Yesterday was very eventful! While Noel was sleeping (poor guy misses out on all the fun when he works night shift), I took a little trip up to Pryor, OK to check out 2 of my favorite things: Quilts and Cheese. (Ok, maybe Noel wasn't so upset about missing this particular day out.)
First, the cheese! We had passed by this shop more than once during our explorations of the area, and I was intrigued:
The Amish Cheese House? Hmmmm....So yesterday I went there! Very pretty on the inside, with lots of different types of homemade jellies, relishes, breads, and of course, cheese:
I selected 2 cheeses: a smoked Swiss and a garlic herb yogurt cheese. They were very reasonable price-wise, particularly for gourmet cheese!
When I got up to the counter, I realized why this was called the Amish Cheese House - the young women behind the counter were dressed in traditional Amish clothing. So I asked! The cashier told me that they have 4 separate Amish communities in the area, and each community has about 25-30 families. I told her I was only familiar with the Amish communities in Pennsylvania, and had no idea that they had groups out here as well. She answered my questions very graciously, and I got to feel good supporting a traditional way of life. Plus I got cheese. That can't be overstated.
I also attended a quilt show in Pryor. This particular show is held every 2 years by the Pryor Patchers (http://www.pryorpatchers.com/). I had decided not to attend the huge international quilt show in Houston a few weeks ago because of (1) traffic and (2) zillions of people. This show seemed much more my speed! Also they had pumpkin pie.
Now if you're unfamiliar with quilt shows, they're impressive. Quilting is made up of 2 basic components: Piecing, which is sewing small pieces of fabric together to make designs, and Quilting, which is the process of sewing multiple layers of fabric (the pieced top, the warm middle layers, and the back of the quilt) together to create a denser fabric/blanket. There are a million variations on this, however. A quilt can be pieced but not quilted, or quilted but not pieced. There can be appliques, embroidery, painting, all kinds of different approaches to manipulating fabrics. This particular quilt show had multiple categories, ranging from Machine Pieced (meaning the small pieces of fabric in the design were sewn together with a sewing machine) & Professionally Quilted (the pieced quilt is taken to a professional quilter who sews the layers together on a huge quilting machine) all the way to the most time consuming: Hand Pieced & Hand Quilted. They had a category for My First Quilt too, which is quite fun to see.
Anyway, on to the photos!
This quilt is a traditional bear claw pattern, but the quilter added a special touch by sewing a bear applique on the top left corner. Very cute idea and a beautifully done quilt!
This quilt is an unusual black & white design done in fabric of old scenes of New York City. It's surrounded by old fabrics for men's shirts and mourning fabrics for dresses. I loved it.
This next one is called America the Beautiful, and represents the different vistas that you'd see in the US. I particularly like the bald eagles near the top - very unique.
Ok, get out your hankies for this one. The quilter relates the story of this quilt. It was designed by her and her sister after her sister's husband's death. The sister wanted to make a quilt to commemorate their lives together as part of her grieving process. They designed it together, incorporating memories of their married life, such as their trips to the beach, their dog Tippy, etc. The woman represents the sister, and she's releasing a butterfly that represents her husband's soul. They were well on their way working on this quilt, when the sister was diagnosed with a malicious type of cancer. She died before the quilt could be finished. The quilter promised her sister before she died that she'd finish the quilt. I think she did a magnificent job:
On to something a bit lighter now. This is one of my favorites from the show. The pattern is called Drunkard's Path, and you can see how wobbly someone would be walking to create a path like that! It's a very traditional pattern, but this quilter has also incorporated appliqued flowers into the white spaces. Very pretty! Oh, and this one was done ENTIRELY BY HAND. Helloooooo carpal tunnel!
This is the Best In Show quilt, a crazy quilt done with meticulous attention to the tone of the colors. Lovely!
I was also very impressed with this one:
Isn't it fun? Now I took a detail shot of this one, because I wanted everyone to see how the roosters were made. (Noel was particularly impressed with this one):
Cool, huh? Each feather is a different fabric, giving these birds some very fabulous plumage. :)
Now in case you were looking at these and thinking "There's no way I could EVER do anything like that!"....I was right there with you. And then felt even more humbled when I saw this quilt:
Beautiful, isn't it? Fun, kind of chaotic but it goes together nicely. This was in the My First Quilt category. And wanna know what's even scarier?
It was made by a 10 year old girl.
There were multiple entries by children: a doll quilt by an 8 year old, and a cute wall hanging quilt by a 9 year old boy. Humbling, indeed!
There were also lots of fabric shops and vendors at this show! They had set up different rooms as little temporary shops and were selling fabric (and even yarn!). I was soooooo tempted. But! I was strong! I was an oak! After all, I don't need any more fabric right now, right?
And then they did a drawing for a door prize, and guess what?
I WON some fabric! Take THAT, self-restraint!