Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Artistry In the Land of Lincoln

That's right. I'm here in Illinois, staying with old friends and promoting the new release in the Kelly Flynn Knitting Mysteries, SKEIN OF THE CRIME. I spent Friday evening and all day Saturday in the middle of Illinois farm country at Toulon, Illinois, for their all day author and fiber event. They had knitters, spinners, weavers, and fiber workers scattered all over town giving demonstrations of their artistry and sharing their mutual love of fiber. That was after a great big breakfast at the American Legion post, biscuits and gravy---which I had absolutely no reason for indulgence. I did so anyway. So, there, calories.

In fact, I was so stuffed, I couldn't manage the lunch that was served. Besides, I wanted to make sure I visited all the churches around the town square where examples of local women's handwork was displayed. Everywhere. In the Methodist, Baptist, and Congregationalist churches the pews were literally covered with some of the most gorgeous handwork I've seen in a long, long time. If ever. Exquisite crocheted table cloths and runners. Tatted doilies and table scarves. Delicate stitchery so fine that you simply had to bend over and examine it. Beautiful, simply beautiful.

And there was an amazing display of one woman's knitted artistry---pew after pew were covered with her knitted sweaters. Gorgeous designs and colors. Stunning work. I am in awe of her artistry and craftsmanship. Kudos to all the talented handworkers and crafters in Toulon, Illinois.

I was the after lunch invited guest speaker, and the Traditional Midwest Summer Thunderstorm held off long enough to get everyone into the high school gym before the heavens opened. Ahhhhhhhh. . .heat and humidity. Brought back lots of memories from the 15 years my family lived next door in Indiana as members of the Purdue University faculty community. Lots of memories. It was a wonderful and thoroughly enjoyable day and a half.

Sunday morning, I was back on the road again, driving the 3+ hours back to Chicago so I could participate in the Printers Row Lit Fest in downtown Chicago's Loop. Another enjoyable afternoon. And once again, the thunderstorm cooperated. Of course, we authors were under a great big tent. You might want to ask some Chicagoans how they coped with the Summer shower.

I"ll continue to enjoy my Illinois visit with friends who live in the Lake Barrington suburbs of Chicago and do a book signing at the Barnes & Noble--Oak Brook. If you live nearby, drop in and say hello.

How are you enjoying your summer so far?


Babs said...

Maggie sounds like a fun time for you so far. We have been taking it easy this summer so far. Relaxing when we can and working out in the yard. It has been so hot the past few days we have been inside playing games and watching movies.

caryn said...

Oh, while in Illinois you should have come to St. Louis!
Summer so far has been a good one. It's been warm so there have been plenty of afternoons at the pool.Lots of time piddling in the flower beds! We've taken long weekend to Cincinnati and we're going to take a long weekend to Kansas City in a couple of weeks. We'll go to Michigan for 10 days or so in July. Life is good.
One thing though, I can remember when summers were completely free but I've found that I've managed to get invilved with things that continue all summer long. I miss the long stretches of a blank calendar!
Caryn in St.Louis

Maggie Sefton said...

Babs----It really sounds hot where you live. Where are you exactly?

Maggie Sefton said...

Caryn---A full calendar means you've got a lot of activities you love and a lot of friends who enjoy being with you. That's a blessing. Enjoy!

Rural View said...

You're in my home state. I was born in Clinton, raised in Springfield, and much later lived in Algonquin (near Barrington) for a couple years when my husband was being transferred all over the place. I love Chicago, would love to be there despite the heat. Sure remember those summers in Ill. - not for the faint of heart.

The needlework event sounds like heaven; wish I could have been there.

Kate Collins said...

Ah, all those gorgeous handmade goodies! I envy you, Maggie. I would have spent a wad there, I'm afraid, unable to resist the temptations. Did you stuff your suitcase full?

Babs said...

Hey Maggie I am in South Carolina Greenville exactly. It wouldn't be so bad if the heat index would be lower. My husband is working at the coast he just called saying it was 120 ugh to hot for me.

Maggie Sefton said...

Rural----You would have loved to see that work, I assure you. It was exquisite.

Kate---Ohhhhh, those pieces were not for sale. They were for display only. They were all owned by family or friends. Made out of love. :)

Babs----Whoa! 102 already, and it's only mid-June? Yeow! Look out, campers. It's gonna be a hot one.

Dru said...

I'm enjoying my summer and I'm looking forward to my next trip.

Maggie Sefton said...

Dru---where's your next trip? Being nosy.

Jan said...

Come out to Phoenix AZ! But wait until late fall, it was about 103 today and thats cool for us right now. By end of October we'll be back to the 90's and 80's. :)

Maggie Sefton said...

Jan----I'll have to do that sometime in the winter. October is usually beautiful in Colorado in the 70's. But winter would be nice. :)