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Home Beth Said Sew Do You Love Quilt Shows? Me Too!

Do You Love Quilt Shows? Me Too!

by Beth Cooper

Don’t you just love a good quilt show? The inspiration! The colors! The patterns! I recently attended a small quilt show near my hometown and let’s just say big quilt shows ain’t got nothin’ on these small town shows! There are definitely some hidden gems in these shows.

Big Shows vs. Small Shows

I love all quilt shows, don’t get me wrong. My favorite quilt show to attend each year is the American Quilter’s Society’s Spring show in Paducah, Kentucky. It’s a huge juried show and there are hundreds of quilts on display and each and every one of them are masterpieces. They are amazing works of art that leave me in complete awe. The only problem (and not sure that it should be even be called a “problem”) is that as just a regular quilter, it’s hard to relate to these masterpieces. I stand in front of these beautiful quilts and soak in the artists’ messages, but at the same time I am slightly downcast that I am not in that caliber of quilting. (Just being real here!) I doubt I could even come close to completing something like what I am viewing. Having said all that, I still love the big quilt shows! I love the creativity and the artistry of these quilters and I will always cheer them on and be a fan of those with enormous quilting talent.

Now, let’s talk about the small shows. I’m talking about your local quilt shows – the ones that might have 30 quilts, 50 quilts, or even a couple hundred quilts. These shows aren’t international shows, usually just simply a show from the local quilt guild. And they are fantastic! These shows are inspirational and the projects are usually within reach of the average quilter. Just because it’s a small show, doesn’t mean that it’s not full of creativity and skill. These quilters will blow you away as well!

The Olney Quilt Guild Celebrates 20 Years

I recently attended the 20th Anniversary Show of the Olney Quilt Guild in Olney, Illinois. What a great show! The Olney show always has beautiful quilts, great vendors, a bed turning, and so much more. They also offer demonstrations of quilting techniques, a boutique full of homemade items from the guild members, raffles, a Quilts of Valor room and the list goes on. Here’s a peek into the show that I attended…

This first quilt is made by Laura Williams. Each day for an entire year (all 365 days!), she embroidered a small hexi with what her family did that day. Then she sewed a weeks worth of hexies into a block of seven. Eventually she attached all of her weekly blocks together and voila! She has this amazing quilt documenting their lives for a year. I took some close-ups so you could see all of the fun things they did last year!

Here you can see some of the variety of things that were in the show – from vendors to quilted items to beautiful quilts!

Best of Show winner Jean Attebery with her gorgeous Splendid Sampler.
Quilted by Lisa Helderman.

As you can see, it was a lovely quilt show. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and I hope you will attend the next quilt show in your area. Better yet, get involved and enter your own quilt! We all inspire each other, no matter what skill level you are. If you’re ready to start a new quilt and are looking for just the right pattern to enter into a quilt show, check out our pattern page at our sister-site, Missouri Star! Happy quilting!

‘Til next time,


Want to read more from Beth? Check out Beth Said Sew by clicking here!

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