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Thread: Quilt Shows

  1. #1
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    Quilt Shows

    Just saw Melodyr's pictures of the Paducah show. Is that a "typical" show? My dear friend has asked my to come down the Houston Quilt show in November. Until I started reading this board I didn't even know what quilt shows were!! Are they expensive? I'd have airfare from Minnesota, but besides that, what kind of "budget" am I looking at? I really want to go, but the $$ would be the deciding factor. I'd be staying with her, so no motel charges or car rental would be involved. What have you experienced?

  2. #2
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anniedeb View Post
    Just saw Melodyr's pictures of the Paducah show. Is that a "typical" show? My dear friend has asked my to come down the Houston Quilt show in November. Until I started reading this board I didn't even know what quilt shows were!! Are they expensive? I'd have airfare from Minnesota, but besides that, what kind of "budget" am I looking at? I really want to go, but the $$ would be the deciding factor. I'd be staying with her, so no motel charges or car rental would be involved. What have you experienced?

    Bearing in mind that most of us are enablers, the budget answer is probably around $5000. (j/k)
    Bad Spellers of the World
    U N T I E

  3. #3
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I believe Paducah and Houston are ***huge*** shows much bigger than most quilt shows. On the one hand, they are very exciting and lots of fun. On the other hand, seeing that many quilts and vendors in the space of two days or so can be mind-boggling.

    The Minnesota Quilt Guild show this year will be in Duluth mid-June. Here is a link:
    http://www.cvent.com/events/2013-mq-...a5a37f2c3.aspx

  4. #4
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    I have never been to one of the really large shows, but the ones in our area usually charge an entry fee for the show, once your inside, after viewing the beautiful quilts you will want to view the vendors. you can purchase everything from needles for your domestic machine to Long arm's, Patterns, fabric, all the new gadgets, maybe even take in one of the mini classes some shows offer (cost differs from show to show). There are usually food concessions on hand too. Some times you get really good deal's other times it is the same price to order it on line. Remember whatever you buy you will have to take it home with you on the plane, (extra luggage cost) or have it shipped home (another expense). You can always pick up a card from the vendors and wright on the back what you are interested in. When you get home, away from all the excitement, you can order. I have found when I do this, I tend to rethink my options, in the long run I spend less even if I do have to pay shipping, and waite a couple of days. You will have a ball!! Take your camera, a picture is truly worth a thousand words!

  5. #5
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    When I go to quilt shows I usually go through the vendors fairly quickly and if something catches my eye, then I make a note of it and if I still want to go back later I do. Remember you have to carry anything you buy so sometimes it is best to wait and buy it later. It also helps avoid the total impulse buying. And if there is something you want to find make notes before you go and then seek out the vendor. I had wanted to buy the Accuquilt Go but wasn't sure, when it was demo'd I bought my Accuquilt Go at the Road to CA show and got a great deal on it and several dies and the following year I wanted to find out more about the embroidery package for my Viking Topaz - once it was demo'd I was sure I wanted it. Once you pay for your entrance into the show, you spend as little and as much as you want. Just be sure to treat yourself to a souvenir. They usually sell bags or pins for $10.00.

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    I would love to return to Houston. How much you spend is totally dependent on your frugality. I don't buy at retail and at Houston there is rarely anything on sale. But I get a good idea of what is available on the market or coming.

    Meals can be as cheap as a sandwich and bottle of water in your purse or a sit down meal. Cost of tickets is on the web so you can plan that in advance.

    So in your case:
    Budget for ticket, meals, and gift for the terrific friend is minimum. Anything more is at your discretion. I would take advantage of this wonderful offer as the Houston show should not be missed. A big plus is that it is in one building.

