Friday, November 11, 2011

My First ATHA Biennial

I can't believe it's been a month since I attended my first ATHA Biennial!  Where has the time gone?  I will tell you that getting there was a bit of a challenge.  Katie Lane from Townsend Industries and I boarded our flight from Moline to Detroit, then changed planes in Detroit to Baltimore, and then Baltimore to Lancaster.  What a trip!  We had horrible turbulence on the first two flights, the second one was overbooked and they had to check my carry-on, and then the third flight looked like this:

Yes, that's the pilot, washing the windows.

And here is my seat - my knees are on either side of the pilot's chair, and another passenger is riding shotgun with a steering column in her lap. 
How about the compass mounted on the windshield? 
I want to see fuzzy dice.

When we finally arrived in Lancaster, our flight was late and my luggage didn't make the hop in Baltimore, so I was suitcase free, and we were already an hour past the end of setup time for our booth.  Fortunately for us, the fantabulous Norma Batastini was in charge and had all of our boxes at the booth and the security guard was aware of our arrival and let us in to set up.  Three cheers for Norma!

As expected, the rugs were exceptional.  Here are some of my favorite rugs - I am crediting them best I can, but if any of you see any mistakes, please let me know at

"Dad", designed and hooked by Cindy Irwin. 
I attended a three room schoolhouse in Nebraska
from grades 1-6, so this one spoke to me.

This one is called "The Ladies", and I thought I was being so clever
to take the picture WITH the names of the designer and hooker,
and of course, I can't read it.  This is a beautiful rug,
and I love the light background.

This was a fun and spunky rug,
"There's No Place Like Home" by Yvonne Hynes. 
The shoes even glittered!

Absolutely LOVED "Red Haired Woman"
by Churchill McKinney.  Isn't she fabulous!?!

This was the eye candy wall
in front of our booth. 
I felt like every time I looked up
I saw something new.  The reds were fantastic!

I also should admit that I have a major thing for footstools, and there were some I drooled over at the show.

This is the "Square Pocketfull Footstool" by Cindi Gay.  LOVE.

I didn't see a name card on this amazing footstool,
but I love it so much I have to show it anyway. 
My apologies (and appreciation!) to
the designer and hooker of this stool.

The Big 'Un.  This is "Penny Ottoman",
hooked and designed by Lynda Garay. 
It is stunning.  And big.

I'm working on a rug with circles right, wait, I'm LOOKING at a rug with circles and scratching my head because I'm too intimidated by them.  Maybe while I'm in Vermont next week at Green Mountain I will make some headway on that rug.

Here are our booth neighbors, Gail and Deb at RHM.  I get so excited when I get my new issues!

We had three of our amazing distributors vending at the show, and I had dinner with Susan Feller of Ruckman Mill Farm and Martha Reeder of Going Gray (and her sister Liz and brother in law Jerry), and lunch with another distributor, Gene Shepherd.  Terry Dorr, you are on my meal list in Vermont!

Martha and Liz, in a rare moment of quiet in their booth.

Susan Feller works her magic at the Ruckman Mill Farm booth. 

Terry Dorr, selling some of the hombre wool.

The show was just crazy busy, with so many people to meet and things to do.  And the rugs...oh, the rugs.  I wandered into one of Laura Pierce's classes and the portrait rugs people were working on were amazing.  Just a fun get-together of the rug hooking community that of which I am slowly learning.  Names and faces are starting to come together, and I'm starting to recognize people's work without seeing the name.  But no time for hooking while I'm in the booth!  Maybe in Vermont....

Katie and I left the show on Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m., and lo and behold, the airport was shrouded in fog.  Our flight on the tiny plane was delayed by an hour, which made us miss our connecting flight in Baltimore, which put us in airports for the next 14 hours.  Oy.  We finally made it back to the Quad Cities at 11 p.m., happy to be home, but looking forward to the next ATHA Biennial, taking place at Long Beach, CA in 2013!  If you want to support the next Biennial, go to and type in ATHA 2013 and look at the items you can buy - I'm loving Jane Olson's needle case!

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