Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hanging out with the Huntsville quilters

Last weekend I had the pleasure of hanging out for 2 and a half days with the Huntsville quilters at Huntsville Sew and Vac. This is Donna, my gracious host for the weekend, and owner of this fabulous shop.
Me with Donna Cagle (right), owner of Huntsville Sew and Vac.
The huge classroom was dressed to the nines (or more aptly, the 44/45s) with sample quilts made with Blank's fabrics hanging on the walls and patterns from both indie designers and Blank's in-house designers on display.
Samples and color cards of Blank's new fabric collections.
The quilters that attended the "Madeline's Picnic" Mystery class and my Intro to Free-Motion Quilting class were also treated to a sneak peak of Blank Quilting's new 2014 fabric collections (lots of oohs and aaahhs over these!).
My Huntsville free-motion quilting students.
More quilt samples are hanging in the back of the classroom.
This is Sherri (below left) with Alexis, Donna's granddaughter. Sherri is one of the creative masterminds behind many of the special events at Huntsville Sew and Vac. Her enthusiasm and energy are infectious and she is a master on the long arm. Huntsville Sew and Vac carries HandiQuilter and Tin Lizzie long arms as well as a full line of Janome and Brother sewing machines. 
Sherri (left) and Alexis at Huntsville Sew and Vac. 
Sherri assembled a Mystery Quilt kit for each attendee. Madeline, the focus fabric, was accompanied by 8 coordinates and a background fabric from Blank's fabric lines. 
"Madeline's Picnic" mystery quilt kit.
Sherri also knows all the cool local places to get a great bite to eat, like Sam and Greg's Pizzeria Gelateria downtown Huntsville. (Guy Fieri should touch base with her!)
Sam and Greg's outside (left) and inside.
Sam and Greg's is a sandwich and pizza, order-at-the-counter, pub-type place. In addition to the extensive list of "eclectic" pizzas, they have in-house-made gelato (twist my arm, why don't ya). You practically walk right into the gelato display case when you enter the restaurant, so it's difficult to get away without ordering a cup to finish off your meal. The Spicy Hot Chocolate gelato is made with cayenne pepper and has a zingy aftertaste. I had a cup of the hazelnut which was delicious, and my lunch companions, Sherri and Linda, each had the Birthday Cake flavor. I also tried a Key West personal size pizza with ham, chicken, artichokes and mango—just as tasty.
Eight flavors of homemade gelato in the display case at Sam and Greg's.
Alabama, like most of the south, had cold, single-digit temperatures that weekend. The shop's staff kindly offered to cater lunch for the full-day Free-motion Quilting class so class participants did not have brave the cold and wind. It was another delicious "good eat" from a local place called Granville's Gormet Ribs and BBQ. I had their special "Hot Baked Potato Salad" with pork (Sherri's overwhelming recommendation). It's a take-off on a stuffed baked potato, but the "potato" part is a cross between hot German potato salad and an au gratin. You gotta try it to believe how good it is!
Huntsville quilters at the Mystery Quilt class.
So, my thanks again, to Donna, Sherri, the staff at Huntsville Sew and Vac, and a great group of quilters for letting me hang out with y'all for a few days. I hope to be back soon!
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