Thursday, July 16, 2015

Home from Alabama

  Wow! It's been a hectic time since I last posted. Work progressed rapidly on the studio for 3 weeks. It came to a screeching halt when the man doing the mudding put on a coat and never showed up again. Yep. Not good. Something tells me, drywall finishing isn't his thing. Randy tried his hand at it and did well, but he works long hours and hasn't had time to mud in a week. :( I've got calls out for a mudder and am waiting for calls back. It's frustrating because the ceiling guy and floor guys are on hold till the drywall mudding is finished. I sure hope it's done so I can get moved in before school starts next month. I'll show what it currently looks like anyway.

  Before they finished boxing in around some pipes in my studio, I placed my brochure, business car, and a letter to a future owner who will find it while remodeling. I wonder how many years from now that will be.
 This is the area after the pipes are boxed in. There will be 3 white double door cabinets in this space housing my inventory of Orphans of War patterns for sale on my etsy shop.

 This is the long wall between my studio and the family room, with the opening for my french doors.
   Looking through the french doors into hallway. You have to imagine the doors right now. :)

   I was excited to see the hallway ceiling go up. This was before all the walls were dry-walled. I took this standing on the landing at the bottom of the stairs.

   Last week I traveled to Madison, Alabama with my friend, Kayla. I gave a program for the Madison Station Quilt Guild and others from area guilds on Thursday evening. We arrived Wednesday night and after a good night's sleep at the Hampton Inn, we were escorted to a few local quilt shops. Our hostesses from the guild were Leigh, Virginia, and Mary. We had so much fun with them and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the sights in Madison.  We ate lunch at The Jail. It is the original old jailhouse next to the train tracks running through town. The cells are still in place, minus the barred doors, but the barred windows are still in place and you can dine at tables inside the cells if you want. The ladies' room is also in a cell. The food was deliscious, better than the inmates could have hoped for! I had my picture taken in a cell. Before my trip, Randy had purchased and installed a hitch and aluminum "basket" on my car to carry a large storage box with my vending items in it. I had worried about needing reflectors or lights on it and told him, "What if I get to Alabama and Sheriff Bubba arrests me for no reflectors and puts me in jail?" He thought I was foolish, but bought the reflectors to keep IN THE CAR, but not on it, in case I got pulled over. Well, this was too perfect an opportunity to pass up. I had Leigh take my picture in a cell and send it in a text to Randy saying I had been arrested and please send bail money.

  His reply? "Sorry. You're on your own. Write me a letter when you can." He didn't recognize her phone number and thought it was a scam! Note to self, if I'm ever really arrested, make sure the sheriff uses my cell phone or no bail for me. :)

  Here are some pictures I snapped at lunch. Kayla is smiling at Mary telling a story.

   This is Mary taken candidly. :)

   You'd hardly believe you were in a jail, it was decorated so nicely. See the cell in the backgound?

   I had the best time listening to Mary talk with her heavy southern drawl. She can make any one syllable  word into three and it took some effort to figure out what she said. I mee.a. een, really! We passed a roadside stand selling peaches and I asked her how she said , peaches, expecting it would be at least 4-6 syllables. She said, Peaches! I couldn't believe it, mean gets 3 syllables and peaches got two. She took a lot of good natured ribbing from me about her accent. What a fun day. By the time of my program that evening I felt like I had friends in the audience. As the audience arrived, a lady came up and introduced herself. She has been a long time Follower of my blog and came to meet me in person. It was so fun to meet a Follower face to face. Here is a picture of Follower, Barb Black with me before the program.

   I wanted to make sure I didn't get overheated in Alabama, so I wanted a light-weight dress. I went online and bought a silk dress from I Do Declare, very reasonably priced. It was plain except for a wide ruffled hemline and a wide black sash at the waist. I bought black lace, black antique-looking buttons, and supplies for a new matching bonnet. With the studio in progress, I only finished it the day before we left!  I also bought a new 5-hoop underskirt for it. I liked how it all turned out. Kayla took a few pictures that night and I'll share a couple.

  The Madison Station Quilters meet at the Madison Court House in the court room. We weren't allowed in to set up until court recessed for the night! I spoke in front of the judge's platform. That was a new experience for me. I usually speak at churches, auditoriums, or gymnasium's.

  It took Kayla and I 12 hours (with breaks) to get to Madison and 3 days to get home! We took the "scenic route" with quilt shops in Tennessee, Indiana, and Illinois. :) I'm a "fly by the seat of my pants" type of traveler. Lucky for me , Kayla is a planner. She had several spreadsheets of quilt shops to visit with addresses, what they specialized in, how many bolts, how long to get there, AND she had called to talk to the owners to make sure they had Civil War fabric.  She also is fearless in traffic and enjoys driving in big cities. I only drove the first 3 hours of the entire trip! Did I say she is my very dear friend? I wanted to take pictures of all the shops to share on my blog. After negative comments from a couple owners about copyrights, (I only wanted to take general pictures to show the "flavor" of a shop NOT closeups of books or patterns!) I have only one shop to tell you about. The ones who were overly worried about privacy won't get a mention from me. The best one we visited and the one I plan to return to when I can was, The Village Mercantile, in Booneville, Indiana. The owner Betty Cummings was gracious and loved the idea of appearing in my blog. Her shop is fabulous and full of eye candy appealing to a wide range of quilters. She has tons of samples hanging thruout her shop and antiques, especially sewing machines, to set the mood. She was a kindred spirit as she loves all things Civil War like me. She and her husband travel to Eldon, Iowa every year, on horse related business. That is only 35-40 miles west of here and they have to go right past or through Mt. Pleasant on the way. I told her she could just stay with me while her husband attends to business in Eldon. I hope she takes me up on it. Her shop is in an old 2 story brick building with a loft area for classes and SALE fabrics. I found two bolts up there that I finished off for her. :) These pictures don't do it justice. Please, visit in person to see it's bountiful treasure. You won't be disappointed.

  The first thing you see inside the front door is a collection of children's antique sewing machines. NOT FOR SALE. I asked. ;-0

    My favorite...the Civil War fabrics and patterns of course! She has tons. I loved the feathered star sample in the foreground (bought the pattern), the poison green and cream large star sample, (bought the pattern) but will make mine in blue and gray. I won't tell you how many yards of CW fabric I bought, but I'll tell you she had some I'd never seen and some old favorites I was out of, and some at amazing prices. Let's just say I left HAPPY.

  This is the view from the upstairs loft. Yummidy, right? I loved her stencilling on the brick walls.
  A cozy corner in the Civil War area.

   Meet Betty Cummings, the friendly and gracious owner of the Village Mercantile, about to cut my second or was it third batch of fabric? She assured me what happens at the Mercantile stays at the Mercantile. Thank Heavens.  She is petite and stood on a stool for this picture. :) Betty, I told you I'd tell them that!   
   Here are a few more pictures to tempt you to plan  a road trip to Booneville.

  So that's what I've been up to! Hopefully I''l have finished studio pictures to share soon. Until then, Keep Stitchin!