  7. #7
    Super Member carrieg's Avatar
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    Paducah is THE show. That is where the National Quilt Museum is located. The show has prize $$ - Best of Show is $20,000. It is sponsored by AQS American Quilters' Society. Because of the $$, you will see quilts from all over the world entered. If you went to this as your 1st ever show, you would be overwhelmed. Personally, I would find a local guild show. I get more motivated by the quilts I see there. The national shows are more elaborate quilts, lots of bling, heavy quilting. I don't come home from those saying 'I want to mak that quilt.'

    http://aqsshows.com/AQSPaducah/
    Carol in Michigan

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    I went to Houston last fall and the price to get in was around $20 as I recall. Once inside, your spending is up to you and your pocketbook. I saw some who were buying a lot and others were just looking. I picked up a lot of brochures for later use and have used them since. I found material that I would have never found in our rural area and have ordered from them since. It certainly isn't an opportunity to be missed. We went for two days and honestly could have gone a third. There is SO MUCH to see. I have never been to Paducah so couldn't compare the two. I certainly didn't spend anything more than I would have going to local quilt shops other than the entry fee. And oh, the eye candy is phenomenal.

  9. #9
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    The ticket prices are nominal, and you would have your food costs. The rest is up to your sales resistance! The quilt show is spectacular and so is the vendor area! Just bring whatever you want to spend in cash, and when it's gone you're done shopping. You will also be helped by the fact that you are travling by air, so won't be buying anything too large/heavy.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  10. #10
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    If you can afford the travel, then I say go for it. I just went to Paducah and found the quilts there to be absolutely stunning. That alone was worth the trip for me. You get a chance to see a lot of the quilting tools demonstrated and can buy them if you want - or not - I do not think there are any bargains at the show. If you can't control your spending, stay home because you certainly can spend a fortune. Having a place to stay is a huge savings.

  11. #11
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    Houston expenses would depend on if you want to take classes. Check the website, read the class booklet, and decide what you want to do. There are a huge number of vendors, a beautiful quilt show and many, many things to do and see. I've been there 3 times in the last 6 years and will probably go again. You can take classes from teachers who are internationally known, rub shoulders with quilt winners and just have a wonderful time. Never been to Paducah but am thinking of going next year. I know it will be a totally different experience as the number of classes offered is considerably fewer, things are more spread out - Houston Quilt Show is all contained in the convention center. I don't think you would regret it - especially since you have a year to decide what experiences you want to have and save for them

  12. #12
    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    You can spend as little or as much as you like, but the show in Houston is so worth the admission price. If you stay away from the vendors and just look at quilts it can still take you all weekend, there are that many quilts! But of course you have to go see all the vendors and just drool. Let yourself have some fun money ( 50-100) and enjoy yourself. Also, take your own lunch, go out on the patio, and enjoy the time to get off your feet. I loved the Houston show, but never had a lot of money to spend. It didn't really matter to me.

  13. #13
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    My DD lives in Paducah (5 hours away from me) and I went to my first quilt show there 3 years ago. I did not really know what to expect. But I am SO GLAD that I went and have gone back 2 times since the first show. Yes, it is spread out more than it sounds like in Houston - so, if you don't have a car rental, then you probably better pick the Houston show. The quality of the quilts is so beyond my ability that I came home sort of depressed. My quilts are made to be used - the ones in the show are "works of art" and not made to be used but to be hung up on a wall. And like the above poster, there are very few "bargains" to be purchased at the vendor's alley. But, so much fun to see what all is new. I was amazed at all of the fat quarters this year for sale - guess it is easier for a vendor to bring a box full of fat quarters than to lug around full bolts and then to have room enough to cut them for the customers. So, if you are looking for "food" fabric, or animal fabric, or whatever theme that you need, you will find it at a big quilt show that has lots of vendors. I would give myself a good two or three days to "see it all". You just cannot do it all in one day. HTH
    Nikki in MO

