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Art in Paducah

Museum Statues

Museum Statues

Paducah is an art-centric community.  Statues are sprinkled throughout the town, in front of restaurants, shops, and other establishments, supplemented by an abundance of flowering plants.  We were there right at the peak of the dogwood blooming season, although I didn’t manage to capture a good image of them.  Azaleas also were prominent along residential areas.

In 1999,Robert Dafford completed the “1873 Bird’s Eye View” of Paducah from the Ohio river.

The Floodwall that protects historic downtown Paducah from the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers overflowing their banks includes three city blocks of painted murals that capture important moments in Paducah’s history.  The murals were designed & painted by Robert Dafford and the Dafford Muralists of Lafayette, Louisiana. The project began in 1996; the last panel was completed in 2007. Each mural panel has an interpretative plaque with a short history lesson on the scene depicted in the panel. Each panel also has its own spotlight making the mural walk an enjoyable evening stroll and tourist attraction.  In addition to enjoying 45 attractive works of art, taking the mural wall tour serves as a multi-media history lesson on Paducah and NW Kentucky.



In 1938 the Ohio River froze solid completely across bringing barge traffic to a halt but providing a winter playground for Paducah residents and school children freed from school by the freezing weather.

Below are images of a few of the murals.    All mural images were taken by Mary Chappelle.



The thriving community


Paducah, the hub of river activity in the inland waterways, has been the center of the river industry for decades. As the 2000 painting season ended, the river section of the murals which span an entire city block, began to tell the story of life on the rivers. Several of the new murals are located directly in front of the River Center which includes the River Heritage Museum, the Center for Maritime Education, and Seamen’s Church Institute and include the Standing Watch View From the Pilot House, the Christening of the Eleanor, and the Visit of the Three “Queens” to Paducah. (The American Queen, the Delta Queen and the Mississippi Queen.)

Paducah is a city rich in its cultural heritage.  Although we saw only a portion of the art it has to offer, there was one final surprise in store for us.

Angel of Market Street

Angel of Market Street

We saw the ‘angel’ as we were parking in the downtown area.  Following a wonderful lunch, we returned to the rental car to find her still in place, posing in various positions.   This image was taken through the windshield of the car.

Next time you are within a six-hour drive of Paducah, it is definitely worth a detour through history.  Personally, I think it is wonderful at any time of year.






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National Quilt Museum

THEN!  On to the main reason for our trip!

National Quilt Museum

National Quilt Museum

The National Quilt Museum in downtown Paducah – where two of my quilts are proudly hanging.  This weekend is the big American Quilter’s Society Show, when the Museum and everything else in Paducah is mobbed!  But we were there one week prior when all was quiet.  Here’s what it looks like this weekend.

National Quilt Museum on Saturday, April 27, 2013

National Quilt Museum on Saturday, April 27, 2013

I snagged this image from their Facebook page. It was titled “Random photo of the Museum Lobby at 10:00 a.m.   It makes me really appreciate the peaceful aura that pervaded the previous Saturday.

We visit my quilts, Azimuth and Cosmic Parade

We visit my quilts, Azimuth and Cosmic Parade

Here we are posing in front of Azimuth, the largest quilt I’ve ever made.  It was entirely hand stitched between 1984 and 1989, and an original design measuring 110″ x 110″.  I can think of no greater honor than for it to hang in the National Quilt Museum.  Although photos are not allowed in the museum, the curator kindly let me take photos of Azimuth and Cosmic Parade.  I just love the way they hang side-by-side, showing my early work and my later art quilt style.

Museum Curator, Judy Schwender and I with my quilts.

Museum Curator, Judy Schwender and me with my quilts.

Curator, Judy Schwender, gave us a personal tour of the collections on display.  With about 450 quilts in the permanent collection, each is handled only with gloves and packed carefully into an acid-free box with acid-free tissue padding the fold when they are not on display.  It was surprisingly emotional for me when I saw them both hanging in the main gallery, each carefully lighted so all the quilting shows up.  It was then that I truly realized I would never again be able to touch them that I nearly burst into tears (of pride).   I am so happy that they will be properly cared for and appreciated by quilters for years to come.

