Last Friday I took the bus from the Allentown Sewing Machine Outlet to the AQS quilt show in Lancaster, PA. It was the first quilt show I'd been to in 15 years or more. And I wasn't sure I could manage it, so I was a bit apprehensive. I took my walker, which has a seat, and I had a friend with me.
Turned out very well. The fact that the walker had a seat meant that when I needed to sit down right now, I could, so I never got over-strained or overtired. The quilt show was on three floors at the Lancaster Convention Center, so it was a very large one. I managed very well indeed.
The quilts were overwhelming. I didn't spend as much time with them as I should have. What I did notice was a lot more smaller quilts than in shows from a decade or two ago, and a lot more machine quilting, and much more tight, very close, machine quilting even in quilts that were not prize winners.
There were a lot more art quilts than I remember from past shows from the 80s and 90s. Fewer very traditional quilts were being shown. I'm sure a lot are being made, but this wasn't a local quilt show were all of the quilts from a particular quilt guild were going to make it to the show. This was an AQS show, and that means it attracted quilts from other parts of the country.
I enjoyed the vendors. I didn't buy much, but I enjoyed watching demos while sitting down, and enjoyed what they had. I was surprised at how few books were available. I had expected more. AQS had books, but I learned something about the group. I had taken it for granted that they were publishing leading edge books, but most of theirs were very traditional. All of the thread vendors I'm aware of, and a couple I've never heard of, were present. I did buy some thread.
There were a couple of women demonstrating rulers, and I did buy one, but not the one I had expected to buy from the person I expected to buy from. I think the only reason I didn't buy rulers from that designer was that there were too many and I could not choose. I might just buy from her over the internet instead, and one ruler at a time.
But I am not sure I want to make the kinds of traditional blocks you use rulers like that for. And what I was looking for in the book section was something quite different. I've seen books on wonky blocks and modern piecing at Amazon, but I wanted to actually see one of the books before I bought it. Amazon lets you dip in when the publisher allows it, but frequently the publisher doesn't let you see enough to really know if you want the book.
Anyway, I had fun. The next bus should be to the Hershey Quilt Show in July. I can't wait.