Looking for Quilting Inspiration on the road
If you had been watching my Facebook or Instagram feeds last week, you would have seen a series of photos post, seemingly random, all with the hashtag theme #inspirationiseverywhere. And I believe it is, but the truth is that those photos weren’t nearly as random as they seemed, and they’re a good jumping off point for this week’s blogpost.
I was traveling with my husband, and when I do that, I don’t post that we’re out and about until we’re home. There’s no sense in tempting fate. The photos actually have a theme to them – they come from hotels we have found along the way. Would you believe that the photo above is a shower curtain from LaQuinta hotels – I’ve actually seen it twice – once in RI, and this past week in North Carolina.
This trip was one planned to take a couple of things off my husband’s and my collective bucket lists…North Carolina was where you’ll find both Biltmore Estates in Asheville, and the Tail of the Dragon, which is an 11 mile stretch of road straddling the North Carolina and Tennessee border, and which has within in, 311 curves. We had a wonderful trip, and I do believe we have had our share of driving. We have a house rule that when we travel, we don’t publish photos until we’re home just out of an abundance of caution. The hotel carpet theme is one which serves me well – they ARE inspirational! – and a great decoy.
The trip had been planned for months, and yet I was looking around for handwork/projects to take with me on the plane and in our downtime on the road. This vacation was a success for us because it gave both of us some of each. Mike tends to crave action, while I am pulled towards the ‘good read and quiet time’ activities, so I knew it had to be something that would serve both options. Here’s what I took with me…
Magazines – these are from earlier this year, and I had picked them up for client work…but not really done any deep dives into them. The trip took us two short plane rides down, and this was the perfect time to dive into them. I found a couple of really good ‘stretch those creative muscle’ articles written by wonderful teachers, and some interesting perspectives to think about. I’ll be pulling these two out again for future reference.
I don’t do a lot of handwork as a rule, and I took this opportunity to change that a bit and ‘up my game’…at 30000 feet, I am an optimist. These two booklets have been in my stash for a while, and (again) a ton of information and reference materials in a short, compact space. How we learned before the Internet. Good things to have, and I will keep them handy. In the bottom of the photo (the blue handle) are the portable scissors I take with me when I travel. I haven’t had any issues yet with TSA, and they are sharp enough to work with cutting. The blue fabric handle piece holds needles, pins and a needle threader. Oh, and always pack your readers…ALWAYS.
I have had a set or perle 08 threads that I picked up from Global Artisans Designs (disclaimer – I do work for them on their media side) in the spring, and I decided that this would be a great chance to play with them. I drafted a free form leaf (badly, but enough to help me accomplish what I wanted to do), grabbed a hoop and headed for the airport. I had not worked with perle08 before, but I really like how this came out. I’ll be continuing to work on this as i work on the piece. Stay tuned.
In past trips, I’ve always tucked into my phone information about local quilt shops, and made them a destination. This trip was different, but we found ourselves with some time while we were in Asheville, and we had a chance to stop at Asheville Cotton Co (which, through the miracles of modern technology, we found was only a few miles from our hotel).
The shop is packed and had great displays of seasonal fabrics along with a lot of beautiful quilts on the walls. The woman working there was a great Ambassador for the city of Asheville, and we had a nice visit as I shopped. When I go to shops where I travel, I always want to pick up things that I don’t see locally, and I believe my exact words were something along the lines of “looking for your sharpest, brightest most putrid green color – and I found what I was looking for in her Halloween display. Who knew?
What do you look for when you travel outside the area?