Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Paducah, Kentucky & The National Quilt Museum

We just returned from a trip to Wisconsin to visit family, and on the way we spent a night in Paducah, Kentucky so I could visit the National Quilt Museum. I have wanted to visit this museum for years, and after tea friend Denise in Alabama recently visited during the town's annual Quilt Week and shared some photos, I wanted to visit even more!

Here are some of the pretty quilt-design stained glass windows near the museum's entrance. Like a lot of museums, this one doesn't allow photos inside, which I understand since flashing lights fade the quilts, for one thing. Fortunately, I had a notebook with me and wrote down names of the quilts that impressed me most so I could look them up later. Susan Stewart had two quilts I absolutely adored, "Tulips of Fire" (shown here) and "Radiance" (shown here). Even the detailed photos online don't do these quilts justice. When I stood in front of the tulips quilt, I found myself searching for words to describe the embroidery on this magnificent piece. "Shimmering" is the one I finally settled on. And "Radiance" may be the most gorgeous quilt I have ever seen in my life. I went back to it twice to stand there and just admire all the details and marvel at how much time and *love* went into this piece. I've always been partial to entirely handmade quilts since I'm such a fan of hand sewing, but today's quilt artistry has made me change my mind about this bias. A machine may help push the needle down into the fabric, but it takes an artist and master stitcher to make that machine do all the incredible stitching I saw on these quilts. "Radiance" was absolutely magical, and I think it fed my creative soul simply to look at it.

I didn't come across a teapot or teacup quilt in the museum, but I did find these cute Carol Wilson teapot notecards and a great mousepad by Rebecca Barker in the well-stocked gift shop!

I've seen these Carol Wilson notecards pictured online before but never owned a pack of them. Many times I've mistaken these for an actual quilt pattern when I've seen them, so I was happy to find them and believe they would make a great basis for a quilt. After seeing the museum's amazing display of miniature quilts (under 24 inches), such as these stunning works by George Siciliano, I now have a hankering to make a little bitty quilt, because somehow it seems like a more manageable project (although I would certainly never attempt something as complex as the Siciliano quilts). As you can tell, ideas were popping into my head like crazy just by being around such beautiful and creative quilts!

Several times over the years I have purchased fabric from Hancock's of Paducah, but somehow it didn't really register with me that it was in, well, Paducah, until we got off the interstate and I saw this sign on the way to the quilt museum. My DH was quite accommodating and dropped me off to browse a spell while he visited the riverfront.

I left with some clearance-priced Anna Griffin fabric (the pink rose design), and a fabric I'd never seen before, this J. Wecker Frisch fabric with blue teapots. I was thinking "napkins," but after visiting the quilt museum and fueling my quilt lust I may hold onto it for a while. Decisions, decisions.

We also toured Paducah's scenic riverfront and viewed the wall of murals by Robert Dafford. The murals tell the history of Paducah and are quite impressive!

We left Paducah and on the way to Peoria, Illinois, made a spur-of-the-moment visit to the St. Louis Arch.

I had no idea the huge park leading up to the arch would be so lovely, lush and green!

And why were we headed to Peoria? So my husband could visit the Caterpillar Visitors Center. He humored me with a stop at the quilt museum, so I couldn't begrudge him a stop at the Caterpillar center! Definitely no tea goodies there, but he did leave with a Caterpillar coffee mug, although I think my teapot notecards are the better souvenir. It's always fun to visit new places, and my sweetheart is a lot of fun to travel with!


  1. Enjoyed this post! I feel as though I took a mini vacation this morning without leaving my office. Thanks!!

  2. Oh, how lovely the quilts are. I was blown away by the mini quilt. I have always loved quilts...old, new, Amish, Hawaiian, hand stitched, machine stitched, mini or huge. YOur trip sounds like a wondrous journey. YOu got some fun mementos too. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  3. Uh huh, I make these concessions too. Come to this tea room with me honey and I'd love to go to that car show with you. (not) Give and take...
    The note cards are pretty and the tea themed material will make something nice when you decide what.

  4. What a fun bit of travelling for you two! I love that you each please one another, that's a good thing.

    I received a note card from my sweet friend Dawn on those quilted tea cards - even posted it once. They are such high quality notecards, too!

    Great treasures, great memories, great spouse. Hugs.

  5. What a fun adventure. How I would love visiting the quilt museum too. The notecards are so pretty. Love the teapot printed fabric and napkins would be perfect, but then some of those quilts in the links are quite spectacular too.

  6. How fun! Compromises are always interesting. My husband says every craft or fabric shop needs a tire or tool store next door...but at least he also enjoys antique shops! Looks like you had a fen time. Love the notecards!

  7. I took my parents to the Caterpillar Visitors' Center last week, too! If you're ever in central Illinois again, I highly recommend the tea room at the Mackinaw Depot.

  8. Paducah is om my bucket list, and I think you just moved it up a bit!

  9. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. I've always wanted to go to Paducah for the same reasons.

  10. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip!
    Thanks for sharing with us!

  11. You certainly are having an eclectic journey.

    How nice that you can both indulge your passions for the things that interest you. DH and I have fun sharing the things we love as well.

    What happy memories of a great trip. Will have to stop at the Quilt Museum the next time we pass that way.

    Have a happy day.

    Mary Jane

  12. Looks like a fun trip, Angela! Those quilts are beautiful. As far as big cities go, St. Louis is very nice and the people there are so friendly. Have a great week, Joanie

  13. Can't wait to see what you do with your new material pieces!


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