Need Something to Do This Weekend? Try Attending a Quilt Show


Quilting is a phenomenon that is sweeping the country. Don’t believe me? Look at the numbers. In a study commissioned by Quilts Inc. in 2003 there were 21.3 million active quilters in the United States, and of that number 25% were dedicated quilters spending more than $500 a year on supplies. According to Quilters News Network, QNN there are an estimated 30 million quilters worldwide. If you still aren’t convinced, consider the fact that QNN is one of the few full 24/7 TV on-demand network devoted entirely to one craft, quilting.

Capitalizing on this hobby, Quilt Shows have begun popping up around the country. Three of the largest show producers, the American Quilter’s Society, the National Quilting Association and Quilts Inc. hold annual shows in such places as Houston Texas, Des Moines Iowa, Columbus Ohio and Panducah Kentucky. These events are so big they’re often held in Convention Centers, have hundreds of vendor booths, huge contests and hotel packages for attendees.

Visitors to these quilting shows enjoy classes, workshops and demonstrations. Displays of quilts in both traditional and modern styles are interesting to see, and there are lots of quilting fabrics, notions, machines and other supplies available for purchase.

Because these events are often attended by females accompanied by their patient husbands, special efforts have been made to make these men more comfortable. Many shows now offer a special Men’s Den area complete with comfortable arm chairs and big screen TVs showing programs of sports clips for the guys to enjoy while their wives shop.

However, big production quilting shows are only half of what’s available. Little communities across the country like Sisters, Oregon sponsor their own quilting shows. The whole town gets in on the fun as streets are roped off and visitors wander around the downtown area admiring the many displays. There are sewing stores and vendor booths to visit and local cuisine to sample.

These small unaffiliated shows can be found throughout the country with clever names like The Sea to Sea Quilting Show in Long Beach, California or Autumn in the Ozarks held in Mountain Home, Arkansas. A simple Google search of quilt shows and state names is all that’s necessary to locate these area shows.

Regardless of the size or location, most quilting shows provide many of the same activities such as quilting contest that allow local artisans to demonstrate their skills. These shows often include multiple categories for everything from creative quilt blocks to kid quilters division. With so many beautiful quilted projects available, quilting shows are a great place to get ideas, inspiration and learn a new technique.

Quilting Shows are held throughout the year and make fun excursions for individuals, community groups or and even a fabric shop organized tour. For those who love fabrics and crafting, a Quilt Show is a must-see event!

Deanne Blackhurst is a freelance writer for Sew to Speak, your one-stop online sewing and fabric store. Visit us at Sew to Speak and take a look at the huge selection of fabric, patterns and notions we carry.

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