My mom and I have started a recent tradition. Each April, just as the flowers start to pop their heads out of the warm ground, we take a Fabric Road Trip four hours south to the charming city of Paducah, Kentucky. Paducah is the home to the National Quilt Museum and every April, the American Quilter's Society starts its quilt show season in its hometown. Nestled next to the Ohio River, with cobblestone streets and enough southern charm to choke a chicken, it's the perfect place to spend a few days digging through literal mountains of fabric. The entire city turns itself into one enormous quilt store. Every empty store front and back room is rented out to traveling fabric salespeople. It's quite a sight to see. The city is easily walkable from one end to the other. With a cool breeze coming off of the river and the Spring sun beating down on you, it may very well be what heaven is like for a crafter.
The Paducah Convention Center is filled with thousands of quilts from all over the world. They are works of art made of strips of fabric and miles of thread. I'm always overwhelmed with how much patience and time went into each piece. I'm fascinated with how many of the quilts come out of Japan. I wonder what a Japanese quilt store looks like? I think I need to hop a plane and find out!
After the quilts and the $3/yard fabric, my favorite part of the trip is eating a Kirchoff's. It's such an amazing place. The bakery is heavenly. The food is delicious. If you want to eat what is perhaps the best sandwich in America, go to Kirchoffs and order the Big Lou. Sit outside in the courtyard drink some iced tea, enjoy the splendor of the ENORMOUS trees that line the street and thank God you are alive.
This year I scored 27 yards of fabric to turn into animals, make a new summer dress and to tackle a few other crafty endeavors. But mostly, it's such a nice time to spend with my mom and my second mother, Ruth. We eat, talk sewing, soak up some sunshine and I listen to them laugh. I can't wait until next year.