Thursday, September 21, 2017
Someone is having a birthday!!
I'm super excited as I write this - you wouldn't believe where I am! I'm sitting in the retreat center at Missouri Star Quilting Company! Yes - I'm looking out the front window across the main street and at 5:30 AM (their time) there's a lot of traffic on this street. Where are all these people going at this time of the day? This is a small town, but I guess there is lots of stuff happening so people need to get it organized????
Across the street from me is the gorgeous new mural and the huge storefronts where eight of their shops are located. I think there are 13 in total?
Missouri Star Quilt Company is celebrating their 9th birthday and holding a HUGE (3 day) party to celebrate. Northcott is one of the companies sponsoring the event and we're here to play games and have fun!
Let me get back to our day yesterday. We were up a decent time - we all slept like logs! No snoring in the room - I think our bodies were too tired to even consider that possibility. We had breakfast at Denny's and then on the road again. We still had a significant drive and we had a time frame to deal with as the dinner was at 6 PM. I think all of us found the drive a bit tedious - I'm not sure how people can drive for days on end. I think the fact that we had a deadline was the big factor. We were not able to stop along the way.
However, we did make one stop in Hannibal, Missouri. This is the home of Mark Twain and not one, but TWO amazing quilt shops. When I came through here in May, I was with non-quilters and I was driving so we didn't know. But honestly - if ever you come this way, the shops are amazing. Bits and Pieces and Hickory Stick Quilt Shop. Yes - we had to make a few purchases and we got license plates for Row by Row at each one of them.
It was my turn to drive and two and a half hours to Hamilton, Missouri. We made it in good time - I just set that cruise control to - well I won't say what and we made good time. We arrived shortly after Patti did and we got ourselves organized. I unloaded all of our supplies and put with the rest of the stuff that was waiting for us.
We got our rooms at the retreat house. This is so perfect - instead of staying at a hotel which there aren't any nearby - well about a 20-minute drive, here we are right in the middle of everything. I think there are 10 vendors who have booths and I think most of us are here, but not all. Imagine sleeping under the same roof as all the competitors. Should something happen, all the marketing departments of the major fabric companies - well we won't go there!
Then it was off to the dinner at the local church. The guests of honor, of course, were the Doan family. Jenny and her husband Ron and various children and in-laws. The MC was BJ who does all the consumer shows and is an amazing host. He had us in stitches. There was a HUGE contingent from Canada - all from the Arnprior area where Jenny had done a trunk show earlier this year. They also made and donated 150 pillowcases for some of the Hurricane Harvey people who had lost everything.
This is the third year they've done a celebration. Two years ago, there were 40 people at the dinner. Last year, there were 40 people at the dinner. This year, the event sold out with 200 people in attendance. Unbelievable and for many, this was their first time to Hamilton! It truly is a place you have to come at least once!
Dinner was great and we were sitting with Rob Appell - yes - Man Sewing himself. He really is a hyper guy but a very nice person who has been involved in the quilting business for a very long time. His mother owned a quilt shop! And we sat beside the FreeSpirit team!
After dinner, they played a game - Family Feud - The Doan Girls against The Doan Boys. As Jenny mentioned, NOTHING leaves that room. Let's just say that it was a hoot. BJ was amazing as the MC and he could get a job in Hollywood - he could replace whoever the host is on Family Feud - I think it's still going on! I couldn't find my camera before I left - just way too much going on, but I'm taking pictures with my phone.
I believe that this morning, there is a company picture being taken right at that mural across the street. I heard some unbelievable number of 455 employees??? I'll get pictures because we should be setting up our booth about that same time.
When we got back from dinner, there were a few girls cutting in the retreat sewing room. I volunteered to help. I wasn't doing anything else and too early for bed. Turns out they are part of the Kansas City Modern Quilting Guild and they are the ones organizing the Charity Bake Off. Their goal is to make 32 quilts over the next three days. COMPLETED!!!! I helped them cut for about a half hour and then I was done! I needed some sleep.
Well - it's now 6 AM here and this place is starting to hop. People are getting up and well I'm sure it isn't going to be quiet too much longer.
We didn't get to the grocery store before it closed last night to pick up supplies so we may have to wait a teeny bit for breakfast. There's an opportunity for someone to start up a breakfast place - I think this retreat place gets a lot of business! Anyone want to build a small hotel here? Personally, I'm glad we're here in the retreat center!
What can I say - I love my job! HOwever, before you get all jealous - remember it is sweltering hot! Our tents (booths) are OUTSIDE - so we have to set up in the humidity and we have to tear down in the humidity and we have to stay outside in the humidity all day. Yes - we can pop into the air-conditioned retreat center to cool off, but it's going to be warm and hopefully no rain!
All I can say is that MSQC is a machine. There is no other way to put it. A lot of thought has gone into making this company what it is - a LOT! Oh - by the way, we did get the Row by Row license plate yesterday. That was our priority when we got out of the car. GET that plate before they are all gone!
Apparently, there are thousands of people expected over the next couple of days. Tons of games, tons of prizes to be won. And let's not forget that there are tons of fabric to be bought!
On that note, I'm out of here to get the day started!
Have a super day!!!! Let the games begin!
PS - now let's check out this daily deal. Nothing more exciting than buying the daily deal in person! Just checked - the daily deal is Northcott!!! I guess I won't be buying that one!!!