For years and years now, my parents and I have attended the Quilt Auction Preview on the Friday evening of the MCC Relief Sale weekend in New Hamburg. I love this annual outing!!! (It’s always held the last weekend of May). Some years we’ve frozen on a chilly cold evening; last year it rained so hard, we could not even access the outdoor tents – the ground was a mud bowl! This year we lucked out with a sunny, warm evening – really made wandering about a pleasure.
Our annual outing follows a typical pattern. The following photos will help explain our traditions!
Tradition #1: Dad’s parking spot.
Erv has this “thing” about finding a primo parking spot. It really matters not if he can park in an actual spot; every year he somehow finds space in which to position his vehicle. We’ve parked in gullies, alongside tractor trailers, up against light posts, in mud holes…somehow Erv always succeeds in getting his way with parking within 25 metres of the entrance (no trek in from the back 40 for Daddy-o!).
Here’s what happened this year:
Tradition #2 – Meat n Pie
Usually mom and I head straight for the quilts and Dad goes off in search of his supper. This year, we arrived earlier than usual and decided to keep Dad company. Dad always gets some form of meat and a slice of pie – nothing rivals my mom’s pies…except homemade Mennonite pies with handchurned ice cream on the side! Now Erv deviated a little this year and chose to start with…
…followed very closely by…
Now THAT’S the way to enjoy french fries!
Erv then declared he was too full for pie (do ya think?!) so we made our way indoors to the quilt preview…
Tradition #3: Mom Buys Apple Butter and Jams
On the way to the quilts, we always stop so that mom can pick up her apple butter and her obscure jars of jam. These will last her until next year’s sale. Mom does do a lot of home preserving of a vast assortment of jams, but enjoys picking up a jar or two of pickled beets or elderberry/cherry marmalade, apricot chutney… (you get the idea!).
Unfortunately my camera died on me this year after taking the shots of Erv and his food picks, so I had to use my blackberry camera for the rest of the eve. The “buying of the apple butter shot” was too blurry to post – sorry!
Tradition #4: The Viewing of the Quilts
I’ve never actually attended the Quilt Auction itself – by all accounts, you have to arrive super early and it’s absolutely packed with people. We love the Friday evening opportunity to see the beautiful donations, and get to avoid the crowds. It’s still busy Friday eve, but nothing like Saturday would be.
This year, the quality of the quilts was simply OUTSTANDING. The quilts are always gorgeous, but this year, it seemed like the designs, quilting, creativity, and colours were just exceptional. I have no desire to learn to quilt, but I do appreciate the time and effort and skill needed to complete a masterpiece. Here’s a quick sampling of what we ooh’ed and aah’ed over:
Sorry for not showing my absolute favourite photos, but you weave back and forth down and up aisles that are about 8 inches wide, and I just could not get a good shot of some of the most draw-droppingly fantastic quilts. Plus, there is a protective barrier of light plastic over the quilts to protect them which isn’t the best for picture-taking. Despite the frequent placement of these signs…
…some people still paw and poke over the quilts! – a huge Pet Peeve! Hello – can you not read, people!?!
Another tradition: mom and i always “hit the wall” at exactly the same time. All of a sudden, we cannot absorb any more beauty and have seen enough. Then it’s time to go round up Dad…
Tradition #5: Catching Up
We look forward to meeting mom’s cousin Bob and his wife Joan every year, as we did again this year. Usually we then encounter 2-3 other acquaintances/distant family members. This year was record setting! I think we bumped into at least 6 sets of people with whom we stopped and chatted. Always fun to do the annual meet and greet. I have no photos – just didn’t feel comfortable snapping a blackberry photo of folks I only meet once per year!
And then it’s back home again! New Hamburg to Waterloo is a lovely country-road drive, a very enjoyable way to conclude a super fun May evening.