Here's another story from our Italian trip. When the Textile Show ended, we would drive back to our hotel, collapse for an hour and then meet up and walk through the park into Parma to get an evening meal. One evening as we crossed the bridge into the town center, there were crowds of people lining the streets waving flags and cheering.
Really retro classic cars were zooming up and down the streets. We had stumbled upon the Mille Miglia.
Mille Miglia is a thousand mile endurance race across Italy. The first Mille Miglia races ran from 1927 to 1957. Restarting again in 1977, the drivers always compete in cars from the 1927 to 1957 era, in honour of the original races
Mille Miglia is regarded as the most beautiful automobile race in the world. We watched Alfa Romeos, BMWs, Ferraris, Bugattis, Austin Healys, Bristols, Lamborghinis, Fiats and Mercedes-Benzes mostly driven by eccentric men in goggles and leather caps. This was so cool! Our Italian hosts enjoyed it just as much as we did.
JUKI Italia Spa were our hosts for the Italian trip. They were also one of the main show sponsors, providing sewing machines for the workshops and prizes for the winning quilts. Keen to promote Italian patchwork and quilting, JUKI invited us to demonstrate how the JUKI TL 98-P sewing machine performed on our new Art Quilter frame. In writing about the Mille Migulia, I am struck by what this race has in common with the JUKI sewing machine. These cars are some of the most finely engineered vehicles in the world. Designed for speed and endurance, they are beautiful to watch and a delight to drive. The JUKI TL 98P sewing machine shares these same qualities.
Many people, particularly here in Europe have never heard of JUKI sewing machines. Yet JUKI is one of the most successful industrial sewing machine companies in the world. The JUKI company channels its extensive industrial technology into creating the best domestic sewing machines on the market. The Italian Textile Show provided an opportunity for many people to test drive a JUKI TL 98 P on a machine quilting frame for the very first time. The speed, ease of handling, the simplicity of design that makes it easy to tension, the sweet purr of the powerful engine going 1500 stitches per minute...
These final photos show Dr. Dario Belloli, the CEO of JUKI Italia Spa, test driving his JUKI TL 98 P on our Art Quilter machine quilting frame. He loved it!