My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Sunday, May 25, 2014

New Zealand to Pittsburgh and home again!

(Alternative title - The Country Yard goes to International Spring Market)
(photo heavy)
Wow!
Wow!
Wow!
Our feet are firmly back on the ground now after a fabulous week away. What a great experience going to Pittsburgh for Spring Market!
On the way over there we went through 5 airports and clocked up a fair few hours in the air. Got there in time to have a good night's sleep before hitting Quilt Market running and not stopping for the three days it was held.
Talk about huge!! Hundreds of stalls, lots of people, plenty of walking, talking, stalking of our favourite designers and of course discovering new ones :-)
26 aisles of booths. Numbering of booths went from 101 to 2655 (some booths took up several spaces but that was still a lot of selling spots!)
We were lucky to be able to do classes on two mornings, these were held before the doors opened on the main area so meant a couple of early starts, however our body clocks were all out of kilter anyway so what's a little more confusion?! We both found these inspiring and gave us great ideas to bring back to NZ.
Eleanor Burns class on Saturday morning.
There were dozens of fabric houses at Spring Market; we looked at these a little to get an idea of what was coming out soon but as we are served pretty well by our NZ distributers we didn't get into too many conversations with them.
We were delighted to see a strong appearance by our neighbours the Australian designers - catching up with favourites and meeting new ones - their booths looked brilliant and they certainly held their heads up high amongst the dozens of other designers.
So much to take in, new patterns, products, and ideas. Many reknown and clever designers. We literally shopped until we dropped and are really pleased with everything we have brought back with us or ordered, plenty of goodies, inspiration and future projects and programmes .... we see many hours of sewing ahead of us :-)
Laundry Basket Quilts booth. One of many beautiful booths.
Special exhibit presented by the International Quilt Assn
We had two days to sightsee before we started the long haul home again. Monday after quilt market we needed a quiet, low energy day and went on a tour around the city. The guides were entertaining and the commentary interesting.
City tour in a WW2 Amphibus or Aquabus.
 Sadly we couldn't go on the water as the current was too strong.
A lovely taxi driver then took us under his wing and showed us a few spots we hadn't seen - without the meter on (but we were good tippers by then) and then we spent a few hours at a mall doing a little shopping.

446 bridges in Pittsburgh! 
 On Tuesday we had a private car tour booked to take us into Amish country. We visited Volant, an hour north of the city, which I think is the third largest Amish community in Pennsylvania. There were touristy type shops there but we also went along back roads and were able to visit some shops on private properties. With our connection to the quilting world, we found this to be a great delight. Buggies on the road, horses ploughing up paddocks, children potting plants, home made crafts. We loved it. So interesting to see the way of life the Amish people have, and we were full of admiration of how they continue to live as they wish in spite of this fast paced technoloigcal world we all live in.

Naturally we did our bit to support the local community... this rug was made by an Amish lad in a shed at his home. He has Cerebral Palsy and works diligently producing dozens of these colourful rugs. I had imagined it would be perfect by our fireplace, and wasn't disappointed. The pets already think it is great there too.
Love the texture!
And our goal was to find an authentic Amish quilt. On another property we found a quilt shop. It sold finished items, and had a great variety of quilts and other items, most of which were sewn with a treadle machine and hand quilted.
We were treated to a genuine bed turning - what a buzz. Our guide was also blown away by the beautiful queen sized quilts and all three of us were considering which one we would like to take home....!
We went for lap quilts in the end though - this is the one I purchased.
The first quilt I have ever purchased :-)
It looks perfect in our dining room. All the family approves!
And so ended a whirlwind 6 nights in Pittsburgh. The next day saw us starting the long trip home, only 4 airports this time. A relief to finally touch down on NZ soil, to find all our bags and drive up home to our loved ones. Now spending the weekend recharging our batteries. I look forward to going into work this week and unpacking all our treasures :-)
A favourite photo taken during the flight home.
Sunrise in Sydney, Australia.
Thank you to everyone who left 'safe and happy travelling' messages in my last post. I appreciated them all but just ran out of time to reply, sorry. I do look forward to seeing what has been happening in blogland and in your sewing rooms so hopefully I will get to visit soon.
Have a great day, and happy creating,

37 comments:

Sheila said...

Thank you for sharing your amazing trip , what a great show , I am sure you had a blast and lucky you to visit Amish country , I love the quilt you purchased , wow !

Fiona said...

What a wonderful experience... lovely to see it....
Hugz

Leeanne said...

Fantastic post Raewyn! I almost felt like I was there with you both, maybe that was just wishful thinking! I look forward to this week too, to see all the goodies & many ideas you have come home with. Looks like many sewing days ahead.
Pittsburgh should be called the city of bridges alright, so many! I bet market was mind blowing. And to really see Amish country after all the Amish novels would be a treat. Rest well, see you soon.

Julie said...

Hi Raewyn - what a great post. I'm with Leeanne, it felt like I was right there with you both. Looks like you had a fantastic time & the weather looked wonderful too. I sure would've loved to have accompanied you to the Amish village. So glad you got to bring some of their beautiful handwork home. Julie x0x

JoAnne said...

Thanks for sharing about your trip to market. I'm so glad you had a few days to sightsee as well!

shez said...

wow Raewyn what an awesome time you had,thankyou for sharing.xx

Lesley said...

What a fantastic adventure you had! I thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful pictures of market as well as the pics of your travels around the area.

