|Outside of the Convention Center|
My task was to interview "Best of” and “First Place” winners - a long list of 30-plus quilters that I split with another writer, Marj Russell. Then, over three days, in person, by phone, and by email, I interviewed those quilters, hearing about their inspirations, techniques, tricks, and in some cases, their surprise that their quilt won quilts. I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed the friendly, yet knowledgeable “quilt speak.” Every quilter was as delightful as could be, and I felt like I’d made a new friend after each interview. Touching greatness - including the likes of Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry - among other American, Japanese, and Brazilian quilters was simply wonderful. I wish I could tell you about all of them! Well, I sorta did.
You'll find my write-ups in the July issue of American Quilter, right alongside pictures of the quilts. A few more of my pieces will appear in future AQS online newsletters, called OnPoint. I hope you’re an AQS member so you get the magazine! Or, you can usually find it at JoAnn Fabrics.
I had so many favorite quilts that I can't begin to show them all here, but this is one that made me happy. The "modern" category was new to QuiltWeek this year, and don't you think Sandi did a nice job with hand-dyed Cherrywood fabrics?After mornings spent interviewing, by mid-afternoon and evening on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday you could find me writing quietly in my motel room. It was an intense writing period, putting together 17 pieces, but so good to write! Saturday morning I turned in the thumb drive of everything.
|Me (looking tired, I think), and Michele Duffy, AQ editor|
The last day of the show, Saturday, was when I got to spend time with Michele, the AQS editor-in-chief. Together we walked around the show, looked at quilts, and I did a little shopping. I found some pieces of Kaffe that I need to finish a UFO won more than two years ago (good grief!) in a blog giveaway, and bought several Marathon threads that a first-place winner used in her domestic machine-quilted quilt.
A few other purchases: needles for my Pfaff grand quilter; a new pair of snips (as used by HandiQuilter longarmers); a Strip Stick, for pressing open seam allowances; and a 6-1/2" Bloc-Loc ruler, for squaring up half-square triangles by nesting the seam allowance in a groove on the bottom of the ruler.
Oh! And one day I wore my “Name Dropper” selvage skirt! Wearing it was as much fun as I hoped it would be. I was asked to have my picture taken quite a few times. Well, not a picture of me, but my skirt was photographed.
Another special treat was discovering that four quilters I know from the Des Moines Area Quilters Guild - Mary, Kathy, Leigh, and Martha - stayed in the same motel (Fairfield Inn) as me! In fact, they were only two doors away! It was extra special to conclude two evenings worth of writing by knocking on their door just in time for their day’s “show and tell.” Being with them made me appreciate their quilting expertise and experiences. They know their stuff, so it was fun to talk shop.
If I haven't bored you with my tales, let me say only one more thing.
Each year, 30,000 quilters know what an great quilt show it is, so if a trip to QuiltWeek in Paducah isn't on your bucket list, it should be!
No quilt show is like it, not only for the quilts and the amazing workmanship, but for the all-round friendliness of the city. I've been to big quilt shows, and Paducah has the friendliest hometown atmosphere of them all. From the shuttle bus drivers, to the motel staff, to people you meet at the shows, and in an elevator - they're just plain nice. At $210 (includes all fees and taxes) a night for a room at the Fairfield Inn, it isn't cheap, but AQS has one show that's worth attending. By QuiltWeek 2015 a brand new LaQuinta will be another motel option.
And you never know exactly who you might run into!
Paducah is a quilter's mecca, and I'll see you there next year! Linda