Pennsylvania National Quilt Festival XIX … I was there!

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On Saturday, I joined 40 other ladies from Long Island and took the Hampton Jitney bus to this quilt show. I have to say that I really enjoyed the trip. Buses are more comfortable than my car, I didn’t have to stress about the 90 minutes of additional traffic going through New York City, and I got to chat with my friends without worrying about getting lost. Our bus left from Riverhead at 7:15 AM and got back about 10:00 PM. We arrived at the show at 12:30 and had about 4.5 hours to view the quilts and spend our money. It was a tiring, but wonderful, day.

I like Mancuso shows because there are a lot of contemporary quilts. While this is a plus for me, some of my friends were disappointed by the lack of more traditional quilts. In fact, only 45 of the 135 quilts entered were traditional. Other categories were Innovative Quilts (39 quilts),and Wall Quilts (51 quilts). There were also several special exhibits, including the Hoffman Challenge; small red and white quilts; and quilts by instructors.

To me, the most interesting exhibit was “I’m Not Crazy.” This was curated by Kathy Nida, the Society of Art Quilters (SAQA) curator in training, and showed mental illness from the perspective of both patients and caregivers. It was very powerful.

My concern about the show is the lack of attendance. Mancuso — the show organizers — have not released attendance records and I’m just guessing how things are going. But this is my second year attending and it seemed that attendance was very, very sparse. Despite arriving at 12:30 on a Saturday, I was almost always the only person in each section viewing quilts. (Of course this is wonderful for an attendee.) I talked to one vendor and asked if she’d been busy — she replied a curt “No!” I said I’d attended last year, which was quiet as well, and her comment was: “It’s even worse than last year.”

Of course the sparse attendance made for a great experience for me. I got to leisurely stroll through booths and talk to the vendors. The new trend this year was wool. There were at least a half-dozen vendors selling wool felt or wool kits. Wool is easy to applique because it doesn’t need to be hemmed, so I can see how it will become a favorite among quilters.

You can see the show winners at:

http://quiltfest.com/activities_detail.asp?id=44

You can see photos — and read more information about the SAQA mental illness exhibit — at:

http://www.saqa.com/about.php?ID=2217

(If you can’t see photos, please check my blog at quiltnotes.wordpress.com)

Gloria Loughman quilt exhibit … see how empty it is!

Sparse Saturday attendance made shopping easy

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5 responses »

  1. I was there on Saturday too, and I agree, while the sparse crowds were good for me for viewing and shopping, I fear that the show won’t continue! I did notice there were fewer vendors than when I was there two years ago (missed last year’s show).

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