The Earth Day Paint Out in Bellefonte, PA was a great day for this artist! I totally enjoyed my time at the AlleyCat Quiltworks with owned and operated by Barbara and Tom Dann of Bellefonte. What a delightful couple! We discovered that we have much in common and that we love Centre County and Bellefonte, in particular. We enjoy all forms of art, craft, and creativity, and that our common bond was quilting. We had some great conversations, a nice lunch from Brother's Pizza around the corner from the shop, and Tom even went out to find a chocolate Coke (or Pepsi, whichever!) to satisfy my cravings in the afternoon.
While I brought my art quilts to share, we pinned them to some sturdy display boards so the visitors to the shop could see what I did besides that which I was to demonstrate: watercolor painting. We shared quilting techniques, tools, and knowledge while having active conversations about our earlier education, our parenting, grand-parenting, and for me, great-grand-parenting, among a host of other topics. And we entertained those who stopped in to see what we were about.
Barbara and Tom operated a quilting business - and by that I mean they are dedicated to preserving an old art/craft but in new ways. Barb has a large long-arm quilting machine that she has owned and operated for over 17 years. She has cared for her equipment by keeping it in tip-top condition; well cleaned, well oiled, and parts replaced as needed over the years. And she does it all herself!
One of the shop specialties is the creating and quilting of T-shirt quilts. If you've never seen or heard of a T-shirt quilt, then I can only wish I had taken photographs of their Steelers and Penn State T-shirt quilts that were hanging on the wall! Many of us have collected T-shirts of favorite places, teams, hobbies, and more over our life-time. As have our kids and grand-kids. Some T-shirts are worn until they become thread-bare while others are treasured in the bottom drawer somewhere for "special" use, only. Well let me tell you that one special use that can be made is a glorious wall hanging or a memorable bed quilt for one's self or a loved one. At our house, we all wear our T-shirts until they wear out. But I know many other folks who collect T-shirts with a passion that matches any collector of any collection!
The day was well spent and all three of us (I presume!) went home happy after the time spent with the public and together.