String-A-Long Quilt Guild Show a Success
March 27 dawns bright and sunny-perfect weather for a jaunt to Valparaiso for the String-a-Long Quilt Guild Spring Show. The best part of the day is that I am sharing it with two of my cousins. Cousin Sue Christman, a 4H-er in her heyday, has never attended a quilt show. Cousin Janet Levihn is exhibiting her latest hand-stitched quilt.
The drive is uneventful as we gab and catch up on what’s happening in our lives.
We swing by Cousin Janet’s condo, where I present her with a gift. Some time ago in my textile searches, I came across a red and green cobbler’s apron. The seams are “pinked” and one would assume it was hand-made. Sewn in the shoulder seam a tag states “it was made by the Pilley Apron Company” in Valparaiso. When I purchased it, I email the Porter County Historical Society, but received no reply. Cousin Janet knows the company is no longer in business. I leave her with the apron and the accompanying feline fur. With any luck, she may be able to glean more information regarding the company, its products and demise.
Soon we pull into the Porter County Expo Center ready to feast our eyes. The entrance area is abuzz with activity —raffles and a silent auction are raising funds and awareness for worthy causes.
We enter the main room and Cousin Sue now knows why Cousin Janet is aching from hanging quilts the day before. The hall is hung with stunning quilts—historic, modern, appliqué and pieced. One looks like a watercolor, some are kind of quirky. Cousin Janet whispers to Cousin Sue. She admonishes her not to touch the quilts. Cousin Sue stuffs her hands in her pockets; the temptation is just too much.
We stand in front of a beautiful appliqué butterfly quilt and Cousin Janet smirks a bit. She points out how the sleeve is sewn on the wrong end of the quilt, all the butterflies are dive-bombing downward instead of soaring up!
Cousin Janet’s quilt “More Pink Than Brown” is wonderful. As the Assistant Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Porter County Memorial Hospital she is very busy, yet takes the time to make quilts and participate in guild projects.
The vendor area offers an array of quilt products and services. Cousin Sue wonders what the massage therapist has to do with quilting. Obviously she has never spent hours hunched over a quilt frame! Eureka! I’ve found a vendor specializing in vintage fabrics, quilts and blocks. I start talking to the vendor, a fellow southpaw and discover she has more vintage fabric than she can use. We plan to meet up in June at the NQA show in Columbus. She gives me a great deal on a set of 18” appliqué butterfly blocks-yellow with black stitching. Five of them will be incorporated into a 9 patch wall hanging. Approaching the next booth, I can’t believe it. The end fabric bolt is a black and yellow paisley-perfect for the back fabric/binding. The credit card gets a workout.
Back at Cousin Janet’s condo, she informs us Baskin-Robbins is just a few blocks away. We decide any calories we consume will surely be burned off by the walk to and from.
All good things must come to an end, so did our day. We bade Cousin Janet farewell with a promise to get back together soon and bring our mothers along too.
I asked Cousin Sue her impression of her first quilt show. She said, “I enjoyed seeing all the different designs from old to modern to very creative/unusual. My favorites are the old patterns and fabrics. I learned a lot from my cousins about quilting and had a great day.”
For more photos from the show go to the “Events” tab.