Tuesday's big trip to Ashland for the quilt guild engagement allowed me an ideal chance to connect with Dee, a dear friend from my early teaching career. We very likely were hired as English teachers at the same board meeting in August of 1979. While my career kept me at the same school for my entire career, Dee's veered off into several other districts and even into another career path as a librarian.
Dee has recently retired and is getting more deeply into quilting, particularly baby quilts as, like me, friends of our children are having babies. Above Dee is pictured holding one of those babes on the receiving end of one of those quilts.
When this speaking engagement came up, Dee was more than willing to take on the task of entertaining me with fun places to shop and eat. Our lunch stop was a beautiful restaurant called Bella Bleu's, situated on a lovely lakeside property. We relaxed and talked nonstop, catching up with each other. We managed to cover lots of topics - books, quilts, travels, children.
Our shopping excursion took us to the nearby village of Shiloh, location of Country Fabrics. The area is heavily populated by Amish and Mennonite communities. The quilt shop is a renovated barn, moved from another location to this, massive in size, and filled with fabrics and a wide assortment of dry-goods and home-goods items. There was even a shelf of beautiful Polish Pottery for sale.
The photos above are just a random sampling of pictures taken while shopping at Country Fabrics. You can see the immensity of the barn in the top picture, which shows that magnificent ceiling. Displays and class quilts enticed shoppers and the staff was super helpful. Ruth is shown in the bottom picture cutting one of my selections the old-fashioned way - with sharp scissors.
And here is what I bought. The Charm Packs of Larkspur by 3 Sisters/Moda will join the small collection of Larkspur that I already have, so this will enhance. I found some solid yellow which I hope to use in finishing off my Village quilt. The Judy Rothermel fabric will be put to use on Lunch Box Social, a Kim Diehl pattern I plan to start soon. Those tiny calico prints just appealed to me in the moment. I have begun collecting similar pieces of late, so these three half-yard cuts will join those and await some future quilting inspiration.
Spending the day with Dee was absolutely delightful. All of us, I hope, have certain friends with whom, after months or years of infrequent contact, without missing a beat, can pick right back up as if no time at all has passed since last visiting. This is the nature of our friendship. We had hoped to include Sharon P. in the day's activities, but circumstances for her did not permit it. We do, however, plan to make that happen before the summer's end. A day similar to this would be perfection.
Hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!
Happy Quilting, Friends!