Cosmic Parade, which is featured on the cover of my book Stellar Journeys

Cosmic Parade, which is featured on the cover of my book Stellar Journeys

We spent the whole afternoon at the museum.  My quilts are in very good company; some of the best quilt artists in the world have their work displayed there.  Special exhibits right now include the quilts of Emiko Toda Loeb and Regina Alexandra.  Emika Toda Loeb’s complex quilts are composed of Log Cabin blocks and are usually two-sided.  Regina Alexandra quilts reflect the spare sensibilities of the Modern Quilt Movement.  Another special exhibit is the “Oh, WOW, Collection of miniature quilts.”  We did say “Oh, Wow!” more than once.

Another gallery featured new quilts from an old favorite – Jacob’s Ladder.  There also was a carved wooden quilt by Fraser Smith that was so realistic, none of us believed it was wood until we saw the back.  You must check out his work!

In short, the National Quilt Museum is definitely a must-see destination for all quilters.  I am glad that my work is a part of the collection.

Flags along the walkway to the Museum


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Girlfriends’ Weekend in Paducah – Part One

Last weekend, three of my good quilting girlfriends and I set off to Paducah.   It all happened when two of my quilts were accepted into the National Quilt Museum in early March and I learned they would be hanging in the main gallery.  Michele immediately announced, “I want to go!”   Mary and Cynthia also thought it would be fun as neither of them had ever before been to Paducah and the Museum!  So, we set about planning a girlfriends’ weekend.  It was most economical to fly to St. Louis, so that became our first stop!

Gateway Arch

Gateway Arch

Our first stop after leaving the airport that afternoon, was the great park down along the Mississippi River.  None of the other girls had seen the impressive Gateway Arch that stands as the iconic monument symbolizing the westward expansion of the United States.  This architectural wonder that rises 630 ft. in the air commemorates the great journey of Lewis and Clark, begun 200 years ago.

Looking up at Gateway Arch

Interestingly, Cynthia just happens to be an architect, so we looked at the Arch and all of the surrounding buildings with new clarity and understanding!  It’s amazing what a ‘personal-pocket-architect-guide’ can do to increase one’s appreciation for structure and composition.  We had intended to stay downtown that first night and seek out the best restaurants.  So . . .

Girls at Bogarts

Girls at Bogarts Barbecue, the best in St. Louis! ( L-R, Mary Chappelle, Michele Hymel, Cynthia Figueroa-McInteer)

St. Louis is best known for its barbecue!  And, according to Trip Advisor, the Best of the Best in the downtown area is Bogarts Smokehouse !  In a little hole in the wall building just south of downtown, they only cook a certain amount each day and when it’s gone, it’s gone.  They stay open until they run out of food each night, which could be anywhere between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.  We arrived at 6:00 p.m.

Ribs from Bogarts

I inquired about our best meal choice and they said RIBS!   So a half slab of ribs it was for most of us.  Melt-in-your-mouth juiciness and falling apart moist, they were simply delicious!
By the way, we got the final order of ribs for that night!

Stay Tuned for Chapter Two – On to Paducah!

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Calling all Travelers who Love Fabric!

Join me Down Under in 2014!

Quilting and Textile Tour of New Zealand

April 11-26, 2014

Pre-tour Extension to South Island


Tour 2014 Graphic

Want to travel down under?  I am so excited to be leading another textile and quilting tour of New Zealand.  We had SUCH fun in 2011!    Join me  April 11-26, 2014 with a pre-tour extension to Fiordland and Milford Sound.  We will have a blast!

For the full itinerary, please go to my tour page.


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More from Quilting Adventures!

Here, as promised, but a little late, are photos of class projects from my one week workshop at Quilting Adventures in the Hill Country of Texas at the T-Bar-M Resort and Conference Center.


Peggy Fetterhoff SandT

“Women in Fabric” was designed and stitched by Peggy Fetterhoff who brought this great quilt for show and tell!
Jana Drane

From my class, this design was created by Jana Drane! It looks to be a beauty when it’s done!

Betty Gilliam

Here’s another image from my class at QA:  Betty Gilliam, from Stillwater, OK, wanted to interpret a photo that she took at Cabo San Lucas.  We figured out a “rock” filler that works for foundation piecing for the effects on the cliff!  Good job, Betty.  I can’t wait to see the finished quilt!
Susan Womack
Another design from class at QA – this one by Susan Womack.
Peggy Fetterhoff

And, the final design photo from my class at QA:  This by Peggy Fetterhoff.  I can’t wait to see the photos when all these quilts are done!  It was a great class!

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Really Exotic Travel!

