For quilters, something happens when we cross over the threshold of a quilt show. I think the change affects each one of us differently. There are no specific symptoms but something definitely takes place within us.
It is a magical journey that starts the moment we enter the building. It provides pleasure to our senses. We see beauty everywhere we step. Where to start? Do we look at the quilt first, or do we scope out the vendors for that prize piece of fabric or the latest designs in patterns. It is enough to make my head spin.
Five years ago, I attended my first major quilt show in Nashville with my two quilting buddies. We stayed at the Opryland hotel, which was hosting the quilt show. We entered the doors and could not believe how much there was to see. Rows and rows of vendors and some of the most beautiful quilts we have ever laid our eyes on. We attended two lectures given by Alex Anderson. What fun! By the end of the first day, we were on overload and headed back to our room. We brought out all of our bags and took out every item for close inspection. We would oooh!! and ahhh! with so much delight, stroking each others fabric and reviewing all of the books and patterns. For the next two days we enjoyed the euphoria of every quilting treat that was available.
In the years since, I have attended the Quilt Festival in Chicago, and the AQS Quilt show in Paducah. Each one has its own unique spin on the quilting community. It's what drives the psychological part of our desire to make beautiful things. Whether it is art quilts or traditional, batiks or reproduction. The mere thought of a trip to a quilt show is enough to start my exit from reality. It is a mystery that once again brings me back to the reason why I quilt. For the beauty of it, and the love of experiencing what others have created in a world of fabric.