Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Quilt Odyssey 2014

I have just returned from the Quilt Odyssey 2014 gathering in Hershey PA. The show ran at the Hershey Lodge from July 24-27. I have personally attended this show numerous times in the past, but had missed it last year. This year, we decided that a big group of us would gather together and see the show, shop, dine and catch up. There were 15 of us in all from PA, DE, MA, CT, And NJ. Two of my closest friends, Peggy Burdge and Betty Ferraro had entered their quilts into the show contest and had their quilts accepted. Another friend and fellow long arm quilter, Donna Hoover, of Timber Villa quilts had quilted both of their quilts.

My BFF, Martha Clay and her lovely sisters, Fran and Trish, drove from Massachusetts on Friday night to CT, and then to Fair Lawn early Saturday morning to pick me up and head to the show. Less than 3 hours later, we arrived in Hershey and met up with Peggy, Betty and Jeanne in the lobby.

The show quilts were pretty awesome this year. There were many large quilts and some antique ones in a special exhibit. I took photos of many of the contest quilts to share with those friends and fellow quilters that did not have the means to attend the show. It was a pleasure to see Betty beaming with pride over her second place ribbon for small wallhanging pieced quit in the group category.

Across the aisle, my sister, Peggy Burdge's quilt was hanging. It was a modern pictoral art rendition of a photograph she took of her great nephew when he was two. The lighting from above showed the intricacy of the quilting Donna had masterfully done and the 'Jay Jay' quilt looked like a winner to me. Peggy was so happy to have it juried into the show. I am proud of her.

We wandered around the quilt show, stopping to look at all the quilts on display. I was amazed at the wide variety of quilts in the show including pictorial, applique, pieced, mixed and even a few modern quilts. The machine quilted pieces far outnumbered the hand quilted items. Many were highly embellished with threads, ribbon, photos, crystals, beads and other items. I was also very pleased to see a large number of original designs. Quilt Odyssey is not a big show, but it is well laid out and there is plenty of room to move around the aisles even when the show is crowded.

There was one quilt at the show which blew my mind with its impeccable details. The quilt took a blue ribbon in its category and was voted the Best Pictorial quilt in the show. I was surprised it didn't win best of show, but that honor went to a very traditional, hand mad quilt. My favorite quilt was a combination of applique, piecing, embellishment and fabulous quilting. Everywhere you looked in the quilt there were surprise elements to please the onlookers and the individual leaves and tiny pieces were all quilted individually and tightly.

After we finished looking at the show, we decided to eat lunch before hitting up the vendor mall. We opted for a sit down restaurant meal, a wise choice. Cobb salad and iced tea made for some good fuel for me to shop the afternoon away.

The vendor mall was next on our adventure. The primary ballroom was filled with row and rows of vendor booths selling their quilting related wares. Fabrics, notions, machines, patterns, books, thread, jewelry, furniture, more fabrics and even wool products. I have learned over the years to do the vendor sweep first before purchasing anything for several reasons. 1--when you have a limited budget you want to make wish choices. 2--you need to see what is available from all and then decide where to spend your money. 3--it's best to buy what you need at the end of the day so you don't have to cart it around the show all day. Thread and fabric can weigh a lot and my knees aren't up to supporting extra weight for hours on end. 4--Prices on the same item can vary widely. For example, i saw a particular seam ripper in at least 20 booths for sale and the price ranged from 2.75 up to 7.25. That's a big difference and I like to make sure I can get a bargain whenever possible.

I had a list of threads that I needed to our purchase for my long arm quilting business. I went ahead and got those cones selected and paid for them. There was on,y 1 color I wanted that they didn't have, but it wasn't a color that I need immediately. I also decided to try some different types of threads, all made by Superior. Superior threads are the best in the industry for long arming in my humble opinion. I am slowly replenishing my thread stock with Superior threads because they just work so well in my Gammill.

I also purchased a number of Kaffe Fassett fabrics and some novelty fabrics in two different booths along with a couple of fun notions. I stayed well within my allotted budget for purchases and found a few things to out onto my wish list for future purchases.

We had a nice dinner outing with 13 of us at a local place. The food was great along with my Blueberry Wheat beer to wash it down. I managed to take a couple of photos of the group after dinner, you never know when we will all be together again.

Thanks to my BFF, Martha Clay, for driving back and forth to the show, thanks to Fran and Trish for providing stimulating conversation the entire trip and to Peggy and Betty for taking a dare to show their quilts, giving us a reason to gather. The next time all of us will be together again is likely April 2015 at our annual Friends retreat in Lancaster county.

Since coming hime, I have been so energized from all those beautiful quilts and being with my quilting buds that I have finished 2 customer quilts in 2 days. I guess that makes me an extrovert after all.

#QuiltShow #QuildOdyssey #HersheyQuiltShow

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