By Melissa Kanovsky
Some things are just meant to be “done” with friends, like wedding dress shopping, TGIF drinks and quilt shows. Normally I do go to quilt shows with friends, or if I’m really lucky, with my mom, but this time no one could come with me. And I really wanted to go to this show – it was one I’d never been to, in a place I’d never been to, and it’s been a crazy summer. (I will have four kids in college in just a few weeks! What?!) I decided to be brave and go alone.
That’s how I ended up at the Bayberry Quilters of Cape Cod’s 35th Annual Quilt Show recently, sandwiched in the admissions line between groups of friends who were happily chatting as we waited our turns to pay and enter.
I’m not going to lie – I did feel a touch sorry for myself as I watched the other women enjoying time with friends. And I might have wandered aimlessly for a bit (because it’s more fun than looking at the map in the show book) until I found my way into the exhibit area, and started looking at the amazing quilts. A woman and a young girl joined me in front of a fabulous Lone Star quilt, and explaining to me that she was the quilter, the woman picked a few threads off the quilt and started talking to me. I had just made my first friend of the day, Maryann Bowman! Her machine quilting is beyond wonderful, and the quilts she was showing were all showstoppers. It was not a surprise that she had been chosen as one of the two featured quilters for the show. She was friendly and made me feel so welcome. I left feeling much better about being there alone but not lonely.
Next I met another friend, Michelle, as we walked through the exhibit looking at the quilts and discussing our favorite fabric designers (we both love Kaffe), techniques, the search for new shops wherever we go, the fabric license plates from Row by Row, life, the universe and everything. I gave her a copy of Generation Q Magazine as a token of my appreciation for her friendliness.
Feeling positively giddy, I took myself shopping at the Quilt-ish booth – I was dying to see what wonderful things the owner, June, had, and I was not disappointed! I got some Falmouth Fishies and Run Herring Run fat quarter bundles as well as two other gorgeous fat quarters. June even explained herring running to me – I had been unaware! Then I visited another fave shop, Follow That Thread. Donna is awesome!
Next stop: batik beauties. See, I had heard from my magazine colleague Teri Lucas that SewBatik added a whole bunch o’colors to their gradient collection and she needed them, right now! Poor Teri has to wait until I see her to get them. I wonder if she knows that Bruce gives the best hugs EVER! (Shhh…Don’t tell Diane either, but I suspect she knows.)
I was on a roll now! I was feeling the love! But I was also hungry. Really hungry. Like what-can-I-eat-right-now hungry. The lunch place was crowded, so I found a bench and pulled out a package of mixed nuts, which I keep in my bag for such emergencies. And yes, you guessed it–I made more friends! We chatted; I gave them copies of Generation Q Magazine, and they gave me recommendations for lunch (Captain Frosty’s lobster roll was delicious) and told me not to miss Tumbleweeds Quilt Shop. And wouldn’t you know it? I ran into them there! My day was complete when they invited me to have ice cream with them, which was such a treat. Twin Acres Ice Cream Shoppe was the perfect end to my first day on Cape Cod. I can’t wait to go back!
So, how about you? Do you only go with the gang or do you sometimes go solo, immersing yourself in a quilt show experience in a new way? Tell us about a time when you went solo.
Quilt. Sew. Live. Breathe.
Melissa Kanovsky is advertising manager for Generation Q Magazine, and really will have four kids in college this year. Quilting—and Paso Robles wine—saves her sanity. She hails from Kansas but makes her home outside New York City with husband Jon, about 500 FQs and 125 cases of wine.