Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Enjoying a Quilt Show

The American Quilter's Society held a show in Knoxville this past week. It ran from Wednesday through Saturday. I decided that it sounded like a fun thing to do. When I was younger, one of my sisters-in-law used to enter quilts into the Mid-South Fair in Memphis. She or her mother would often win first place. Many of today's quilts are more artistic than traditional quilts. That's not saying that the quilts that our great grandmothers made were not works of art. It's just to say that many of today's quilts are meant to be displayed on the wall and not cover a bed! At the show yesterday, I saw many examples of fine quilting -- both by hand and by machine. I'll have to admit that I'm partial to the hand quilting. The exhibit hall was full of displays of quilting machines. Every time I passed one of these machines, I thought of how much I preferred something that had been hand-quilted.

There were a number of interesting quilts. There were several exhibits by societies who had challenged members to compete with a certain theme. Many of these also had a certain fabric which had to be incorporated into the quilt. It was amazing to see how some of these executed their themes and to see how different each person used that fabric. Two of my favorite quilts were in the society challenges. One was a wall hanging of a poodle that had a window behind it. It was sort of whimsical, but was very cute. It had a lot of pinks in the quilt. My absolute favorite quilt was one which someone had used to tell the story of their family. There were birth dates, marriages, and other events included in the quilt. The quilter had done a great job recreating her family tree in a form that can be treasured by generations to come.

My biggest regret is that photography was not permitted. It would have been nice to have photos of some of those quilts on display. Many of them were for sale at prices that were beyond my budget although I would not have minded owning several of the ones that were on sale!

Oh - and my favorite order of arrangement of quilts was in one of the booths that was selling quilt patterns. They had patterns for various college sports teams and had finished products for many teams from the SEC and ACC on display. They had my two favorite teams side by side: University of Tennessee and Duke University! That vendor won brownie points!

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