In my last post I mentioned that I was off to Chicago for more Bernina training. I wasn't kidding and as you can see from the photo, neither was Bernina. This is what the hotel ballroom looked like as over one hundred of us arrived to a find a sea of 830 boxes ready and waiting for us to unpack and get down to sewing. That is exactly what we did and every minute of it was a learning experience.
We did some amazing things with the 830 in our action packed days, although I do have to say that I think we could have accomplished even more if they didn't stop to feed us every 2 hours!
All that eating wasn't necessarily a bad thing, meal times were spent getting to know our fellow dealers. I had breakfast, lunch and dinner with some old friends and many new ones. Getting to know Beverly and Nancy from Abigayle's Quiltery in Olmstead Falls, Ohio was an absolute delight. That came in handy for my next road trip.
I was scheduled to teach and speak at Quilts'N Gifts in Bluffton, Indiana last weekend. Mary Porrata the owner had requested that I bring as many quilts as possible with me for the event. When you are traveling with quilts, the only way to make sure they arrive safe and sound is to travel by car. Quilts are HEAVY and it only takes one or two to put you over the weight limit. Although we love our men in brown, and they "guarantee" delivery, if they don't deliver, the guarantee only means they return your shipping expense. I would still be left standing in the middle of an empty ballroom with no show and tell for my lecture. So my husband packed up the car and we left a day early for Indiana.
Not having to hurry meant that I could toss the Quilter's Travel Companion in the car and program the Garmin for one quilt shop after another. Stop #1 was to visit Nancy and Beverly at Abigayle's. Just a bit over 2 hours from Pittsburgh, this shop and the wonderful little village that they are located in, is well worth the trip. Both Nancy and Beverly are delightful and tons of fun. If you stop by, be sure to drool over their wonderful samples and then wander upstairs to see their classroom that is completely stocked with 830 machines. - can you tell I am jealous?
Stop #2 was in South Amherst, Ohio at Quilt's and Creations. As luck would have it - they were having a SALE! Located in a 100+ year old building right on Main Street, this shop is easy to find and very well stocked. Don't worry about shopping after a sale here, there will still be plenty of bolts to choose from.
I couldn't resist taking my husband to The Door Mouse in Betsville, Ohio for stop #3. This shop, which qualifies as being located in "the middle of nowhere" in my book, has more fabric in the building than any other shop I have ever been to. When you own a store and your husband does your accounting, it helps if you show him shops that make you look like you are controlling your inventory! The Door Mouse is packed with fabric. Perfectly organized, neat, clean, aisles of overwhelming amounts of fabric. They have great samples too, on the walls of the "second floor". You can see them from the loft, which is filled with flannel. If you visit this shop, take a map with you. My Garmon never did find it and google maps insists that it is located in Kansas, Ohio.
Our 4th shop was in Bluffton, but the Ohio Bluffton, not the Indiana Bluffton. Forever In Stitches is located on Main Street in a picture perfect small town. The shop is beautiful and much to my surprise I ran into a customer that has moved to that area and now works in that shop. I looked around a little, but both my husband and I were fascinated by the TWO Gammill quiting machines in the back of the store. We had a lovely visit and stopped at the ice cream store on the way out of town as we headed for the Bluffton in Indiana.
The remainder of the weekend was spent with Mary at Quilts'N Gifts. Saturday I taught 2 classes to a delightful group of customers that will be the first to attest that I can TALK about quilting! Mary provided a great lunch and we all enjoyed her store. I was especially amused at Mary's use of all of her available sales space, including the ceiling!
Sunday I was the featured speaker at Mary's customer appreciation luncheon at the local Country Club. Now you know why Mary wanted me to bring as many quilts as possible. She wrapped the room with quilts, including the entrance and hallway. The majority of the quilts were mine, but she also included a few customer quilts that were made as part of my 9 patch summer challenge that launched right here on the blog. It was an absolutely delightful way to spend the weekend. We headed home on Sunday evening and enjoyed a beautiful drive through the Ohio countryside.
Tomorrow I head for Eden, New York to do another presentation and next weekend, the Chautauqua Institute for Fall Festival. Then I really am going to stay home and SEW - until Quilt Market at the end of October!