Michelle Marvig just returned this week from hosting the QC/Travelrite USA tour. She filled us in on some of the highlights.
- What was your favourite place you visited this trip?
Chicago. It is a gorgeous city with so much to offer. And, because we stay right in town near The Magnificent Mile, there is so much to see on foot. The Art Institute, stunning architecture, autumn colours in the trees, Millenium Park, artworks by famous artists dotted throughout the streets, shopping, restaurants, boats on the lake. And we took a trip to the outskirts to visit Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio and Modern Quilt Studio, where Bill Kerr gave us an impromptu quilt show while we were shopping.
- What was the most amazing quilt you saw?
I cant pick just one…………….however if I must choose, then I pick the exhibition called Earth Stories by members of SAQA that was on display at Michigan State
University. There was a diverse range of quilters and techniques, but it was the inspiration behind the quilts that was most moving. To read through their workbooks and find out sometimes scary information really made me think. Do you know how many take away coffee cups go into landfill each year? Or, how many items you have in your house? Or, that solar cookers exist and can change the life of a family? I would encourage anybody that has the chance to this exhibit , to take the time to read the workbook/journals that accompany the exhibition.
- What was the coolest thing you had in a hotel (service, facility or food)?
The Magnolia Hotel where we stay in Houston has Happy Hour, with free drinks, from 5.30pm – 6.30pm everyday. Now, while the drinks may be a draw card, it brings everyone together at the end of the day for show and tell. And, that includes the quilters from other countries that are also staying in the hotel. Quilting is definitely an international language.
- How much shopping was done by the travelers?
LOADS!!!! Fabrics, books, quilt kits, clothing, gifts, jigsaw puzzles, vintage quilts, vintage quilt tops, vintage blocks and I may have even purchased two pair of boots! In my defence, I had tried to buy them at home, but had not been able to find any that fitted my calf.
- How many post offices were visited to post home purchases?
Actually, none on this trip. As postage has gone up from the US, we opted to try and carry everything home. So this trip it was how many extra suitcases came home? Almost double what we left with!
- Did you celebrate Halloween?
Not officially, but we did have our farewell dinner that night. But we did enjoy the Halloween decorations in the hotels, streets and shops. I took so many pumpkin photos! We were in Houston for Halloween and there was a bike ride through the city at night. And, walking home from Quilt Festival that afternoon it was a little strange to see pirates, witches, kings and even Buzz Lightyear driving cars and buses around!
- Where would you like to go back to and spend more time?
Vermont and the other New England states during Autumn. I would love to drive though this area when the leaves are at the peak of their colour. And, there are a few quilt shops and museums in this area as well. And, The Shelburne Museum now has a fabulous new building for exhibits, which allows it to open year round.
- How many quilt shops did you visit?
Eleven shops in total on this tour. Any wonder our bags were so heavy. And, each was so different in their stock lines.
- Did you or the group have a favourite shop that was visited?
I think it would have to have been Mercantile on Maine in Coshocton, Ohio. It was surprise visit for the girls and not listed in the official itinerary. It was a recent BHG Quilt Sampler featured shop and was gorgeous. It had a bit of everything, even vacuum cleaners! After our visit we then went up and had lunch at The English Ivy, a restaurant in an old house with great food. And a yard full of golden, fallen leaves to play in.
- What was the first thing you did when you got home?
Even though I travel with Vegemite, the first thing I do whenever I get home from tour it to have a large cup of Earl grey tea and toast with vegemite. Heaven!