I've been to only two previous "big" shows, both AQS regional shows in Knoxville, TN several years ago.
At this show the quilts were much better than they were in the Knoxville shows (although there were several stunning quilts in Knoxville), and, even better, this show had several other really high quality displays of larger quilts, including a great display of quilts by AQS authors. (The other AQS shows I attended had seemingly endless displays of challenge quilts, and I rarely enjoy seeing those.)
As do most quilters, I have a few "quilting heroes" who inspire me to persevere and do more things that stretch my skills. It was wonderful to see their work in person. I took a few photos, but their work is so spectacular that I knew better than to even try to capture its richness.
One of my inspirations is Karen Marchetti. Here's a photo of her honorable mention.
I had a detail photo, but blogger won't let me upload it; Karen takes much better photos for her blog anyway.
Karen also quilts for others. She blogs about those at Creative Longarm Quilting by Karen Marchetti.
Below is a Margaret Solomon Gunn's Quilt entered in the same category as Karen's. Margaret blogs here. Her quilting business is here.
This was quilted by Judi Madson. Quite a few of her quilts were in the show.
Actually, I suspect these quilters had many quilts in the show. Sometimes people have these great quilters quilt their quilts and then don't acknowledge them when they enter their quilts. I really think that borders on fraud because so very often quilting makes the quilt.
This was the quilt Marilyn Badger and Claudia Clark Myers entered. It has been quite a while since I've had the chance to see Marilyn's work in person.
I did not take photos of the top winners. They are posted on the AQS website usually on the Saturday evening of the show. One of the prize winning quilts was quilted by Renee Haddadin, and it was wonderful to see her work in person too. (Oklahoma's Channel 6 has posted the names here.)
Most of the quilts were high quality, although there were several that I was astounded had gotten into the show. But they probably impressed someone during that ten second window that quilts have to impress the people on the jury. There were quite a few quilts entered that had been made from other people's patterns, and they were on display, but it didn't look like any of them had won ribbons.
There was a fairly large display of "tent hangings" by the tentmakers of Cairo. They were interesting, but aren't something that appeals to me. There was a display of Navajo rugs; I'm sure they were interesting to visitors from other parts of the country.
The other part of these large shows that I just love is visiting the vendors. There were lots of sewing machines and mid- and long-arms. They took up lots of floor space, and clearly some dealers were more interested in selling machines than others. There were lots of pattern vendors and a few vendors selling fabric. The only quilting rulers for longarmers were in the HandiQuilter booth, and the only other rulers I saw were the Block-Loc rulers from CO that I haven't found carried by anyone locally. I didn't buy a thing. In fact, I'd bought a two day ticket and handed the second day portion to someone coming into the show so she didn't have to buy a ticket.
When it comes to shopping show vendors, I have to say I had a lot more fun and made a lot more purchases at the Rusty Barn Show last year; that expo will be back in Albuquerque in April. I'm thinking the booths for the AQS Albuquerque show were just so expensive that many potential vendors decided not to participate.
But that's okay, because the quilts were really wonderful. I was inspired by the quilts and by seeing the work of some of my favorite inspirations in the quilt world.
The only other downside to this show is that my daughter is away at NMTech, so she didn't get to attend the show with me.
I also saw a quilt made by Becky Dunham of Farmington, NM that I'll post later (because Blogger won't let me add it now). Years ago when I lived in or near Gallup, I became acquainted with several Farmington quilters, but I was unaware of Becky until today.
Since I didn't blow my budget, I'm thinking I'll order more rulers and thread on-line. Sounds like a good plan, doesn't it?
Happy quiltmaking...and knitting,