Review: A Quilter’s Gathering, Nashua, NH

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I’m back from my 2nd Quilter’s Gathering (the first was in 2009) and will share the highlights over the next week. Unfortunately I had technical problems with my camera, so there will be limited photographs!

First of all, New Hampshire had a huge snowstorm on Sunday, Nov. 1st that resulted in loss of power for many thousands of businesses and residents in the area. I stopped at Outback for dinner on Wednesday — they opened late as they’d just gotten power back on Tuesday and were  frantically getting ready for business. The entire weekend was punctuated by conversations of “Do you have power?” and there were several people who chose to stay at the conference hotel because their homes did not have electricity.

Speaking of the hotel …  Because I’m on a budget, I usually do not spend the $110 for a conference hotel and stay at much cheaper hotels in the area. However the Nashua Radisson is on the top of a hill, and I vividly remembered the “fun” I had last time pulling my sewing machine and related class stuff up that huge hill. This time I stayed in the hotel and it was a wonderful experience. The room was large with a Sleep Number bed. My only complaints were that the Internet was only available one day (Thursday) of the five that I stayed, and that there were no fridges available.

There was a lot of complaining about the hotel. I heard rumors that it was bankrupt, then other rumors that it was sold. I couldn’t confirm these online, but it seemed to be general knowledge. Next year the conference is moving to Rhode Island. Anyway, complaints about the hotel abounded. The only issue I had was that room was cleaned at 5:30 PM one night and some rooms weren’t cleaned until 7:30 PM. There was also a scheduling issue, that a room was used as a classroom from 9:00 AM until noon, and then was to be converted into a lunch lecture room for lunch starting at 12:00. The poor staff were waiting outside the door to do the conversion, but were helpless because there were still people inside.

My classes and lectures were excellent, and I will share them at a future time.

The quilts were excellent. It is a small show, but a great mix of styles and types of quilting. The vendor area is crowded but there is a great selection.

I did attend the Saturday night Quilter’s Gathering. I have heard that this event is incredibly fun and many people attend in their pajama’s. The highlight was a circular cake, whose outside looked like it was decorated with folded fat quarters. There was a quilt on the top and a sculpted rotary cutter. I wish I could have taken a photograph. There was also icecream.

I did enjoy the show and tell portion. It’s always nice to see the teachers and the work accomplished in each class. Then we moved on to a prize for the best PJ’s. There were only 20 or so participants and the judging probably took close to half an hour as they did FOUR rounds of eliminations. In my opinion, it ceased to be funny after the first round. Given the frustration of people around me, I don’t think I was alone with this viewpoint.

Door prizes were another draw of the gathering. We were all given a ticket and I could see a table filled with gifts. At other conventions (such as the Vermont Quilt Festival), they hold up the prize, describe it, thank the vendor, draw a name, and have a runner deliver the prize. Not here. They called groups such as “first time attendees” who then charged at the table and picked up their prizes. Groups included “people with slippers” and “people with contact lenses.” After watching this for awhile, I decided to head back to my room. Just my opinion, but I would be annoyed, as a vendor, not to get any credit for my donation.

So that’s the scoop. Some good; some bad. Overall  I had a great experience and will definitely plan to attend next year.

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