Sunday, 17 August 2008

Birmingham, Baby!

Yep I’m in Birmingham. At the Festival of Quilts. Alone. Well, ok, with 25,000 quilters, but this mom is off duty. That makes for such silence, I mumble aloud and my own voice makes me jump.

I hadn’t intended it that way, but between you and me, it’s nice.

Many months ago I booked a double room and sought out the girl power on our island to join me on this quilting venture. In an email I invited anyone who might be willing. Lots of sauce, but no bites, funny enough. Oh, but, I was close. The email subject line said, “booked a hotel room, anyone interested in coming to Birmingham with me?” (ok, it really said, “come play with me in Birmingham”) I fired it off one morning. Apparently the power of one girl was actually being powered through her husband’s email. His office email. In a male-dominated financial work place. Oh yes. That email made the rounds.

And still I’m solo, much to the dismay of the lads and their overactive imagination in that bank of-you-know-what-country.

Maybe next year boys, cause this year’s trip is biz, and the computer has yet to power down. Though, it did take me donkeys’ years to fall asleep last night. No Goodnight [Mr.]Moon reading, no excessive thirst, no 32 trips to the potty, not even one imaginary spider or bedbug to shoo away. Heck, I didn’t know what to do with all these covers and without DH how do I play tug-o-war?

Alas, the exhibition is wonderful. So much eye candy. Both in quilts and vendor stands. First, the beauty: the quilts. Wow. Such inspiration. I rarely take photographs, but my daughters have become so interested—I blame Mary Poppins VI, she’s finished her first quilt top and asking for more. It’s contagious, people.

So there I am taking photos of the sparkling mermaid, crazy pieced pigs, and the pink cow, my personal favourite. Funny, how when you’re alone, you have more time to capture the details and remember your favs. Apart from early business meetings and interviews, my unaccompanied viewing is so heavenly. There’s no dissecting multiple opinions nor are there meeting times and places to remember. I love the voyeurism, seeing and listening to strangers’ comments, especially when I know the quilter of the quilt being examined. So many lovely compliments, nary a negative word. Every year I recognize more and more names in the program. This morning I’m off to find my friend Jane’s work.

But not before I go skype my daughters. I promised them a peek at my hotel room. The camera has added the best dimension to our away from home calls. Yesterday the three girls put in their request for Fat Quarters: cutiepie wants princess print, babydoll wants fairy print, and MP VII wants green lined print. The orders are in.

But before I shop, can I just say? The bags on trolley wheels? While in theory a great idea, in the vendor stands where we choose to pack like sardines, they are painful what with minimal ankle and foot room becoming a sore point. Just my two cents. I’ve found a new appreciation for the hall’s cloak rooms provided for stash check ins.

Happy shopping wherever you are! And watch your feet!

1 comment:

The Quilting Pirate said...

Sherry, next year I'm there with you!! I've been pondering a trip to Ireland and the UK and this would be a perfect way to meet fellow bloggers, do something quilty and to see both beautiful countries!! Just need to find tune an itinerary!

And I'm surprise they allow wheelies at the show? Several US shows they stop allowing them due to the reasons you stated-strollers aren't allowed in most US shows either.

Did you take pictures (besides of Mr. Tims :)?