Friday, May 15, 2009

Putzing in Paducah (Kentucky, that is)

Boy I thought the trailer was going to float away last night - it had rained steadily all night long and into the morning hours. We hung around the campground till it stopped raining (after lunch) and went exploring in town.

We found the historic part of town easily enough. The flood walls have murals painted on them - all 42 of them! And I took pictures of every one of them! Here are only a few of them.

We walked down main street of the charming old part of town. The old buildings had a lot of character, and I bet the town was really something in it's hey day. But with the economic downturn, it looked like Middle America was hurting pretty much like everywhere else in this country. The streets were fairly empty for a Tuesday afternoon.

But I bet during the week of April 22-25, this place was hopping. That was the 25th annual American Quilter's Society Show, held at the National Quilt Museum right here in Paducah. They had on display the past 25 years winners in the "Best in Show" category from all over the world. We had not planned on going through the exhibit at first. The campground owner told us to be sure to stop at the museum and to go into the conference room to see the "wooden quilt" called "Floating" by Fraser Smith. That was free of charge. So Jim and I thought, "What the heck, we're here." You can go into the museum's gift shop and the conference room for free. Before entering the conference room, there is a painted block of wood on a stand that is a sample of the wooden quilt.

It is available for you to touch it, take pictures, etc. Because once you enter the room, you cannot take pictures of the quilt. It really is a good idea to let the public touch the piece of wood, because believe me when I say that you would NOT believe the quilt is made out of wood when you see it hanging on the wall. It has curves or waves in it like a regular cloth quilt would. It really is unbelievable. I was able to find a picture of the quilt on the artist's web site. I got his permission to show the photos here. But I'd recommend you to visit his website to see all the unbelievable sculptures that he has done.

We browsed the gift shop where they had many delightful items I could easily have spent my money on. I felt guilty for even being in the museum since I can barely sew on a button! The cashier asked if we were planning to go into the museum. We explained that we only came to see the wooden quilt. She began gushing over the beautiful quilts that were in the museum, explaining how they currently have the "Best of Show" from the last 25 years. She whipped up a book and flipped through the pages, showing me pictures of the quilts. She was very convincing, and a few minutes later Jim and I were entering the hushed gallery with the magnificent quilts hanging on display. Some were hand stitched, others stitched by machine. All were beautiful. They came from all over the world. Best of Show prize? $25,000 The hitch? They have to leave the quilt with the museum. Do you believe that some people actually don't want the money? I guess after all that work, and hundreds of hours, they want to keep it for themselves. There were quilts from Australia, Japan, Korea, but mostly from the States.

For more information on the National Quilt Museum, visit

We had an enjoyable time viewing the quilts. Afterwards we walked down to the old fashioned ice cream shop and munched on a waffle cone with butter pecan ice cream. Yum!

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