  14. #14
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    In my opinion here are the reasons for you to give serious consideration to attending Houston:
    1. A free place to stay
    2. Someone else who could drive you to the George Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston so there'd be no parking or valet fees.
    3. A home base so you could pack and take a lunch with you...the cafes can be expensive as they are operated by the Center, not the show promoters.
    4. You could go for more than one day. One day, even two days, is not really enough time to actually see everything.
    5. Houston is the original, grandmama of all the shows that came after and is still attended by up to 60,000 people each year.
    6. When again will you have another opportunity to see a show with *hundreds* of amazing quilts and literally HUNDREDS of vendors?!
    7. Every year many new tools, machines, books, patterns, and fabric lines/manufacturers are premiered at this show. You'll see many things here for the first time.
    8. Most of the vendors now take credit cards so that you do not have to carry cash thru the throngs of show goers.
    9. You can arrange to meet other QBees who will be attending the show by checking on the communication boards on the upper floors of the Center.
    10. The weather is *usually* pleasant enough in Houston at this time of year to avoid dealing with a heavy coat at the show, but there are places to check your possessions on the upper floors.
    11. When you are old you only regret the things you didn't do or missed! Go!

    Jan in VA
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    I really want to go. My friend is also a quilter...(way out of my league!!!)....she has walls and walls of fabric!! She has turned out some stunning quilts! I've learned a lot from her, and I know it would be fantastic. Guess I better start saving my pennies!! The good thing is it's the weekend before deer hunting, so it would not interfere with longstanding family traditions!!

  16. #16
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Anniedeb,
    I'll bet your friend is the quilter she is BECAUSE she lives in Texas where there is *such* a huge quilting culture!! She will know the ropes and you will have a fantastic time at this show of shows! Wish I were going with you in your back pocket, sigh.

    Jan in VA
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  17. #17
    Junior Member chiaraquilts's Avatar
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    Oh, go if it is at all possible! I traveled from MA, spent money for a fancy hotel room, etc. so yeah for me it was pricey. Take time seeing all the quilts, it is really too much to take in all at once. It was amazing to see so many quilts, of every type imaginable.

    I was there for a week, took GREAT classes and the vendors are wonderful. I did not buy much, (flying limits that!) but just to see all the new stuff and try out machines, etc, is awesome. And Houston itself is a really nice city, it was my first time in TX and I really enjoyed it. My niece lives there and was able to show me around, which was great.

    I plan to go again in 2 or 3 years, I learned so much and had such a great time. You can spend as much or as little as you want. The classes were no more expensive than those at my LQS, with nationally known teachers. I would bring lunch, the food offerings were very limited IMHO, and not for those who are at all concerned with healthy eating!
    Chiara Kate

  18. #18
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I went to a show near Boston one time. It was held in a hockey rink. Where the ice would have been were hundreds of quilts, and the ENTIRE second floor had vendors. Wow!! But even that, I am sure, does not compare to Houston. GO!!! You will not regret it. I wish I had the $$ to get there.
    Last edited by Boston1954; 05-01-2013 at 12:12 PM. Reason: typo
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  19. #19
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Saving the cost of hotel is a big deal. Shop around for a good Airfare and GO!!!! There are a few big shows , and if you have never been , its a trip you will not forget! I live in the Chicago area and the same organizers for Houston host the Chicago show in June. We had it here for 6 years , and my family used to fly in from all over just to attend. The first year one member did not come , and all we talked about was the show when ever we all got together. THe next year she came , and saw what all the fuss was about. We rejoiced when it was announced it was coming back this year .. and yup everyone booked flights... So GO! I can't wait to hear about your experience !

  20. #20
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    The big ticket items that you have to pay for are airfare, hotel, car rental if you're not within walking distance of the convention center, and meals. If you can use points for airfare and have a friend in Houston, that will help.

    Shopping the vendors is optional, so you can control your costs there. Same for any classes.

    I went last October with a friend and we spent 5 days, which was the perfect amount of time. The convention center is HUGE, and seeing so many quilts at once was overwhelming. We'd go look at the quilts in the morning, then go back to our hotel (2 blocks away) for lunch, then sit by the pool for an hour or so, then go back to the show. We wandered around downtown and tried a few restaurants, found a bookstore, returned to the show, etc. It was amazing how many quilts we saw on the third or fourth day that neither one of us remembered seeing before. It was nice to have 5 days, we really felt we got to see and study all the quilts.

