So yesterday was a whirlwind.

I was up at 3:41 when Jerry’s watch alarm went off, and I was out the door by 4:19 on my way out to Madison to get to the meeting place for the Heritage Quilters of Huntsville group that went to Paducah. Three ladies from Decatur (the place, not the activity, you nasty people) misread their information and waited in the wrong place, so we were about 25 minutes late getting out of Madison.

We were in Paducah at 9:46. Traci let me be a puppydog and follow her around all day, which was wonderful — she knew where to go, how to get there, and it was fantastic to have such a great tourguide. Plus, our tastes are similar and she approaches quilt shows and shopping the same way I do, so it was a joy for me to have someone so likeminded to walk around with. No lingering at vendors or quilts that didn’t appeal to either of us.

Because of copyright laws, I can’t show you any of the quilts that we saw (except for the ones that are on the AQS website), but let’s just say that I was completely blown away. There’s one that was so incredible that I went back 5 minutes before the bus left and took some closeups of the machine quilting so that I can try to mimic some of her designs. Truly, truly amazing. It won 2nd place in its division, so it’s not on the site where I can show it to you. 🙁 Actually, here it is on the Linda V. Taylor’s website — she doesn’t have closeups and info about it yet, since it was in the show, I guess, but there are also others she has made so you can get an idea of how ornate it was: Find the one called “Quilt TV” — that’s the one I saw yesterday.

The Best In Show quilt, by Sharon Schamber, was staggering. The front was an original design, and it was spectacular. The binding was uneven — scalloped, funky edges, and finished with lots of hand-corded loops. TONS of exquisite machine quilting, trapunto, etc. Beautiful to look at. But the back. THE BACK. She had taken back art to a whole new level. It was a solid piece of fabric, gold in color, and she had heat-set 130,000 (!!) crystals to the back of it. Just the sheer magnitude of the expense was amazing…. Easily over $1000, probably over $2000 in crystals alone on the back of that quilt. Her prize winnings are $20K, if she’s willing to give the quilt to the AQS Museum in Paducah for permanent display. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

I set a budget for myself, but found it nearly impossible to stick to it. All in all, I went over by a bit… But ‘sokay. I got some GREAT stuff (and Jerry even agrees! He said, “You weren’t really naughty. Just a little naughty.”)

One of the things I got was a John Flynn Multi-Frame system for my home machine, so I will be able to more easily free-motion quilt. Mom had emailed me that she bought one (she and Dad were also up in Paducah, though I didn’t see her there), and that if I got a chance I needed to go by John Flynn’s booth and try it out. So Traci humored me, and we went to watch him demonstrate this thing for a little while. He was creating a desert scene, and as I sat down he said, “The next animal in the scene is supposed to be an armadillo, so feel free to do that…” So I did.

Elaine trying out the Flynn Frame

I found his frame SO easy to use, and so comfortable, that after a few stitches I had a good feel of it and was able to create a reasonable approximation of an armadillo. His daughter said, “Hey, look, Dad, you can go to lunch!” Hee hee…. Later I told him (when I went back to buy the frame) that it was a one-shot thing — kind of like a beginner hitting a bullseye on the first try. But the ease of it definitely sold the frame for me… Now I just have to figure out how to set the silly thing up. It comes with a DVD and an instruction booklet, so hopefully I can learn how to use it soon. I have projects to quilt!!

After we went through the show and all of the vendors, the bus driver took us all to Hancock’s of Paducah, which was ENORMOUS. I wasn’t going to buy anything, but I got sucked in to the madness. This is why I went overbudget. It was probably about the size of a football field, and beautiful high-end quilting fabrics as far as you could see. As Jerry said to several people yesterday, I was in Paducah having an “extended quiltgasm.” Indeed.

Also acquainted myself with this store, where my mother makes a pilgrimage at least once a year. I did most of my damage at their vendor booth, so I can totally see why she loves that store.

All in all, it was a great, though long, day. I arrived home at midnight, showed Jerry my haul, and passed out. The girls blessed us with a long night’s sleep, which was a perfect way to end it.


So. I have to get up between 3:30 and 4:00am tomorrow morning in order to get showered and ready to go, since I have to be out in Madison by 5am to go up to Paducah.

Should I even BOTHER going to sleep? 😀

Of course, I will… I’m not stupid. But I’m going to be too paranoid that I’ll miss the alarm that I’m sure I’ll wake up and look at the clock every 15 minutes.