Well! I caught a bit of flack from some of my fellow New Mexico quilters for my last post. In it I mentioned how I wanted to go to the Space Camp in Huntsville Alabama and that a trip to space would really top off my year of exotic travel. Well, they reminded me that southern New Mexico is home to the Spaceport America, from which Virgin Galactic actually will fly people into space! A number of Hollywood celebrities have already booked reservations.



SpacePort NM

Their beautiful facility is in southern New Mexico near the White Sands Missile Range, which played a big role in the US space program and not far from Roswell, home of the only documented alien visit. Currently bus trips of the Spaceport facility are offered, until operations ramp up to the first flights. So, a little friendly tourist rivalry between New Mexico and Alabama. A trip to space? Or a trip to Space Camp?


But, back to the wonderful quilts from the Heritage Quilters of Huntsville, Alabama:


Beverly Penaranda Huntsville AL

My favorite part of every guild meeting is Show and Tell. This original design by Beverly Penaranda, guild president, was certainly eye-catching!


Elaine Poplin2 Huntsville AL

Also from Show and Tell at the Huntsville Heritage Quilters, this fascinating quilt by Elaine Poplin!


Fran Stinson

I love the Wonky Houses by Fran Stinson.


Judy Ballance traditional

Some members brought more than one quilt. Here’s a traditional design by Judy Ballance.


Judy Ballance halloween

And here’s Judy Ballance’s original and way fun Halloween Design! What a wonderful, creative group this is. I had a blast with the Heritage Quilters of Huntsville. Thanks for showing me a good time!

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Greetings from Huntsville Alabama

Greetings from Huntsville Alabama where I taught for the Heritage Quilters Of Huntsville. What a delightful group of ladies to teach and hang out with!

Judy Ballance Huntsville Al
From Friday’s class, Judy Ballance, finished one wedge of her star right after lunch!

Judy Ballance Huntsville AL end of class
And by the end of class, Judy Ballance had finished all of the wedges of her star! Good Job, Judy!

Sheila_Calvert_Huntsville AL
Shelia Calvert showed up in class Saturday with her nearly finished quilt from my Cartwheel Constellation that was published in American Quilter Magazine. Shelia is hand quilting her masterpiece! Good job! I can’t wait to see the finished product.

Elaine Poplin Huntsville AL
Also on Saturday, Elaine Wick Poplin dropped in at class to show off her “Rhapsody in Blue”, 2005. She began the quilt with a medallion she designed from my Stellar Journeys book. Elaine drafted the flying geese while on bedrest with her soon-to-be baby in 2004. She hand-quilted the medallion and geese on the background and then free-motion quilted with metallic threads on her domestic machine. It hangs upside down from the original plan because she likes it better that way. She uses the quilt in her high school trigonometry class to teach the subject. Very cool!

Huntsville is a delightful town in northern Alabama, nearly in Tennessee, only a few miles from the state line. Technology, space, and defense industries have a major presence in Huntsville, including the Army’s Redstone Arsenal, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and Cummings Research Park. Most important of all – it’s the home of Space Camp – the ultimate camp experience. I always wanted to go to Space Camp, or send my children there, but it never worked out. Did you know that you are NEVER too old for Space Camp! I just found out that they have adult and family and corporate team building camps. Since this is my year for exotic travel, maybe I’ll include space in the itinerary!

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A Visit to Jinny Beyer Studio

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Virginia was a Sunday morning visit to Jinny Beyer’s Studio in Great Falls, Virginia.  The visit was possible thanks to Diane Kirkhart, my hostess, who works at the studio.

Autumn leaves at Jinny Beyer Studio

My new friends, Diane and Betty Osweiler, welcomed me to the studio.

The interior of the shop is filled with special treats and ALL of the fabric is  Jinny’s line of fabrics produced by RJR Fabrics.  So I as thrilled to see . . .

One whole wall of fabric

And . .  .

Another whole wall of border prints!

Everything you could ever ask for in borders!

“DaVinci”, one of Jinny’s patterns.

A wide variety of finished quilts and quilt tops graced the walls of the old building.  In addition to the quilts, fabrics and notions, Jinny carries some of her favorite gift items, like hand made wooden boxes with beautiful inlaid quilt patterns, exquisite embroidery scissors, and other trinkets that she hand selects.

Jinny’s hand stitching

Diane showed me several quilt tops in progress, including this one that is hand stitched by Jinny.

Unnamed new quit by Jinny Beyer

Here’s the front of the quilt top that Jinny hand stitched.

Many thanks to Diane for making this visit possible!  Next time you are in the Washington, DC area, be sure to make the Jinny Beyer Studio a destination!


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