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    I'm going!! Working out the details with my friend, and have plenty of time to build up my "stash cash"....for those things I see, and just know I can't possibly live without!

  22. #22
    Super Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    I've been to Road to Calif, Pacific Int'l Q Festival, and the show in Long Beach. All of these are held in large convention centers, hold classes for a full week. I'd recommend taking at least 1 class, but not to the point of loading up your schedule. It can easily be sensory overload, so give yourself plenty of processing time. One advantage to the big shows is comparison shopping. Say you're in the market for a light weight sewing machine to easily take to classes. All the brands will be there. You can comparison shop, make a decision, then go home and buy from your local vendor who will provide training and service support. Make a list of your shopping goals.

    The classes are a great way to get a taste of a new technique and fabulous instructors. I've taken classes from instructors to decide who I'd spend 5 days with at Empty Spools or hire for local guild workshops. Since you have a friend there, maybe she can help with supplies, or choose a class that has a supply list package for a fee.

    Another advantage is finding fabric that isn't carried in LQS. I'm an art quilter, so I hunt for hand dyes, ethnic fabrics and art fabrics, not mass produced.

    Paying is interesting. The vendors are from all across the nation. If using a credit card, the charges appear to be from all over the nation on the same day. Due to credit fraud, my CC company, stopped allowing my card to be used. Back at home, my DH got the call and let me know. It was very embarrassing to retrace my steps and cover those purchases with cash. Anyone out there have a solution for this one?

    Most of the quilts are eye candy to be enjoyed and not copied. It's almost intimadating how amazing they are. I've been honored to just get my quilt accepted.

    These big shows introduce you to what's happening outside your back yard. Your imagination will go into overdrive. Take a camera.

  23. #23
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    I just had the credit card thing happen to me while in Paducah. A call to the credit card company can solve the problem. Next time, I think I'll call in advance to make sure that they don't put a security hold on mine for the duration of my trip.

  24. #24
    Senior Member NDQuilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anniedeb View Post
    Just saw Melodyr's pictures of the Paducah show. Is that a "typical" show? My dear friend has asked my to come down the Houston Quilt show in November. Until I started reading this board I didn't even know what quilt shows were!! Are they expensive? I'd have airfare from Minnesota, but besides that, what kind of "budget" am I looking at? I really want to go, but the $$ would be the deciding factor. I'd be staying with her, so no motel charges or car rental would be involved. What have you experienced?
    I just came back from Paducah and was in Houston two years ago. If I had to pick between the two, I choose Houston. Here is why:
    1. More entries at Paducah based off commercial patterns than Houston. I'm sure this varies year to year.
    2. Only one venue in Houston while Paducah has activities all over town.
    3. I think Houston has a better class selection.
    4. When I was at Houston, there were more commercial venders, pattern designers. Paducah had more local quilt shops who rented a booth for the week. So in Houston I knew I could find my preferred needles at the manufacturer/distributor booth verses hunting in every vendor and still not finding them.
    5. Houston divides the convention center in half. Quilts on one side, shopping on the other. Paducah co- mingles venders and exhibits. It's great marketing, but sometimes I do not want to dodge shoppers to study the entries.
    6. Houston is open for extended hours. Paducah is 9-6.
    7. Either one is a great experience and I hope to eventually produce a quilt that can be exhibited at both venues.

    As far as budget, passes to both places are comparable, food, and spending money. It could be done for $100 plus airfare, or you could be a high roller and purchase a long arm for several $$$$.

    (As always, these are my opinions, and yours may be different.)

  25. #25
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    There's a Mid-Atlantic Quilt show held every year in Hampton Va. Don't know how it compares to other shows. It has about 150 quilts and as many vendors. It cost under $20 to get in and each class between $35-75 plus materials. It's a 3 day event. I go 1 or 2 days. How much you want to spend depends on you. I budget what I won't go over.

    I love the show. If you have the chance, go to a show just stick within a budget that you can live with.

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