This morning a friend came over to pick up some scrapbooking things, and she said that for the first time in 14 years she’s not going to Paducah. Jerry was helping her find the supplies she needed, and she actually said, “Yeah, not going is probably saving me about a thousand bucks.”

Greeeeeeaaaaaaat. Jerry SO didn’t need to hear that. Ha!

I can’t imagine that I’d spend that much, but of course, I’ve never been to the Paducah Quilt Show before, either. I’m quite sure it will be totally overwhelming, especially to try to see everything I want to see in one day.

Can’t wait!

Nouveau Rude

I have several acquaintances who are quite obviously new to the whole Having Money thing. They talk about it constantly.

How much they make, how much their spouse makes, how much they paid for their last car… etc.

If they’re not talking about how much they paid for something, they’re whining about the sunburn they got on the 7-day cruise last week, or saying that it’s reeeeeeeealllllly hard to find houses with all of the indoor amenities that they want in this area that are also equipped with a 3-car garage for their husband’s Porsche collection that are ALSO in a decent school district for Little Junior.

And if you handed them a direct link to this post, they would never in a million years think that I’m talking about them.

Jerry makes decent money. I don’t want for much these days. And I was blessed with an upbringing that was very much the same… But my parents were quite intent on raising a kid with a healthy respect for money, as well as a healthy respect for the people around who might have less. So I do not discuss money with people outside of my family. It just really bothers me to do so, because of the way I was raised.

Yes, we’re happy for you that you have a well-paying job that affords you all of these luxuries. We’re thrilled that your child gets to go to the most expensive school in the land, that your last vacation to Belize was so relaxing except for the fact that the volcanic mud in the spa was just a little too warm the second time you went for a mudbath. Oh! And the snorkeling!

Please. Do us all a favor and shut up about it already. I went to Answers.Com and found this definition of “nouveau riche:”

nou·veau riche (nÅ«’vō rÄ“sh’) n., pl. nou·veaux riches (nÅ«’vō rÄ“sh’).
One who has recently become rich, especially one who flaunts newly acquired wealth.

And at The Free Dictionary, I found this definition:

Adj. 1. nouveau-riche – characteristic of someone who has risen economically or socially but lacks the social skills appropriate for this new position

And from Class, a book by Paul Fussell that was a sociology text for one of my brother’s classes in college (and he liked it so much that he got my entire family to read it), p. 16:

If you reveal your class by your outrage at the very topic, you reveal it also by the way you define the thing that is outraging you. At the bottom, people tend to believe that class is defined by the amount of money you have. In the middle, people grant that money has something to do with it, but think education and the kind of work you do almost equally important. Nearer the top, people perceive that taste, values, ideas, style, and behavior are indispensable criteria of class, regardless of money or occupation or education.

So true.

Please stop talking about your material worth, and give us something else to chew on.


Today, Helen’s best friend came over at 3pm to play, while K’s mommy and I figured out our plan of attack for the preschool’s yearbook this year, which we foolishly agreed to do last fall. Oh, what, it’s April? Whaddaya mean it should be at the printer by now?

God Bless digital photography and a basic understanding of desktop publishing technology. Yes, this will entail some work, and we have about 40 kids to interview. But we split the interview work and the contact-her-to-ask-questions work, and I think it’ll be fine.

While we chipped at this project, giggles emanated from downstairs. Continuously. The girls had a BLAST. K’s mom and I have been trying to get the girls together all year, but we keep missing opportunities. And, turns out, K’s mom is really busy — she just bought a business franchise in August, so she’s been kept on the run all year getting her business going!

The funniest part of the day was Helen’s anticipation. At 7:15 this morning, Helen was watching out the front window for K’s car. “Is it time for her to come play yet?”

All day long, Helen inquired. And inquired.

At 2:55, there was a lot of moping because K wasn’t here yet. Crocodile tears abounded. Tired of watching out the window (since she had been doing it off and on ALL DAY LONG), Helen settled on the sofa for a good therapeutic fake cry. And she passed out. Normally, it takes Helen a while to wake up after she falls asleep. This time, she was her usual self within 20 seconds of the doorbell ringing, and the two of them were OFF to play.

Great fun. And K’s mom and I agreed that we really SHOULD do this more often, because the girls enjoy each other so much.

And K is the first child Helen’s age that I’ve met who speaks like Helen does. Neat to see it in another child.