Friday, October 10, 2008

Setting up for Barnful of Quilts

Friday was the day to set up for Barnful of Quilts, a fabulous one-day celebration of quilting and fiber arts in Waxhaw, NC, south of Charlotte. Valerie Fox hosts the event at her family’s farm, and the proceeds of the ticket sales benefit Waxhaw Presbyterian Church. This is the second year I’ve participated in this fun exhibition. (To view the flier below, which contains directions, double-click on it.)

My good friend DeLane Rosenau helped me set up my stall. Yep, my stall. The horses moved out (temporarily), and the quilters moved in. Here it is, ready for the big day:

Women in the stall next to mine were busy setting up their space:

This is Deborah Langsam (below), a fellow member of the Charlotte Quilters Guild. Deborah’s company, Barking Dog Fabric Art, donates all profits to SupportWorks, a nonprofit organization in Charlotte that helps people find and form support groups and research medical information.

Her mosaic quilt, “Under the Eyes of Queen Charlotte,” is composed of thousands of tiny photos of the city of Charlotte, superimposed on an image of the "Queen Charlotte" statue that stands in uptown Charlotte. It is so cool!

The barn is spectacular. Check out Valerie’s lovely roses, still blooming in October:

I have a great view from my stall of one of the horses we bumped outside:

Ellen Guerrant is this year’s featured artist. Here she is with her husband hanging some of her work:

This is one of Ellen’s best known pieces:

After we had finished setting up, DeLane and I drove into Waxhaw to check out the bead shop, The Bead Merchants (wonderful, tempting stuff!) and talk with owners Van and Gayle Eyre, and then into a new quilt shop, The Quilting Nook, which is right on the main drag at 103 West South Main Street. What a darling shop! It’s in the old grocery store, and has wonderful light and very high ceilings that give it a wonderful, spacious feel.

Co-owner Beth Suerdieck is only too glad to help a customer with a selection:

The classroom is spacious and filled with light:

Co-owner Kim Profitt fields a phone inquiry from a customer:

The shop carries more than just fabric. They have beautiful ribbons and lots of notions and books.

Downtown Waxhaw has managed to keep many of its old, charming buildings. It has lots of antique stores, and is a fun place to visit and linger:

Mary Jo’s Cloth Store

I’m very fortunate to live about 45 minutes from Mary Jo's Cloth Store in Gastonia, NC. If you live on the east coast and sew, quilt or make crafts, there's a good chance you already know about Mary Jo’s, a mecca filled with quilting fabric, specialty fabrics, drapery fabrics, thread, tools, notions, patterns, and pretty much anything you could want or need if you sew.

Looking for 25 different shades of dupioni silk? Civil War reproduction fabrics? Drop-dead gorgeous fabrics for prom or wedding dresses? No problem. Mary Jo’s has it.

Don’t believe me? Check out the “360-degree virutual tour” on their website! This place is so huge and has so much stuff that I practically start hyperventilating when I get about 10 minutes away.

Mary Jo (Margaret Colien Cloninger) has been selling fabrics since 1949. That’s her in the photo above. She’s still going strong, now in a 40,000 square feet space in the Gaston Mall. Customers regularly drive from 250 miles away to shop there.

Mary Jo’s now has a website, so even if you live far away, you can still scan and purchase the fabrics they have in stock. They’ve also just launched a blog, which shares the stories of Mary Jo’s customers. Today, they posted about me, and Barnful of Quilts! Thanks, Mary Jo’s!