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NQA Columbus Recap

I attended my very first show sponsored by the National Quilting Association in Columbus, Ohio this past week.  What a fun time!

CLASSES  I took an all day paper piecing class with Deb Karasik – who is an absolute stitch.  We learned that many things are indeed “beautiful things” and everything will be okay if we simply “let it go.”  I plan to finish piecing the borders to my project this afternoon and assemble the parts.  Will post pics at that time.

The other class was a “morning medley” or round robin of mini-classes with a series of experts.  If your child does centers in elementary school – it was very similar to that.  We spent 15 minutes with each teacher and then moved on to the next station.  The room was too small for the number of people in it and the noise level made it difficult to hear the presenters.  Some sessions were more informative than others.  I left after being subject to a 15 minute sales pitch for a specialty ruler.

In leaving, I managed to run into my friend Jan Cunningham, from the East Cobb Quilt Guild, who chatted with me for a few minutes as we admired the winning show quilts.  She later invited me to lunch and we had a lovely lunch with some of her travel companions at a local restaurant near the Convention Center.  After lunch, I proceeded to complete my personal “shop hop” of nearby fabric and quilt shops.

VENDORS   All of the major machine brands, both domestic and longarm, were well represented, along with some pretty good show deals. Only one Featherweight dealer at this show. Tons of stitchery (redwork, embroidery, punch needle) everywhere.  Lots of traditional colors and quilt fabrics were showcased as well.  One booth of Kaffe Fasset and one booth of batiks – that’s it my modern quilting friends.  Some Art Fabric was on the web-posted vendor list, but did not exhibit at the show.

Not to worry – Columbus has a number of quilt shops that you can visit.  So take an afternoon to do a mini shop hop!  These shops are all within 30 minutes of one another:

Brights and modern fabrics – Quilt Beginnings and Sew to Speak*
Batiks and modern fabrics and cute patterns/projects – Quilt Trends
Good mix of everything and Janome machines – Red Rooster

*Sew to Speak is more of a fabric store than a quilt shop.  Delightful little shop in Clintonville that carries organic fabrics, Liberty of London fabrics, along with modern quilting cottons.  For my Atlanta friends, this shop is comparable to Whipstitch Fabrics and Sew Main Street with a little more inventory.

HINTS FOR FUTURE ATTENDEES: 
(1)  Most of the quilt show action happens Thursday and Friday because weekend parking in downtown Columbus is a pain due to all of the summer events.
(2) Attending the Wednesday night Preview Party is reportedly well worth the admission fee if your time to shop is limited due to a heavy class schedule.
(3) Bring a light sweater.  Some of the classrooms felt like a meat locker.
(4) Bring a friend, or at the very leas,t plan to meet up with a friend for lunch and peruse the quilts.
(5) Staying NW of downtown off Hwy 315 provides easy access to the show without the expensive downtown hotels (you have to pay to park anyway).

For planning purposes,  one day at the quilt show should be adequate to visit the booths, attend lectures and view the quilts – this would include folks with a 1/2 day class scheduled.   I flew this time, but will drive it next time.  That way I can shop hop on the way back to Atlanta.  And take a class where I BMOSM (bring my own sewing machine).