Friday, April 25, 2014


The excitement of my week has come and gone.  It has been a whirlwind 6 days from the time I learned that I had an award at Paducah during Easter dinner, to now, already being home.  I have nearly 150 pictures of the magnificent quilts, and as many great memories of this trip.

Late Easter night, after the kiddos were asleep, I decided I would in fact make the journey to Paducah. When I decided to send my little 35" quilt, I intentionally selected this quilt because I hoped it would probably do well.  There are fewer smaller quilts than the numbers of the large wall quilt category.  And secretly in the back of my mind I rationalized that IF if ever came to me having a quilt that was selected to receive one of the big purchase awards, I could bear to part with this quilt.  That out there, because this was not really a quilt I truly loved, I just didn't make earlier arrangements to attend this show.  It is strange how the degree to which we are invested in a particular quilt affects our drive to spend bunches of $$ to see it in a show!  This is vacation week for us.  All 3 kids are home, so leaving was that much harder of a choice.  I decided to take my 7-1/2 yr old daughter.  She is the one that would be most put out by me leaving for a week, and she has attended many quilt shows in the last 2 yrs.  In small doses, she enjoys it.  This was trial by fire...

We arrived into Nashville Monday evening, and drove up to KY the next day.  We actually had most of the day to putter around before the late afternoon awards ceremony.  It was a pure joy to see spring in full force. It was in the low 70s, which for us is a complete treat. Dogwood trees and other spring bloomers were out.  I spent much of my youth growing up in the South, so it always kind of "brings me home" to be in a Southern place.

The awards were on the scale of the Houston Awards.  This was AQS's 30th anniversary, so there was a small reception prior to the awards.  In the multi-story foyer of the center that they had the awards, they had a banner hung with photos of the 30 best of show winners.  It's great to see how quilting has evolved.  Quilts of the last 10 years are just phemomenal works of art.
During the awards, none of the winners knows what they are receiving.  Only the top 8 received phone calls, and this is because AQS really wants these people in attendance.  It is fun to hear the surprises of joy when people's names are called, when they are not expecting to win anything.  When the awards began, the table (below) was full of these crystal vase/trophies.  They go to all 1st place winners and upper level award winners.  When a person's name is called for an award, an image of their quilt is shown on this large screen, and a person is reading information about the quilt.  Imagine my horror as I am walking up there listening to "This is my first experimental quilt using all solids.  Some days it was a content co-mingling of color while others it was a complete kaleidoscopic calamity"!  <>
 As many have already learned, my quilt won the Wall quilt Best Longarm/Midarm Quilting Award.  Though it is one of the upper tier awards, it is actually one of three awards that is NOT a purchase award.  So, this quilt will be coming back to me, and be attending other shows.  Linda Hrcka of The Quilted Pineapple was nice enough to snap this picture of Sophie and I after the awards.  She herself took home a nice 1st place.

 It was a week of discovery.  After the awards, we were going to the preview and drove right past the Handi Quilter truck -- the very truck that has Kim Brunner on one side, and your's truly on the other! This is the first time I have spied this in person so it was super fun.  My daughter got a complete kick out of seeing mom on the truck!
It's not the prettiest little quilt so I have to really thank AQS judges for thinking that the quilting is truly worthy of this honor.  What it lacks in beauty of color, I tried to give it in quality of quilting.  Here are some better close-up pictures.   I think it is really less mustard in appearance too, which helps the appeal factor. 
 AQS had my luggage tags stocked in their shop.  This is my Zen Garden Quilt, the one I had in this show last year.  By the time I went back yesterday to buy a couple of them, the baskets were getting low.  Who knew?!?
It was great to meet up with many of the bloggy contacts, as well as a few I know from MQResource. There were several  ladies that I know from the show circuit too that were there, meeting many face to face for the 1st time.  It is a very exciting time.  Many of us that I know did receive awards.  I also had the pleasure of meeting many of the AQS folks that have helped me along in this journey.  Despite my having earned numerous big awards this year, I still feel like a relative newbee in this business.  I have always stood behind my belief that if you do what you love, and do it the best you know how, it will be recognized.  The theory seems to work.
 My week was great...from seeing the abundant red bud trees, to visiting Paducah rain-free, to seeing all of Caryl Bryer Fallert's quilts up close, to visiting the Quilt Museum via the bicycle rickshaw.  Sophie loved this one.  Watching Sophie's reaction when the Egyptian tentmaker handed Sophie his applique to help on the stitching - priceless.  Paducah is truly a quilt show of immense variety and technical talent.  I saw many Houston and other show winners with unribboned quilts.  It makes me most thankful for what I came home with.


Vicki W said...

It sounds like it was a great mother/daughter trip. Congratulations on the award too!

Quiltdivajulie said...

I saw your quilt ... It is beautiful!

Glad you and your daughter had such a great trip together!!

Sarah @ Berry Barn Designs said...

Congratulations! I'm glad you decided to attend at the last minute - in part to enjoy your victory and see the show because Paducah is so big and inspiring and the town has so much history outside of quilting, too - but also in part because you got to jump over to actual spring weather in KY! My favorite part of living there was waking up and saying "ohhh - this is the REAL spring they write about in books" lol.

ChristaQuilts said...

Thanks so much for sharing! I didn't even know they were doing an awards ceremony, LOL! Your work is truly amazing and congrats on the big win :-)

Janet Ann said...

Congratulations on your award! Your work is always fabulous. Looks like you and your daughter had a wonderful time - love the big smiles!

Diane E W said...

Wish I could have met you in Paducah, been a follower for awhile. There were such beautiful quilts, including yours. This was my fifth year for attending and it never gets old.

Linda said...

Congratulations! The quilting on your quilt was stunning! Well deserving! I am sure there will be a best of show in your near future. Sophie was exceptionally sweet!! :-)

Jane said...

Congratulations on your award, so cool to have your gorgeous quilt win such a big award. I think that having your photo on the side of a truck is just as amazing :)