The main reason I was there was not stalking or shopping, either. I wanted to see the quilts, of course! They did not disappoint. There were such a variety of different quilts that I think there would have been quilts for anyone's taste. These were a few of my favorites.
by Karlyn Bue Lohrenz of Billings, MT
by Nancy Hinds, Covington, LA
by Jo Names, Joy Waggener, Jeanie Ferguson, Lynda Lasich, Millie LaMoure, Marylee Drake of Grass Valley, CA
by Back Porch Employees (Jean Dunn, Gail Abeloa, Wendy Warth, Carol McCoy, Maggie Wentzel, Janet Tatlon, Sharon Winter, and Joan Hughes)
by Ruth de Vos, Australia
by Kathryn Celliers-Louw, South Africa
by Marilyn Smith of Columbia, MO
When we lived in Kentucky, Allen and I went to the American Quilter's Society Show in Paducah. Tons of quilters, quilts, and vendors, much like this. I was fairly new to quilting at the time. I'd never seen a long arm, I'm not even sure that I knew such a thing existed. I was pretty intimidated by the incredible quilting, both hand and machine quilted. I remember Allen telling me that the biggest difference between my quilts and these was a $10,000 machine. While there was (is) more of a difference in skill as well, he did have a point. No matter what your field, you can definitely be held back by your equipment. Obviously, the machine doesn't do all of the work for you, but there are some things that just cannot be done on a cheap sewing machine. I remember reading a cartoon recently where one person asks another "If I had a camera like yours, would my photos look just as good?" The response is "and if you had a piano like Mozart's, do you think that you could play like he did?" While I get the point, there is certainly skill and artistry involved as well, having a nice camera certainly makes a big difference.
While I still do not have a $10,000 longarm, while looking at some of the quilts, I did find myself thinking "I could do that!" Actually, I really mean that I could do that eventually. In other words, I don't think my machine is keeping me from eventually having the skills to do certain applique and quilting techniques. (Yes, there are still quilters who do everything by hand, but I will NEVER be one of them. I do NOT have the patience or desire to quilt by hand.) Now, some day I could reach the end of what my current machine is capable of doing, or I might just decide that it would be easier on a longarm (and I have the money and space for the investment.) In short, I found most of what I saw to be inspiring, rather than only intimidating.