Thursday, March 19, 2015

2015 SCVQA Quilt Show: 40 Years of Quilted Memories

I needed a few days to recover from our Quilt Show weekend, but without further ado, here are some highlights from our successful biannual quilt show:  40 Years of Quilted Memories.

Set Up:
Our association invested in a brand new pipe and drape system to display our  members' quilts.  The new system would not only provide a more sleek and professional backdrop for quilt displays, but also promised to require significantly less person-power for the set up/take down.  But as this was an all new layout and set up, there were still quite a few unknowns in terms of people power needed.  Once the truck was unloaded, we decided to get a jump start on the pipe and drape set up.  An hour later and only 4-5 people involved, the entire pipe and drape system was in place and ready for quilts to arrive for hanging!  We were all just stunned at just how quickly it went up!  
Clockwise from top left:  marked convention center floor, furniture starting to arrive, bases and pipes in place, drape hung, quilt hanging demo and the 1st of 350+ quilts hung using the new cord and toggle hanging system!!
The rack set up volunteers arrived for their shift and were surprised to find their jobs had already been done.  But fortunately, we were able to keep the momentum up by having them assist with other aspects of set up and even help with hanging the quilts.  Not only did we have new pipe and drape, but we had a new cord & toggle quilt hanging system.  There was a little bit of a learning curve to this new hanging system, but once the teams found their groove, it was just a matter of time until we had an official quilt show complete with 350+ quilts on display.  This year, we also had a special crew of volunteers come in the mid afternoon to assist with the final details:  fine tuning the hanging of quilts to ensure they were level and symmetrical, post signage and all the other touches that enhance the viewer's experience.  

Around 4:30/5 PM, our work was done and we were ready for Saturday morning's opening at 10 AM!  At the end of the day, I had accomplished 20,000 steps on my fitbit and was exhausted!  When I got home I tackled a few quick projects around the house as I knew once I sat down, I might never get up!  I did get up and take a nice hot shower, followed by a refreshing margarita to celebrate the day's accomplishments!

Quilts!  Quilts!  Quilts!
Having 350+ quilts on display was a real feast for the eyes and soul!  Having nearly 500 members, we are fortunate to have a great diversity of quilt styles and experience levels.  There were so many quilts that inspired me in terms of design, color and texture.  And of course, it was a treat to see my own quilts hanging among all the other gorgeous quilts!
70+ Free Motion Fillers Sampler and Panda-monium
Alex and her Ice Cream Madness Quilt hung with other youth quilts
Welcoming Youth Into the Quilting World 
It was a real treat to see so many youth in attendance this year.  Children are invited to participate in an I-Spy contest where they are provided with a list of items to hunt for in the quilts on display.  It was so much fun watching the kids search out quilts with ice cream cones, dogs with button eyes, leaping cats and bird houses!  We also had 4 young quilters enter their own quilts for display, including my niece, Alex!  She and her mother came out Saturday afternoon to check out the quilt show, participate in the I Spy game, look for her own quilt and shop for fun new fabrics to add to her stash!  Yes--she intentionally brought a tote bag to help transport her new purchases home!  A quilter after my own heart!!

Quilt Show Purchases
Of course, Alex wasn't the only one who indulged a little while visiting the 27 vendors in attendance!  I decided it was time to treat myself to some fun new fabric and embellishment purchases, including some bundles of gorgeous hand dyed fabrics!  
Treat yo'self!
Challenge Quilts
I had a 4th quilt on display as part of the Blast from the Past Challenge exhibit.  I was delighted to find a red viewer's choice ribbon hung next to my DNA Mapping entry!  It was a  real honor to have my quilt recognized by my fellow guild members.  

I also enjoyed having the identities of the other entrants revealed at the quilt show!  We truly have some very creative and talented members!!

Recovery
The quilt show take down was a bittersweet experience.  On the one hand, it was sad to see months of work come down in just 2-3 hours!  But I was also relieved to have more time back to myself to spend with family and get back into the studio to quilt!!

My sincere thanks to all my fellow Quilt Show committee members; volunteers involved throughout the weekend, especially set up/take down and to all who came out to attend our quilt show!!  Special thanks to Doug for all his support and helping to keep me somewhat sane throughout the planning process!!

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