Sunday, May 19, 2013

Quilt Week 2013 in Paducah

Even though the AQS quilt show in Paducah was about a month ago, I did want to reflect on this fabulous show and provide some tempting morsels to entice you with what's in store when it comes to Chattanooga in 2014.
Ricky Tims (center) and Alex Anderson rally the crowd for the photo shoot
of the cover of The Quilt Life October, 2013 issue.
My quilting friends and I arrived on Thursday in time for the photo opp with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson in front of the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY. Ricky and Alex asked participants to each bring a quilt for the photo. I brought my latest Fabrications Skidoodle strip quilt for the occasion. With probably 100 - 200 quilters sprawled across the lawn, however, we'll all look like a bunch of colorful specs in the photo. Watch for us on the cover of the October 2013 issue.
Cristy (front) and I with our quilts on the lawn in front of the
National Quilt Museum awaiting the photo shoot.
The historic landmark sign for the Quilt Museum.
The pieces in the museum's exhibits are phenomenal. If you've not been, it's worth the trip whether you are a quilter or not. This is an art museum!
(addition: Here is an article on the museum from the National Business Times, a non-quilting publication.)
Cristy in front of the National Quilt Museum. Yes, we are here!
Strip Queen, Eleanor Burns, was meeting and greeting visitors and signing books. She had 5 different locations around town that were selling her fabrics, patterns, books and notions.
Eleanor Burns at QuiltWeek in Paducah.
One of the amazing exhibits and demonstrations at the show was the Tentmakers from Cairo. These appliquéd masterpieces were used to decorate the interiors of the tents of Egyptian nomads.

Two of the artisans were demonstrating their technique in the vendor area. Surprisingly, they were using large shears to cut the fabrics and a tapestry needle that looked to be 2 - 3 inches long. They appliquéd chunks of solid fabrics at lightning speed with hand-drawn chalked lines as a guide (no templates, pre-cut shaped pieces, basting or any kind of prep work for these guys!). The wall pieces in the exhibit were being auctioned.
The appliqué work of the tent makers.
The two artisans demonstrating their process were very friendly and enjoyed the attention and interest of the show attendees. Here is a YouTube video interview with one of the tentmakers.
The tent makers at work. The fabrics beside them is what they 
One of the other exhibits in town was the antique Signature Quilts exhibit at the Rotary Club.
Signatures were done in ink on quilt blocks.
Signatures were embroidered once a colorfast thread was devised.
Redwork signature quilts served as fundraisers for various causes.
Sue Reich, the curator of the exhibit, did a walking tour of the quilts that were on display. Sue has written a book, Quiltings, Froliks and Bees: 100 Years of Signature Quilts, that documents the exhibit with detailed photos and information. 
Sue Reich, curator, author and quilt historian at the
Rotary Club exhibit on antique Signature Quilts.
Although photography is allowed at many of the exhibits at the AQS show, the photos you take are strictly for your personal enjoyment. The show program specifically prohibits any digital dissemination of pictures you might take, therefore, I cannot share photos of the Paducah show quilts here. (Please respect this request if you have been to the show.) If you are a subscriber to American Quilter magazine, however, there are articles about and photos of the winning pieces that you can enjoy.

Finally, no visit to Paducah is complete without a visit to Hancock's of Paducah quilt and fabric store. We stopped in twice!
Hancock's of Paducah sign.
Quilters flock to Hancock's of Paducah during QuiltWeek.
Hope to see you in Chattanooga in September 2014!
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