Mike, aka Mr Laura here. Spring has finally sprung here in Raleigh, NC! Several ladies at the Lancaster show asked me if I was the Mike, aka Mr. Laura who wrote the blog posts and made me feel a little guilty that I have not been posting as often as I should. So here goes…


Paducah, KY


We are still busy preparing for the Paducah AQS Quilt Week. I honestly had never heard of Paducah before starting to help Laura with The Creative Thimble. Before becoming an itinerant quilt show peddler I had frittered away 37 years working at IBM, and a background in electronic engineering, management, and finance had left me woefully unprepared for the quilting circuit. So, I decided to do a little research on Paducah, KY. Going to their Paducah vistor website I discovered they are both proud of their little city “Home of The National QuiltMuseum, Paducah’s creative culture will move you. A national heritage destination richly populated with culinary artists, painters, potters, print and jewelry makers, Paducah’s artistic landscape connects and inspires people around the world. Take in the impressive 19th century architecture when visiting Downtown antique shops and boutiques or strolling the tree-lined streets of LowerTown, Paducah’s oldest neighborhood and home to the highly acclaimed Artist Relocation Program.”,  AND they have a sense of humor as evidenced by their narrative tour video that you can see here. Not every city has their own fabric themed super hero. If the town is anything like the video I am sure I will fall in love with Paducah.

In addition to my Creative Thimble executive tasks (moving heavy boxes, reaching high shelves, packing orders, painting the trailer, and restocking) I have used the warmer weather for some other tasks. Unfortunately I lost both of my beehives over the winter. I have been keeping bees for five years now and this is the first time I have lost both hives in a winter. The only silver lining I can find is that it has given me a chance to repaint the hive bodies and repaint and re-level my beehive stands. We were considering doing the Savannah Quilt Fest this coming weekend but were on the fence about it. When I realized it was the weekend my bees were coming I had to veto it! Since the bees will already have drawn honeycombs to start with I am hoping they will establish quickly enough that I can get some honey this year but we will have to wait and see.

We also had some questions about if we will be doing the Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis this year, but no we won’t. I have a date to meet my second cousin from Petal, MS in Strasbourg France for lunch and we will be unable to make it back to Minneapolis in time.

Strasbourg, FR

Strasbourg, FR

Seriously, this year is the year that Laura and I will be doing the European River Cruise that we have talked and talked and dreamed about for many years now. Laura will be celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of her Tenth Birthday in 2015 so this seemed like the time to go. We will be taking two weeks of river travel from Switzerland to the Netherlands on the Rhine and Moselle rivers. We booked the cruise in February 2014, over a year in advance, on these dates so that we could celebrate Laura’s birthday AND get the ship we wanted. Then in January of this year we found out that my young cousin, Courtney Grinnell, a freshman honors student at the University of Southern Mississippi had been accepted to the Chateau Program and would be staying and studying in a chateau in Strasbourg for the second semester and would be there the day we are docked in Strasbourg. I am really hoping that I can see her while we are there. I am relatively sure you don’t get invited to the Chateau Program by skipping a lot of classes but I am hoping we can find a way to meet for lunch or dinner or even just a cup of coffee or glass of wine (she is way old enough to drink in France, Vicki!-Vicki is Courtney’s Mom) while we are there.  Meeting my young cousin from Petal, MS in Strasbourg France for lunch…, yeah, sometimes life can be pretty cool.

Well, I think the paint is dry on my hive stands so I am off to re-set and re-level them. I hope to see you in Paducah or maybe Strasbourg.