Trip to Lancaster County part 2

As promised,  I am going to attempt to write about Quilt Fest, which my husband Tim and I went to while we were on vacation in Lancaster County May 4- 11.

The only quilt shows I have even been to were unjuried ones put on my quilting guilds  This was not the case with this show.  This show was being managed by Mancuso, who puts on shows all over the country.  It was at a verry large convention center in Lancaster.  I had never been to a show of this scope before.  I had prepared myself for the onslot of vendors but it was the exhibition I was interested in and it did not let me down.  

Thre were many themes and categories and each of these categories had ribbon winners.  Innovative, traditional, modern just to mention a few.  It didn't take long upon arriving  to start feeling like a hack.  There was NO WAY I could have made the majority of the quilts on display.  They intricaticy of the quilting and applique was IMPRESSIVE which you can see from the pictures.  It was both thrilling and overwhelming at the same time.  I finally realized that most of the quilts in the show were not made on a sewing machine like mine.  Having said that, the imaginative themes and use of color and imagery was off the charts.  Some of the quilts were as beautiful on the backside with the array of quilting as they were on the front.  There were many volunteers wearing gloves offering answer questions and show you the back of the quilt. 

After asking a few questions, I learned that this was a traveling show along with quilts from 2 local guilds.  The volunteers were members of these guilds.  There were 4 HUGE rooms interspersed with vendors and quilts that were part of the show.  Due to the score of this show, there was no way that 2 local guilds could have possibly set this puppy up.  The quilts from the local guilds were not juried and represented a different level of expertise.  It was nice to see locally produced quilts.  They were in a separate area from the traveling show.  The quilts in the photos are part of the juried traveling show.

I did not spend a lot of time checking out the vendors.  I was surprised to see vendors from all over the country.  They obviously do the "Quilt show circuit".  Many of the vendors were selling these fancy quilting machines that the juried quilts were obviously made on.  There were all day workshops that you could sign up for that would teach you how to run these machines.  Since I was not in the market for one I did not check them out.  Imagine my surprise when Tim told me, as were were leaving, that he HAD checked them out and the prices went from $20 - 35,000...HOLY COW!  No wonder I don't have one of these quilting machines.

It was amazing to see what these long arm and electron quilting machines were capable of producing.  These machines have obviously revolutionized quilting.  I am very glad I got to see this show.  I went in not knowing what a big business experience these quilt shows are.  Once I realized it and got a perspective on it, my only hope was that the regular show goer/hobbyist realized that the machine they probably have at home could not produce most of these quilts.  One thing is for sure, the show was a feast for the eyes!

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