Quilters Take to the Road

comments (1) April 24th, 2008     

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MaryRay Mary Ray, contributor
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Are you ready for a quilting tour of America? The American Quilters Society has a show in Paducah this week. Or keep an eye out for upcoming shows in Nashville and Des Moines.



Are you ready for a quilting tour of America? The American Quilter's Society has a show in Paducah this week. Or keep an eye out for upcoming shows in Nashville and Des Moines.

Photo: Courtesy of The American Quilter's Society

Quilting, historically, was both a solitary and a community activity. Piecing was done alone, stealing minutes from the hard work of the day to build a quilt top. But when it came time to stitch the top, batting, and backing together, it was time to party. Friends and family gathered around a quilting frame to have a “quilting bee”—not just to get the job done but also to share their stories and concerns, to laugh and learn, and just enjoy being in the company of others that loved the process of quiltmaking.
Times haven’t changed much. We still quilt and sew alone a lot of the time. But isn’t it fun to get together once in awhile with other like minds—even if they’re strangers? And what’s more perfect than combining your passion with a great travel vacation. Quilters have known this for a long time and have been filling buses to travel to shows and expos where they can join friends, take classes, and—more importantly—shop! They go to retreats where they can take workshops or work at their own pace. They even take cruises where they can sew and see the world at the same time.
Here are some events to check out if you’re ready to leave the comfort of your own sewing nook and travel—near or far, for just a weekend or a little longer.

  • The granddaddy of them all is the International Quilt Festival in Houston (October 30–November 2, 2008) sponsored by Quilts Inc. They also do a show in Chicago in the spring, and they’ve added a show in Long Beach, California, in July. For more info, visit Quilts.com.
  • The Mancuso Brothers (QuiltFest.com) do a series of shows throughout the country.
  • I’ve never attended the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SistersOutdoorQuiltShow.org), but it’s on my list to get there one day. It’s in Sisters, Oregon, always on the second Saturday in July.
  • The Minnesota Quilters (MNQuilt.org) put on a big show—this year in Rochester, Minnesota at the Mayo Civic Center.
  • There’s the Vermont Quilt Festival (VQF.org) in June.
  • There are four Original Sewing and Quilt Expos (SewingExpo.com) in the spring and four in the fall in various Eastern, Southern, and Midwestern cities.
  • Want a laid back retreat with excellent teachers and small crowds? Quilting by the Lake (QuiltingByTheLake.com) in New York State is a two-week quilting conference, but there are shorter classes as well.


This is a short list. There are so many opportunities, all over the country, to feed your wanderlust and quilting passion at the same time. There may be some right in your own neighborhood. Check your local quilt shop, or search the Web.

posted in: american quilter society shows, paducah, nashville, des moines

Comments (1)

CindersSews writes: THe Shibori Dragon in Lakewood WA is a stunning destination for beautiful oriental fabrics, batiks, threads and inspiration. I also enjoy the SewMamaSew store and especially the blog. So much happening, so much to do and so little time to squeeze it into.
Posted: 7:41 pm on May 1st
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