Thursday, August 4, 2011

National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY

Very ornate building

Yesterday morning, the local weather man warned us that we were in for one of the hottest days this summer.  Here in Paducah, it would feel like 111° before the end of the day.  We got an early start because we wanted to spend some time in the downtown area before I went to the museum.  I took only a few photos of the area.  We had to give up the fight against the heat and escaped into a restaurant for lunch and air condition.
In front of the museum
After lunch, I went to the National Quilt Museum.  Sorry, no photos this time.  The museum has a strict policy against photos.  I did not ask why.  I was a little disappointed in not being able to share the quilts with you.  After viewing all the detailed work, the meticulous stitches, and the stories, I have to tell you I was on such a “quilt high” that even the heat did not get to me when I left.  Ahhh, it was amazing.  Many of the quilts I have seen in the American Quilter magazine, but to see them up-close and to see all the tiny stitches.  Beyond words.  Well, I can say this:  looking at the quilts in a magazine does not compare to actually seeing them in person or is it cloth?  My favorites were the best hand workmanship in the Baltimore and the Renaissance quilts.  If visiting the National Quilt Museum is on your “must do” list – bump it up to the top.  It is worth the visit.
Quilt in a Day Shop
Quilt in a Day Shop
I walked to Eleanor Burns’ Quilt in a Day shop.  I had to have a fabric fix after being inspired by breathtaking quilts.  As soon as I walked in the door, I was greeted by friendly employees and they immediately told me to take as many pictures as I wanted.  Really?  Most quilt shop employees tend to give me the look of “I better not catch you taking pictures”.  Instead, they are pointing out quilts above my head and towards the back and saying take as many as you like!  Then they told me something that nearly  floored me.  All fabric, except for Eleanor’s fabric was only $5 a yard! Amazing!!  I took pictures and I found fabric to match the old Dresden Plates for a Project Linus quilt.  Darn, if I had known about Eleanor’s shop and her prices, I would have waited on buying fabric.  I would have kept a list and bought it all yesterday.

I wasn’t quite done when I left Eleanor’s shop.  Oh no!  No trip to Paducah is complete until I went to Hancocks of Paducah.  I have ordered from them for years and I had to see the store at least once.  Row after row after long row of fabric bolts.  There were many employees cutting fabric for orders.  Others were moving up and down the rows with shopping carts overflowing with bolts of fabric for more orders.  It was overwhelming.  I couldn’t make a decision on what fabric to buy.  Do I want to gather fabric together for another quilt that is in the planning stage?  Or should I just buy a couple of yards and call it good?  Arrgh! So I did the unthinkable – I did not buy any fabric just some cotton batting.

Well, I learned something from this trip.  When planning a trip to a large quilting community with lots of large quilt shops – have a wish list ready to go!....and a bigger budget.


  1. The quilt shows around here have no photo signs everywhere. I'm sure it is so they can sell their own books but the photos in those books are not so good as to color and don't show detail. Glad you got the first-hand experiencs. I am such a big tight-wad that I don't buy any fabric unless there is a plan and NEED for it. (but I do love to window shop and dream)

  2. Hi Julie, I got the feeling they were worried about people copying the quilt with photos. I'm not that good myself, but I'm sure others have that talent.
    I'm getting better about keeping a list as I work on projects. I kept most of my smaller cuts and only a few are over 2 yards long. When I finish a top, I usually need to buy material for the backing and binding.


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