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Bloomington, Indiana


Friday, March 5th, 2010

Welcome to Bloomington, Indiana! If you are within driving distance, you must add this annual show to your calendar! The town of Bloomington is charming – built around a court house square, the shops and restaurants lure you into their cozy establishments. Bloomington is home to Indiana University, and is culturally diverse.

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Highlights on this trip are dining each evening with fellow teacher friends. The first night four of us went to a great restaurant/pub called the Irish Lion.  PHOTOS  It is an old building, beautifully preserved, as if you walked into a honest-to-goodness Irish tavern. We dined on corned beef and cabbage, beef pie and other specialties.

Workshops the first day ‚Äď Thursday ‚Äď went well. Mine was a Quick & Easy Broken Star without Y seams. It was a 1-day class, and the students progressed well. Our classroom wall space was not good for mounting design walls, so I regret I didn’t take photos during class! Classmate John finished his quilt top (roughly 70″ square) and plans to piece the small broken stars (12 of them) to create a border and¬†increase it to bed-size.

Last night we dined at Farm Bloomington¬†restaurant¬†facing Courthouse Square. Chef Daniel Orr’s culinary skills are world-reknown. The restaurant is very eclectic inside, with artistic divisions between dining areas such as quilts, farm implements, and salvaged everyday antiques. The General Manager gave us a tour of the two-story restaurant, including the cellar. It is a wild collection of ephemera from bygone days, wall murals, small private rooms with Christmas lights strung merrily.

Six of us sat in a private high-walled circular booth right near the kitchen, just near the wall adorned with an antique bedpan collection! ¬†We ordered a variety of dishes, and our enthusiasm encouraged the chef, who plied us with additional tasty treats. “Here, try this – complements of the chef!”¬† I ordered the¬†Bitter Orange Glazed Hoosier Duckling with Saut√©ed Pumpkin and Honey Glazed Chestnuts. WOW was it tasty!¬† Other highlights: we tried a Minty Green Pea¬†Guacamole (unusual, creamy, chilled, slightly sweet) and the intriguing Three Floyds Gumballhead (which turned out to be a beer!).

The highlight of the evening, aside from our converstaion and “tales from the road”, was seeing musician/songwriter John Mellancamp¬†and his lady companion, who passed through the restaurant and ate in a quiet area within sight of our table.

I hope to see the quilts at the show¬†today, and will¬†post a message ¬†if I can take a few photos! My workshop begins in less than an hour, so I must run! Today I am teaching the strip-pieced Variable Hunter Star ‚Äď although this design looks very traditional, the fabric choices determine the finished project.