Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hello Paducah!

This weekend I had the great pleasure of attending the AQS show in Paducah for the first time. I believe it is just behind Houston as the largest quilt show in the US. It was a ton of fun and I will probably split up photos into multiple posts.

I completely lucked out on the ride down because I got to sit next to Casey York! It's so fun to talk to others about quilting and this is the first time I've gotten to chat up someone who's blog I follow. It was a blast and I hope I can get to know others whose blogs I follow soon too :)

I got to see Christa Watson's quilt in the (very small) modern quilt section. Go Christa!
For this post I'll just focus on some general impressions of Paducah. These are generally all in comparison to Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF), which is the only other large quilt show I've been to. First off, Paducah had fewer quilts but waaaaay more vendors. I most definitely ran out of time to do everything I wanted and I had to skip out of the vendor tent early to ensure I actually made it to all the quilts.

Second, this show was definitely more traditional than PIQF. There were far fewer pictorial/art quilts and more traditional patterns. There was quite a bit of hand applique. All of the traditional quilts had a serious "wow" factor, but I have a passion for landscape quilts so I wish I could have seen more.
Lots of big and bold medallion quilts like this one by Masa Yanagimoto (btw there were also a ton of quilts by Japanese quilters. That's a whole nother post!)

One thing that was a little frustrating was that you could not get close to the quilts. A lot of this quilts shined because of their amazing details, and unfortunately you just can't see those details from 6 feet away. Some quilts are really also meant to be viewed head on, and with the  chain you just couldn't do that.
Curse you, chain!

This quilt by Lorrie Hockett just begged to be viewed close up...but you couldn't! It was almost a travesty. I would have loved to found all of the fun details hiding in it.

I took close-ups of all of the blocks on that quilt so I could actually seem their contents!

This one needed to be viewed head-on for full effect. This angled picture doesn't provide  the impact that I know this quilt has. Quilt by Kathy McNeil.
Okay one more whiny point: the quilt descriptions were mighty short. Each quilt had merely a number next to it and you had to look up the number in the program. It seems each person was limited to about 100 characters for their quilts description. Almost none included a listing of the techniques used, which is typical in other quilt shows I attend. That's information I would like to know!

Criticisms aside, there were a lot of pretty flipping awesome quilts. I did one round of the show taking photos and a second round just taking in the quilts and enjoying them without the camera distracting me. It's fascinating how some quilts look awful up close and when I look through the camera lens they look completely different.

Take this quilt by Jo Ann Kilgroe and Jessica Jones Gamez. It wasn't until after I had been snapping a few photos of it that I realized the flowers in the corners were actually butterflies!

Okay that's enough photos for now. I probably be posting a lot more with some specific observations about use of fabric, color, quilting, and so on. It's always great how much you can learn and be inspired at these shows!


  1. I'm so happy that you had a chance to attend this amazing show. I've never been able to attend, but it is on my bucket list. The next best is seeing your photos. Thank you for sharing.


  2. It was so fun talking with you on the way down and at dinner, Heather! I'm so glad I got to know you better. Glad you had fun at the show. I always notice new things when I look at others' photo recaps of events I've been to, so I can't wait to see your follow up posts and get a sense of what you found interesting!