Saturday, March 15, 2014

Notes on a quilt show

My husband and I made our yearly trek to the quilt show in Lancaster yesterday. This has become a ritual where we find someone to let Cole out-and-in-and-out-and-in while we take a moment to travel a day together.This was all the more special because he left the dissertation prison office and dedicated the entire day to my enjoyment. He is like that. He might not know a perfect gift to buy for an occasion but he knows how to give the gift of connection.
  We  had a cumulative drive time of 4 hours listening to the book on CD we are "reading". I'm so glad we can find books that entertain both of us for long car rides. In fact, as we rounded a corner at the show we both said, "that's the character from our book!" What  fun!
We visit the show, go to local fabric stores holding sales and eat the Friday Fish Fry at Cracker Barrel. Drew never had to resort to pulling out his Engineering book as I was pretty darn quick at the shops.

This was the AQS quilt show, which used to be the Quilters Heritage quilt show, which I miss a lot.The other show allowed you to enter quilts, made up to five years before. Most quilt shows now require you to have made a quilt within two years which means most quilts won't be seen.
To enter a quilt you have to hurry! You must  juggle entry deadlines, the year it was  made, show dates and transit time, exhibit time, not overlap said times, pay a lot of entry fee/insurance/postage money and hire a secretary and accountant to handle your details (just kidding but almost). You must choose between shows to enter. If your quilt doesn't get in, you've missed getting in to another show because you had to choose.
It's a lot of details for a person who just wants to make art and have it seen. Someone with my personality type: Time-Challenged-disorganized-non-computer-savvy-last-minute-earnestly-trying-type-A.

some crystals, fabric and jewelry cleaner purchases

This show is on three floors. I saw, shopped, and bought an odd assortment of items. A tunic, fabric, crystals and, of course, the vintage poodle pin-cushion.

 As you might know I collect pin cushions see some here: CLICK HERE FOR A FEW

   This brings me to a question, why do we take pictures of people's quilts at shows?
I take a picture, download it, and most likely never look at it again. But there is something in us that wants to capture that quilt to have. It feels like we get to take it home with us! Of course, the rest of you probably do something useful with your pictures.

 I have seen people at shows looking at my quilts hanging there. They laugh and say, that's so me! They take a picture!  I took some pictures of quilts yesterday too. I like to take pictures of techniques that interest me. My husband likes quilts that are blue. That sounds simplistic, he also cares about content so if it's a water piece and blue, even better!

There is also a small annoyance to me while looking at quilts. (Says to self)  "Hmm, looks like the quilt I have been home making for years, in that technique I "invented", or that concept I thought of, or the style I have been doing..."
Apparently there is a  cloud of group-think going on, and we are all home coming up with similar ideas, and some of us are faster than others at getting the stupid digital entries done on time and getting the details handled and suddenly it might seem like the slower person is copying an idea.
I overheard some people looking at the quilts and saying it makes them feel like they will never make anything that good. Whoa! This is not the goal! See my post on comparing your work to others here  CLICK HERE.

A goal of seeing quilts and visiting vendors who provide us with machines and fabric and notions, is to be stimulated to go home and make something. Hopefully something from our heart, something special, something you love. It doesn't need so much quilting that it resembles a tapestry. It doesn't have to have 5678.5 crystals or hexagons, not that there's anything wrong with that.
 We should be excited to make something that is fun and expresses who we are.

Here's to making stuff!
And here's hoping next time I better handle the entry details so mine hangs there too! 


  1. Hi LeeAnna!
    Sounds like you two had a great trip together!
    I enjoyed the write up!
    What does one do with all those quilt photo's, especially after one's very first visit to the International Quilt Show in Houston?! LOL! I so love digital!
    Cheers to making stuff!
    Take care,

  2. Hi!!!! Sounds like fun!!!! Great for hubby to do!!!! I love pics!!!! They do help inspire me!!!! Thanks for visiting my blog!!!! See you soon!!!!

  3. Hi LeeAnna,

    I'll have to go to that quilt show next year! I too have pictures of the Houston Quilt Show ... 253! Of course 27 of them are those cow quilts :) What did I do with them? Well, made them into Smileboxes, of course, and then shared them with my mother-in-law who took me to my first quilt show and with my friend Barbara who loves the color combinations and appreciates the artistry. I believe I have another Smilebox that my daughter sent from the show a couple of years ago ... of course hers are only ones that appealed to her, mostly modern, bright colors.

    Thanks for sharing about your day. Pat

  4. I took pictures of the entire Quilt as Desired collection curated by Mary Kerr. Why? Becuase I am still learning my long-arm quilting style and I want to capture as many long-arm quilted images as possible or inspiration. I also like to share these on my blog when I need a quick post and don't have anything of real import of my own to share.

    The best part is that I can share those images with others so they may be motivated to go find a show in their area. I can also use them as my own inspiration to continue to develop my own long-arm work.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, as I know I have been places and the photos just hang around and do nothing. At least the digital photos don't take up more space in the house.

    Excuse me, I need to go share some pictures.

  5. It sounds like you and your hubby had a great day getting inspired!

    Thanks so much for linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  6. Visiting your blog from Lets Be Social. I also attended the Lancaster show with my girlfriend last week and was wowed by the quilts. Why do we take pictures? I guess to remember the wonderful artistry... and I know I take pictures to look at incredible detail and techniques. But you are right.. they sometimes come home and are never looked at again. I have a box of quilt show pictures from 25+ years of quilt shows. But at that moment, I just want to capture the beauty and the moment. Like taking the quilts how with you!

  7. Interesting questions in your post. I took photos at the very first show I attended to show people at the office and my family. Now I take photos of sections of quilts - color combinations, angles, quilting (for my friend), etc. - but rarely a whole quilt (unless it is mine, tee hee). And honestly, is there anything truly new under the sun? Or isn't most everything based in something that is already out there . . . (visiting from RSC).