Monday, June 01, 2009

Crafting a Life: Quilt Shows

(crossposted at BlogHer)

With weather warming and the spring/summer seasons upon us, craft, sewing and quilt guilds around the world are putting the final touches on their local shows, or are breathing a sigh of relief as their show finishes up. Adding to the local appeal of these shows are regional and national shows presented every year.

glowy quilt show

Local shows:
There is a charm to attending a local quilt guild or sewing guild show. Each group often has at least one very prolific member who enters 8-12 items; by the end of the show, it often gets easy to spot that person's work. There is often a section of first quilts. While some of these are simple designs, there is usually one over-achiever who does fabulously technical work that makes her project look more like a masterpiece than beginner piece.

Each show has an aisle or two displaying workshop projects. These allow the visitor to compare how individual color sense dramatically alters the appearance of a pattern.

Look at this photo of three Lone Star Quilts each made with the same pattern and even quilted identically. The choices of color and color placement changes the feel of each item.

Regional Shows:

Regional shows remove some of the charm from the guild shows -seldom organizing to highlight a workshop project for example. In return, the creative and technical quality of the work increases. There will be more individual works not made from someone else's pattern. There will be hand- dyed fabrics, extra embellishments and almost always something that surprises and delights the visitor. These shows may still be run by amateurs -state or regional councils representing a number of guilds for example. However, some of these are also presented by professional organizing companies such as Mancuso Brothers show management.

One of the most anticipated summer regional shows -Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show- takes place in Sisters, Or. on Saturday, July 11th.

National Shows:

Every year, quilters save sheckles and vacation time to make pilgrimages to Paducah, Kentucky in the springtime and/or Houston, Texas, in the fall. I've never made it to either of these shows, so rather than try to explain them, myself, let others discuss their experiences:

Frieda Anderson shared impressions of quilts from Paducah Quilt Show.

PattieWack Craft Blog determined she was Paducah Bound or BUST. And found the experience completely worth it.

Julie -Feeling Simply Quilty- joined a bus trip to Paducah and showed her day.

At CJ Stitching and Blooms we learn another reason to attend a large show: international friends get a chance to meet in person.

Heidi Zielinski -like other quilters- has already submitted her quilts to be juried into the Houston show this fall.

Photo credit:
Glowy Quilt Show, by skvidal's Flickrstream. Three Lone Star Quilts, from circulating's Flickrstream.

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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