I find that the only places I can really learn about art quilting are at quilt shows. Our shops on Long Island cater primarily to traditional quilters.Unfortunately you need the numbers of a larger show to attract the national teachers and an art quilting crowd.
I registered this week for the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XVII (www.quiltfest.com) in September (aka “The Philadelphia Quilt Show”). I attended this show for the day last year and was very impressed. I’m excited to take classes this year.
In the last year, I’ve attended both an AQS show and a Mancuso show, to see the quilts and for classes. Without a doubt, the Mancuso show (of which Philadelphia is one) was my favorite. I find their faculty much more artsy and interesting. Just my opinion, but the AQS classes I took did not impress me. Although the teachers were lovely, the classes didn’t have the depth or creativity of those I’ve taken at the Mancuso show. Just my opinion!
This weekend is the Peconic Quilt Show in Riverhead, New York. It was the first quilt show I ever attended, last year, and where I bought my first sewing machine. I was in complete awe of the quilts. It will be very interesting to go back this weekend, after I’ve been to several national shows. I wonder if the quilts will seem as awesome, or if I’ll be a little more critical with a year of quilting and critiquing under my belt. On the other hand, I may have more appreciation of the work, and will certainly know some of the artists.