In piggybacking off a previous thread about "worst purchase made at a show" it was suggested that we talk about what was the best purchase we've made at a quilt show.
I bought my Bernina 1031 in the early 1990s at the International Quilt Festival in Houston on a late Sunday afternoon for a really good price. I'd been looking at them for a couple of days but waited until the dealers were nearly ready to pack it all up and go home. They didn't want to cart and move anything they didn't have to, at that point, so the deals were there to be made.
I love this machine! It's the 1990s version of the vintage Bernina 830 (which I also have) and is still going strong after nearly 20 years. My last service on it was in February with a nationally known Bernina repair man who teaches other Bernie service people all over the U.S. He was pleased with how well kept it was and said these were great machines.
I look for hand-dyes and other specialty fabrics at shows. Also, balls of perle cotton other than what I can buy at JoAnns (their color/weight selection is limited) which I often use for big-stitch hand quilting. And I look for John James or Richard Hemming brand English embroidery needles which have a larger eye for these perle cottons for quilting.
Jan in VA