Just got back - had a lovely time. A lot of nice quilts, I took precious few pictures I'm sorry to say. I did get see board member maryb119 "Iris" quilt and it was lovelier in person as I though it would be - I was able to see all the texture she put into it.
I had heard folks here talk about the new BabyLock Tiara which is a table mounted sit-down mid arm machine and I test drove it. LOVED IT. I did not like the stitch regulator though and found it was much easier (for me) to quilt without, but sometimes I adjusted the speed of the machine. I had that sucker microstippling. Later in the show I found the HQ booth and saw the Sweet 16. I took one look at the machine and asked "is it the same machine as the Tiara" and they said yes - that HQ does indeed make the Tiara. I test drove the Sweet16 too and was able to use a ruler they had to try some ruler work. I likey I likey!!!! I would LOVE to have the 16 which BTW is was a smidge cheaper than the Tiara (at least at the show), and with the 16 you get direct support instead of having to go through Babylock which has to go through another company (begins with a T - they purchase the machines, rebadge them, and Babylock sells them). So if you're in the market for a sit-down mid-arm - I'd suggest the 16. Oh ... the quote I got on the Tiara was $4995 (before tax or shipping) which included the table and a Koala chair (which I don't need and was able to get them to agree to replacing the chair with the additional side extension for the table), and $4967 (INCLUDING TAX, the side extension, a slick coated overlay for the table, local pick up, + classes) for the 16. So ... just a little less for the 16 but the classes and the support are a big bonus for me (IF I decide to get one).
OMG ... the strangest thing happened to me!! I got back to my hotel and was digging the stuff out of my tote bag to "play with" (you know how it goes) and I found something I DID NOT BUY!! A package of 6 spools of Superior Threads 100wt silk thread in neutral colors!!!! WOW!! I can only imagine that because I was using a generic AQS purple tote that they sell ... someone who purchased it tossed it in my tote by mistake. Perhaps we were standing close together - our totes touching - and she thought she dropped it in her tote?? Dunno ... but wow! I WILL make use of this thread!!
The Best In Show quilt was nice, but not one of my favorites.
The common theme I saw this year amongst many quilts was glitter and other shiny stuff - including the BIS quilt.
One of my favorite quilts was a quilt of 4" squares similar to Dear Jane - but EVERY SQUARE was done in reverse applique!! WOW. Some of the squares had "seeds" that were perhaps 1/8" wide and 1/4" long. DOUBLE WOW. I personally would have liked to see it in colors that had more contrast to really show off the squares - it was done in mostly a muddy color beige batik with all the applique work in a dark blue batik. But the workmanship was just awesome.
The exhibit "Quilt like an Egyptian; the Egyptian tent makers" was very nice and I purchased TWO of them!! I'm very happy as that was my main incentive for going to this show.
On the way home I stopped in Amana colonies and found a WONDERFUL quilt shop. It was large with a large selection, and had needlework items as well which was nice to see.