My trip odemeter turned over the first thousand miles as I passed through Eastern Idaho, just 250 miles east of Boise where I began. I visited Craters of the Moon for a day, exploring caves, taking photos, and getting sunburnt with my temporary roadie who took over driving for me on that leg of the trip to Salt Lake City. Old friends greeted me there, and I was reunited with the my first tent- now we are three on the tour. I set up Quilt Stories at the Central Utah Art Center, on Main Street in a small town called Ephraim. I was happy to see on exhibition there another project based around our everyday histories with quilts- Jason Metcalf's quilt barn paintings.
I turned over my second thousand miles in Wyoming, while backtracking 45 miles from an hours-long standstill of cars to the safety of the Econo Lodge in Rock Springs. The next morning I was on my way to Denver, one of the places where I grew up. Familiar warm air and smells greeted me, and I saw old friends and thier new families, as well as my own kid brother. Quilt Stories was hosted for a day at the lovely and proactive Fashion Denver, and I connected with a fellow quilt-enthused artist Kevin Curry. The next day I visited his studio at Platte Forum, where he is working on Housewarming, a log cabin quilt made to cover an entire house.
On from Colorado to Hastings, Nebraska, where I was hosted by sisters and introduced to some very special quilts from a cherished grandmother. Hastings and Lincoln proved to be a very educational stop for me, as I visited museums on natural history, Kool-Aid, Roller Skates, and Quilts. My much-anticipated visit to the International Quilt Studies Center led me to another great resource- the American Quilt Studies Group. Their annual publication, Uncoverings, groups essays on quilt research. Looking through a few copies in the IQSC reading room, I found the article "Petting the Fabric: Medium and The Creative Process", a case-study of a quilting group by researcher Lisa Gabbert. Her interest in why sewers are so attracted to fabric and almost compulsively collect it really resonated with my interests in this project and my own creative process.
Passing from Nebraska to Iowa I gained another thousand miles, and am now hosted by Sonya Darrow of Ladyfits here in Cedar Rapids. I have repairs to do on my tents, my bicycle, and my car, and have a few days here to explore and collect stories and stitches before moving north. Leaving the west and entering the midwest, I realized that I was leaving sage country, and the little bunch of sage that I have collected on my dash became precious. I have spent almost every summer of my life in the midwest, the billowing foliage and most air are welcoming, and I realized I have traded the magic of sage for the magic of fireflies.
Thanks again for all of the support and continued interest, tour is going very very well.