Kath said...

Raewyn, what a magnificent trip you have had. How exciting to see all the exhibitors, and I know how big that building must have been. Heaven I would say! Love the bits you have bought back for you home. Look forward to seeing more! And all those bridges in Pittsburgh!!

sunny said...

I'm so glad you had such a good time. And I'm very happy that you were able to take a tour of some Amish country. The quilt you purchased is beautiful! There are many Amish around where I work, and I usually see at least one horse and buggy each day. Thanks for all the pictures.

kiwikid said...

Wonderful to read could have looked at loads more photos - your Amish quilt is beautiful, would love to see that part of the world one day! Hope you have caught up on your sleep and resorted your body clock!

Reconstructed Fabulousness said...

Hi Raewyn and welcome home. Sounds like you had a blast and will look forward to your future posts as you unpack all those goodies and share the joy of all those new treasures and ideas with the rest of us. Rae.

The Knotty Lass said...

So glad you both enjoyed your time there! You obviously saw much more Amish country than we did. Next time, I'll hire a guide instead of wandering around on our own! I can't wait to see what you brought back for the shop. The rug is really cool and the quilt is gorgeous!

Kerryn said...

What a great post Raewyn, and just want to add that you were a wonderful travelling companion and that together we had a blast!!

Barbara said...

A great post Raewyn. Thank you for sharing your adventure. It sure sounds like you and Kerryn had a wonderful time and lots of experiences not to be forgotten. I love your purchase. What amazing colours in the quilt! Both pieces look perfect in your home.

Cottage Tails said...

oooh I'm emerald green with envy. But so very thrilled for you what an amazing experience. I love Amish way of life - ahh to live the simple life.. but I also like my washing machine and gadgets so reality probably not. So adore your Amish quilt. Looking forward to finding out what the quilt worlds latest is and what you have ordered for the shop for us kiwis to buy. Love Leanne

Janet O. said...

Looks like SUCH a good (and exhausting) time, Raewyn! Nice choices on the rug and the quilt. Love them both! Sounds like you made the most of the time you had.
I recall DH went on a Duck Tour in Boston when he was there on business. He came home and told me the fun of driving right down into the water. and having the bus tour become a boat ride. : )

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

What a long trip, but I know you enjoyed it. Sure love the quilt and the pup!

Noela said...

Wow is right Raewyn. What a wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing. Hugs......

Suz J said...

Wow - you and Kerryn certainly squeezed a lot into a short time. Bet you are glad to be home and sleeping in your own BED! Can't wait to see all the goodies you've bought back. Me and the Saturday girls are coming for stitch n chat on Saturday so maybe we'll see you there?

margaret said...

what a great trip you had and the icing on the cake was the visit to the Amish community, a lovely quilt. Good to hear your luggage arrived safely back, poor Katy Jones (I`m a ginger monkey) is I think still waiting for hers.

Karen said...

This looks like a really amazing time. I am looking forward to seeing the results of your visit to Market. What a wonderful experience that must have been. I am so pleased you also had a couple of days to be a tourist. It looks like you found some great places to see. Love the quilt you chose from the Amish area.
Welcome home!

Rebecca in AK said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time in Pennsylvania! Quilt Market is huge, so much to take in. I love both of you Amish country purchases! What is the rug made of? You wrote a great post! You should be a travel writer, but I am sure you are glad to be home!

Shirley said...

Wow indeed my friend. Looks like a great adventure. I look forward to seeing how your trip has inspired you.

Sue W said...

Great to read about your trip, thrilled to hear you had such a fun time.

Chantal said...

I'm so glad you had a fantastic time. I was fortunate enough to attend quilt market in October last year and I was just blown away! Glad you got to do some sight seeing too.

Kerry said...

Awesome post chicky.....so many lovely comments! You will be buzzing with lots of ideas...cant wait to see your new purchases. Hugs xxxx

Susan said...

What an amazing experience for you. Great photos. Love your purchases too......if you have to buy a finished quilt, Amish would have to be the way to go!

LuAnn said...

What a great trip! I love all go your photos. The Amish wall hanging is beautiful!

marina said...

welcome home!
must have been an amazing experience.
love your amish quilt!

Tania said...

Hi Raewyn, what a wonderful trip and an incredible experience. How lucky you could go! I am hoping to go to America next year, and visiting an Amish town is high on my list of priorities - more so now since reading your post! Welcome home, and I am glad to hear you had such a fantastic time away x

Charlie and Wendy said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time, such an amazing opportunity! Love the quilt you bought :)

Rose Marie said...

Seeing your photos of the Amish countryside, brought back memories from my trip in March.

KaHolly said...

Oh, what fun!! Seeing all those booths and the beautiful quilts really humbles me. Glad you had such a good time. Love your Amish quilt. And that rug, oh my goodness!! It's charming!

Charlotte Scott said...

We've just had Kerryn tell us all about your trip, sounds absolutely amazing.

Sharon @ OSEWDIVINE said...

What a fabulous trip you have had , fabulous photos, can't wait to hear more, the Amish trip looked like fun! Those booths at quilt market wow how did you get to see it all hope you had great shoes.

Carrie P. said...

I am jealous! What a great time you had. Maybe one day I can go.

Leonie said...

So jealous! What a wonderful trip and so exciting! Can imagine the market would have been overwhelmingly awesome :). Fun! Welcome back!