Sunday, September 16, 2012

My First Quilt Expo

Now that I have dedicated some time to quilting, I thought I'd go to my first quilt expo.  My opinion was: "These quilts will either motivate and inspire me or make me stop quilting all together because I will never measure up".  Both situations were true.

All done by hand!
The 2nd place quilt stopped me in my tracks.  This picture was taken with my iPod and doesn't do the quilt justice.  It's all hand appliquéd and hand quilted.  And it's huge - large enough for a king size bed; as if you would ever put it on a bed.   And the colors are bright and gorgeous!  After seeing this quilt, I shouldn't honestly call what I do quilting.

But, let's get back to reality.  This is the yellow ribbon quilt.  It's a paper pieced pineapple quilt.  I love it for it's simple elegance.  I can actually see myself making a pineapple quilt one day.  This is an achievable goal, whereas the Baltimore Album quilt above is a fantasy.  I'll never be that good. (Notice how I just throw quilting jargon around!!)

The blue ribbon quilt didn't interest me.  The highlight of that quilt was the actual quilting, which in my opinion, requires a whole different skill set than piecing or appliqué.  I'm working on being a passable piecer – I don't think I'll live long enough to become good at quilting.  Besides, without my camera, it would have been too difficult to photograph the subtleties of the quilting.

Of course, I did some shopping.  I want to make a small Underground Railroad sampler and I bought some 1860s reproduction fabrics.  1860s era fabrics are not as easy to find as one might think.  Apparently, the trend for making civil war era quilts has passed, just when I decide I want to make one.  Lucky me.  Also, a representative was demonstrating Oliso Pro Irons.  I had a horrible experience with this iron, so what did I do?  I bought another one.  File this in the "some-folks-never-learn" folder.  In my defense, I really enjoyed using the iron.  The 30-minute shut-off feature was great!  And the "show price" was considerably less than the sale + coupon price I paid when I bought the iron  in June.  If Oliso can lower the price for a show, why can't they lower the price permanently?  I told the sales person about my experience and he said I could have sent it back for a replacement.  Turns out, my iron wasn't the only one with problems.  The Oliso management changed manufacturers and  I was assured the problems have the eliminated.  Time will tell.

I saw a wide variety of quilts and quilters at the expo. There is more to quilting than just the traditional pieced blocks.  There were more "art quilts" on display than anything else.  I expected to see  the stereotypical  gray-haired, quilting grannies, but that was not the case.  I saw many different types of women there.   Except for the granny part, I have all of the qualifications to be a gray haired, quilting granny.  With all the quilting styles and quilters I think there is enough room in the quilting-sphere for me and what I do.


  1. OMG so I was wondering how your iron was working! After you blogged about buying it I googled it and it had really mixed reviews--when it worked, it was wonderful, but it seemed like it would break somehow within 6 months (in all sorts of ways--read the amazon reviews to find out more). I missed your Aug 9 post about how yours broke. Am VERY interested in finding out how your new iron performs. It seems like a great iron to have if it keeps on working!!

  2. Keep on quilting! I just got back from a week-long quilting retreat in northern Michigan, and I can assure you that there are ALL ages of women who enjoy quilting. I agree with you on the second-place quilt; it's absolutely magnificent, but there's no way I'd ever attempt such a project.

  3. Elaray, we are our own worst critics. Remember, most people don't make BAQs as their first (or second or third) quilt. Take an applique class, then practice and can make one too!

  4. There is plenty of room for all kind of quilters, including you and me. I enjoy looking at fabulous quilts at museaum and at quilt expos. I will never be that type of quilter, however I enjoy making scrap quilts for my family. So it doesn't matter what type of quilter you are stay the course, I am sure all the quilters in the world with agree with me "WE ARE HAPPY TO HAVE AS PART OF THE QUILTING COMMUNITY"

  5. Wow...those are so intricate. So amazing. I love the blue one. I've never seen ANYTHING like that.

  6. Lee,

    Welcome to the world of quilting. The guild I belong to, Undercover Quilters, has a show every other year in Brookhaven, not too far from the Springfield Joann's. If you are interested, let me know and I will give you details. We have some very talented members and the quilts are always wonderful.