Even on vacation we writers are gathers of information. My destination was Paducah, Kentucky home of the American Quilters Society Annual Quilt show which draws quilters from around the globe. I’d never been and was excited to attend; to view the quilts lucky enough to be allowed into the juried show. I wanted to see the quilts, talk to their makers-submerse myself into this world of fabric and artistry.
What I came away with was a life lesson; a reminder of how resilient we humans are in difficult situations. Given less than 48 hours notice that the show could not be held in the convention center, organizers hustled to find places where quilts could be hung, vendors housed, classes held. Not a small task and yes there were obvious glitches, but the show went on as planned…well you know.
I started looking beyond the temporary buildings, the make-shift arrangements. What I saw impressed me, not only with the hustle of a show as large as this one, but with the people going about the business of everyday life.
As a first timer I have no basis for comparison with previous shows. My impressions are of people rising above the circumstances, extraordinary circumstances. The people I came in contact with, the Kentuckians who call this area home, it was business as usual. Only in small overheard snippets with co-workers did you catch a glimpse of their lives and worries; the quiet pride of survivors going about daily life.
I started to see characters. There was the five year old brought by her mom, grandmother and great grandmother to select fabric for her first project (pink kittens with lime green bows) imagine the possibilities of that story-quilting passed from one generation to another.
How about the adventures of the women from Holland? Japan? France? How would flying into a flooded area affect their vacation? What where their impressions? How about the men of the quilting world?
Once I got started down that road I saw story ideas everywhere. That is not to say I didn’t fondle the fabric or stand in awe of the quilts, award winning or not, it simply enhanced my experience.
Life is good