud and dusty.
So, we're done here. We'll be back on the road heading north tomorrow.