Friday, June 25, 2010

Quilt show attractions

There are many attractions associated with any quilt show, and the Number One spot is definitely the Merchant Mall or vendors.
I have even known people to go to a show and never even look at the quilts!
The NQA show had about 80 vendors, a good amount for plenty of variety.
It gets too crowded in the shopping area to take pictures, and some of the vendors don't like you to photograph the quilts in their booths. They would prefer you buy the pattern, not copy....and rightfully so. They may also be displaying a borrowed quilt that is a copyrighted piece of art. Some vendors don't mind if you take a picture. It's considered polite to ask first.
The booth above is one of my favorites, the painter Rebecca Barker. She does scenes that have a quilt incorporated in different ways. Each year she aso paints a special picture for the NQA show to reflect the theme. Her artwork can be purchased in several forms, from originals to prints to notecards. You know I like to buy cards, and this year she added a Thank-You card! Now who cannot use a box of those?
Cherry-Cherry and I made up for our lapse of fabric buying in NC by handling every batik in sight at the show. How do you like this one that has a Passion Flower motif?
That came from the fabulous Batiks Etcetera & Sew What Fabrics of Wytheville, VA. 
Now, you know we must really have a batik habit, because shop owner Carol Britt actually recognized us from other shows! Especially our local show...she asked CC if we weren't from Jacksonville, and then wanted to know why we had not stopped at the shop, since we had to be traveling by there on our way to Ohio!
Well, I guess we cannot let that happen again! We promise to stop next time!
I was in class for two days, and that gave Cherry-Cherry time to work on a project in the hotel room...yes! she finished a couple fused pieces. But she also had time to buy these pretty batiks for me!
Thanks, said they were in return for the last of my 505 spray baste cans, but basting spray is your basting spray!
Of course, if I'm not drooling over batiks, I'm pawing through any collection of Black & White fabrics. These came from The Quilting website, but you can find Glenda Brady at many shows with a "field of fat quarters".
There were other attractions around the Convention Center, including many lovely plantings:
Does anyone know the name of that pink flowering vine? CC got one for Mother's Day and it did not have any identification.
I am always attracted to food, and this place, barely a block away, is the spot for lunch or dinner:   
The Old North Market has been in operation almost forever. It's like a farmer's market with food stands and other little shops...a total delight for the senses!
Who can resist a sign like this?
Maybe me, as I purchased a chicken salad sandwich one day, and Indian food another. The shops are ringed by an upstairs balcony area with tables and chairs so you can eat while enjoying the sights :
I did not get a shot of the coffee shop inside the Convention Center, but you can be sure that was a popular place. Some day the food vendors will realize that quilters like something after 3:00 in the afternoon, and they could do plenty enough business to afford extra hours.
The other attraction at a quilt show is People Watching...but you won't see any photos of that from me!

In the next post, I'll  share some comments about the class I took on judging a quilt show.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Around the NQA quilt show

Last seen from the top, this is the long escalator down to the quilt show:
Those who did not have to make the long trek through the building could come in right on the ground floor! But if you had a class upstairs, it was the same escalator ride in another location.
NQA members may register ahead of time, but everyone still has to go to check in:
I got my class info, show pin and a great bag with a water bottle holder on the outside, and special pockets for pens and business cards! Nice embroidery, too...

