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Strategies For Attending A Quilt Show posted: 1/27/2004
by Patricia Littlefield Printable Page
Category: Tips Method: All
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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

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