I recently attended the Pacific International Quilt Festival
that is held every October in Santa Clara, California, with my favorite quilting
buddy, Pam, who is an inveterate quilter and professional level quilt show attendee.
It wears me out just to hear her list the quilting events that she has penciled in
to attend for the next six months.
These are Pam's strategies for attending quilt shows,
and if you follow them, I can guarantee you will enjoy the shows even more and
perhaps return home not quite as tired as you normally do when attending one of
these marathon events.
Strategy #1: Is obvious: Wear comfortable shoes! And
that goes for clothes as well. The quilters' uniform of denim is the ideal attire
to attend a quilt show.
Strategy #2: As soon as you arrive at the show and have
purchased your ticket, obtain a program and examine the map of the layout of the
venue for the show.
Strategy #3: On the map, ascertain where the door where
you will enter is and where the farthest point from it is. This is a very important
step, as you will see.
Strategy #4: Upon going through the entry, go directly
to the farthest point from the door and begin your quilt show experience there.
The reason for this strategy is that most people enter a quilt show venue and start
there at the door, moving clockwise, so everyone moves in a bunch. If instead,
you go to the back of the show, farthest from the entry door, you will be able to
move freely among both the quilt displays and the vendors, and if you also move
clockwise, you will be able to stay ahead of the crowd. This is especially useful
if you want to take pictures and don't want to deal with myriads of people in front
of the quilt you are trying take a picture of.
Strategy #5: Stop to have lunch early, no later than
11:15 a.m. Getting something to eat is always a necessity at a quilt show, and
you hate to waste your valuable time waiting in line when you could be shopping
and/or viewing quilts. If you go before 11:30 a.m., you will be out of there
before the crowds that will coalesce from then on until 1 or 1:30 p.m. This was
one of the most useful strategies Pam taught me, for one year at the International
Quilt Festival in Houston, I waited over an hour to get a sandwich and by the time
I got to the counter to buy one, all the food was gone.
Pam commented that the Pacific International Quilt Festival
is "training wheels" for a really big show like the Houston show, as it is about a
third as large. Since I did them in reverse order, I heartily agree with her!
It is far better to start by attending small and middle-sized shows if you have
the opportunity before you attempt a BIG ONE. I was so overwhelmed at the Houston
Show, because it was my first real quilt show that it all became a blur. Soon
the fat quarters all looked alike and sadly, I hardly remember the quilts that I saw.
I'm planning on attending the River City Quilt Show in
Sacramento, California, and you can bet I'm going to use Pam's strategies on my own.
©2004 Patricia Littlefield