Going into the show, it's no secret who the big sponsors are:
There is no place like a large quilt show to be able to check out all the newest sewing machines. I have my eye on the new Janome 7700 Horizon. But it will require some major remodeling of my sewing area...using saws. That's a story for another day!
Inside the show is the NQA booth with lots of info about this great organization. They have a wonderful grants program, funded by the annual small quilts auction.
Around the side is a set up for demos, with the times posted so you can plan a sit-down. Some of these were quite crowded, but it's really a nice way to have a small class:
Really, I do try to be good and not show full pictures of other people's quilts without their permission. So if you see something here that you object to, let me know and I will take it down!
There are miniature quilts at almost every show. I look at them quickly, and run away before I get too crazy:
Much better are the rows of competition quilts and special exhibits, all well marked:
 There are NQA members as white glove ladies, but the clear plastic tape across the stanchions does a pretty good job of reminding people not to touch. This show's visitors seemed to have much better etiquette than the ones at the Mancuso show in West Palm Beach. I will have to do a little study...are attendees at volunteer organization shows better behaved than the ones at shows run as businesses?
The quilts were displayed well, too...I always think of that when I see the big-time-award-winning one I almost stepped on, while white gloving! the previously mentioned show. It was at this one, too. But safely displayed.
Cherry-Cherry says it has design issues, which she kindly pointed out to me, so I won't show it again . 
Quilted clothing seems to come and go in popularity. These entries are more "costumey" than some.
But I enjoy seeing them, whether or not I'd ever wear any!
Award ribbons are another way to make a show special. The NQA ribbons feature the black & yellow colors, although that did cause one viewer some distress. I guess she was accustomed to the blue ribbon system!
They all have a little golden bee pin (the NQA symbol) and each level from Honorable Mention (above) gets fancier as it goes all the way up to Best of Show:
You can see "Tribute to Tolkien" by Sue McCarty in many is winning loads of well-deserved awards. Here's a little detail shot:
Even though the words are in Elven runes, please do not read them aloud or we will all be in trouble! (only amusing to those who know "Lord of the Rings").
This quilt is entered in the category "Other", meaning it uses special techniques. Everything on here is done with thread. There is some painting in the three figures in the quilt's center (not shown) but all the rest is done with thread on a solid background.
Each show sets categories and awards as they see fit. NQA likes to divide between "bed" and "wall" for sizes, then techniques used (pieced, applique, mixed and other). Here are some other is hard to get good pictures even when the crowds are thin!
There is a full list of winners on the NQA website, and sometime soon there will be pictures.
Coming next: around the Convention Center...and the judging class!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On the way to the NQA...quilt show, that is!

Last week it was into the QuiltMobile and heading north to Ohio for the National Quilting Association show!
Half the fun of going to a quilt show is the actual going. It was just Cherry-Cherry & me, but we managed to have a lot of laughs along the way.
The first stop was just to celebrate being out of Florida, our home state. Here's the QuiltMobile in Georgia:
June is a beautiful month to go almost anywhere. It's like the best of Spring and Summer. There were trees and flowers all along our route up I-95, I-26 and I-77 to Ohio Rt. 33.
But wait!
Doesn't that take a quilter close to MaryJo's in Gastonia, NC?
Why yes, it does...just a quick side trip, and well worth the time. Here's the QuiltMobile in the parking lot. You will know it's my van, as there is always a flag of Spanish moss hanging from the luggage rack somewhere.
I didn't recognize the place! The mall has been completely re-built around the original MaryJo's store, which has stayed open and unchanged inside. Let's take a look:
This is exactly like a fabric supermarket....if you want it, they have it. It's fun to see the swimsuit, decorator and bridal gown supplies.
This is an entire aisle of Food Fabrics. Besides the healthy & colorful fruit and veggies, there were plenty of ones like Potato Chips, too! And chocolates, of course.
In the quilting cottons there is a tremendous selection of theme fabrics, with signs suspended from the ceiling so you can find the animals, sports or any other item you want.
And spools of giant ric-rack!
The strange thing was that neither of us bought any fabric, even at the outstanding price of $6.49 for top quality batiks. What we really wanted was 505 for spray basting, and we found it in large cans for only a few dollars more than the small ones! So now we are all stocked up and ready to baste a pile of tops.
Our plan was to spend the night in Gastonia, but we decided to use these longer day-light hours and get some more miles done. We finally stopped in Jonesboro and Elkins, NC.
The next day we had to get to Columbus, OH in time for the Preveiw Party, so we hit the road and had a wonderful ride on the West Virginia Turnpike (aka I-77).
If you're going up that way, be sure to stop at Tamarack to see the crafts!
It's a beautiful big round building that is a showcase..and sales point...for West Virginian crafts people. It's good to see states promoting their artisans.
What lovely displays! The prices are set for people who cannot make any of these things themselves. I think that is absolutely correct. Good craftwork should not be cheap.
And though I may never be able to buy them, these shoes will always be a favorite fantasty:
You just have to love all that color!!!

We made it into Columbus in plenty of time to check into the Red Roof Inn (across the street from the Convention Center) and mosey over to the show. It was a short walk to the entrance, and then a longer distance inside the Convention Center! We had no idea where to go, so we adapted the Airport Mentatlity:
Keeping moving forward and look for signs!
Sure enough, it was almost a straight shot through. But we did have to go up some levels and back down...
This is a huge place, and there were several events going on at the same time as the quilt show, including a knitters' convention and one for CPAs!
Dinner was a nice plate of chicken, and the tables were formally set. After everyone ate, the doors to the exhibit hall were open and we strolled among the quilts for a few hours.
The vendors were open, too!
Ahhh....there is nothing like being in Quilt World for a couple of days.
Cherry-Cherry was free to roam, and I took the 2-Day Intro to Quilt Show Judging class.
Coming next: lots of quilts!