Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Tale of Two Quilt Shows

While we wait for photos and minutes of our last meeting, I thought I'd share my past two weekends with you.

A tale of two Quilt Shows…
Submitted by: Deb Hathaway

I believe it’s important to support local organizations as much as possible. Since quilting is near and dear to my heart I try my best to attend as many quilt shows held by New Jersey guilds as I can. October is an extremely busy time of year for these shows.

Last week I drove an hour and half south to attend the South Shore Stitchers’ show in Tukahoe, NJ.  Held in a local community center it was exactly as I expected. Once I entered and paid the donation at the door I was handed a form (cutely folded to look like a letter) to vote for my favorite quilts in 3 categories… Small, Medium, and Large. Vendors lined the perimeter of the gym, with a boutique and demo section in a room off to the side.

The quilts were AWESOME! So many different techniques, proudly displayed together. In addition to pieced and applique, some were hand-painted, others were cross stitched, and still others were embellished with beads. The raffle quilt was beautiful!!!

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy the stories behind the quilts just as much as the finished piece. Most of the stories began with, “I made this quilt as a gift…” for my daughter, my husband, my best friend, grandaughter, cousin, and on and on. Very few stated they were made for themselves! We quilters are certainly generous with our time and talents.

Love the colors!
Yes, the quilts were creative, beautiful and certainly worth the price of admission… however I found the mini-quilts made to remind everyone to ‘Don’t Touch’ a wonderful surprise. I believe these were the product of a guild challenge.
Guild Challenge
Please Don't Touch!

 Sadly I wasn’t able to participate in any demos. The instructors needed the use of a microphone to be heard over the others sharing the open room… like the boutique and other non-profit organizations. My personal hearing issues impeded my comfort… so I had to walk away. I’m sure they were great.

This weekend I drove an hour and a half in the opposite direction, to Belvidere, NJ to attend The Evening Star Guild’s show. Again… Once I paid the admission I was handed a program and voting slip… AND a lollipop of fabric! That was a nice touch!

The show was held in the local High School, which allowed the guild to spread out the different venues. Once inside the gym to view the quilts, my attention was diverted to the silent auction table. Instead of the usual table filled with ‘things’ to bid on… it was overflowing with a huge selection of handmade purses and totes, each one more interesting than the next. Each bag had a coffee can in it for you to place your ticket. Such a unique idea!

Again, Vendors selling fabric, sewing and quilting machines, jewelry and more lined the perimeter. Yet the quilts still stole the show! As expected I drooled over many of them… enjoying the creativity, surprising color choices, and expert sewing ability of the makers. I consider myself more of a ‘modern quilter’, preferring crisp, clean, geometric designs in bold colors, yet that doesn’t stop me from appreciating the work of more traditional quilters. Mini quilts depicting which entries were quilted by hand was a nice touch.

The demos were held in the library… plenty of space, easy to hear, and very informative. Lunch was available down the hall in the cafeteria, I felt like I was in High School again!

This particular show stands out in my mind of the best ones I have ever been to… and do you want to know why??? Because I felt ‘welcomed’. Every guild member I came in contact with was ‘engaged’, friendly, hospitable and informative. I was treated as a friend. They made everyone feel that way.

Fall is the season for cuddly quilts… and there are many more shows to attend. I look forward to every one. Feel free to join me!

BTW... If YOU have a story you'd like to see on this page, please send along to deb(at)debhathaway(dot)com.

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