Yep, I made the 3 hour jaunt to Knoxville this morning for the Smoky Mountain Quilters’ 40th Anniversary Quilt Show. It was just what I needed to feed my creative soul. However, the 4 hour return journey was not!
Here are some of my take-aways:
- The competition quilts were really, really good (much better workmanship than the quilts at the KC show, in my opinion).
- Southern Stitches & Northern Needles lecture with Teddy Pruitt was entertaining and informative.
- Placing the charity quilt exhibit front and center as guests entered the exhibit hall was an excellent idea. Giving back to those in need is a big part of what we do. I’m so glad they shared their process for making the charity quilts. Creating a checklist and a quilt kit for each project are two things I can incorporate into my own practice. I was also inspired by the I Spy quilts based on variations of a 6-1/2″ block. Very fresh and much more visual impact than samples based on 4″ or 5″ squares appearing in the same display.
- The vendor area, while small, was well curated. It had all the quilty essentials covered. I smiled when I recognized some of the vendors I’d seen at recent shows in Atlanta and Kansas City. Those turquoise scissors and 3 yard bundles/Fabric Cafe books were popular here, as well.
- I was thrilled to see a “painted lady” (teal custom-painted Featherweight) in a booth and more than one booth selling FW accessories. I am curious, though, how one becomes a certified Featherweight technician as the purveyor of the “painted lady” had printed on her business cards?
- I gleaned some helpful tips regarding ruler work from a vendor demoing her custom ruler templates. I’ll certainly try setting my speed slider at 3/4 instead of 2/3 and rotate my foot pedal 180 degrees the next time I FMQ or attempt any ruler work.
- A cream colored 80wt Wonderfil thread might be a better bet than the Mono-poly thread I currently use for invisible machine appliqué.
- Pictorial quilts have officially been added to my “try it” list. This quilt blew me away. It’s raw edge appliqué using a straight stitch with the thread matching the fabric. I’ll have to learn about color placement, value, depth and all that jazz, but I can certainly handle the sewing part!