As a part of our Delightful Quilting & Sewing business we vend at several quilt shows throughout the year. Recently we traveled across New York to the top northeast corner to Plattsburgh, NY. Champlain Valley Quilters’ Guild, now in their 33rd year, hosted their 16th quilt show in the field house on the SUNY Plattsburgh Campus. The theme of the show was “Treadle to Technology.” Much has changed from the days of hand piecing, or even using the “new” treadle sewing machine to piece and quilt to today when an entire quilt block can be pieced, appliqued and even quilted on an embroidery machine. All you need besides the embroidery machine is the purchased pattern. There are a number of very beautiful and very complex patterns available. when the already quilted blocks are finished, simply sew them together into the finished quilt. Other exhibits at the show including Underground Railroad Quilt, Block of the Month Display, and Common Sense and Pin Money quilt display featuring quilts and other items from the “Material Culture and Legacy of Lula Annie Butler 1909 – 2009.” Show attendees could spend a few minutes tying quilts for the club charity quilt donations, or attend one of the many demos presented by one of the show vendors.
The favorite part of any quilt show for me is the quilts. Because we are vendors at shows in different parts of New York State, it is interesting to see how regionally there are some differences in the types quilts and form of quilting on display. More and more, however, I am noticing fewer hand quilted and many more professionally quilted, usually with edge-to-edge patterns. This was the case in Plattsburgh. There were a few with some custom quilting, usually the applique quilts. Most of the quilts displayed in Plattsburgh were not made “just for show” like you find at the large national shows, but were made to be used and enjoyed. The makers of these quilts should be proud of their fine work and I am sure the recipients of these quilts will love them, too.
Our Vendor Ribbon Choice
At some of the quilt shows the vendors can select a quilt to receive a ribbon. This was the case at Plattsburgh. My criteria for selection is: (1) design – is it unusual, or a different arrangement of a common pattern, (2) workmanship – well made, nice points, binding applied well, hangs well, (3) machine quilted – either home machine or longarm, (4) quilting pattern selection, is it appropriate for the quilt, and how well it is executed, balanced tension, etc., and (5) quilt made and quilted by the same person. I also do not give my ribbon to a quilt that has already received one or more ribbons. I want to encourage someone else who has done an excellent job, but did not receive a ribbon.
Because I was running out of time to look closely at the quilts, I sent my husband, Ron out to scout out a quilt for our ribbon. He used the above criteria and came back with about five possibilities (written on his hand) for us to check out together. Our “winning” quilt was Compass Confusion by Karia Strauss (below). We liked the color combinations, balance of color, the unusual inner border, the pop of orange, the edge-to-edge quilting with a slight contrasting thread that gave nice texture to the quilt and definitely enhanced it. This quilt satisfied all of our criteria.
Other Unusual and Very Nice Quilts
Most of the quilts at the Plattsburgh show were pieced, however, those below drew my attention because they were unusual in some way. Several were hand embroidered, others were applique, and even others told a story. Looking at quilts, for me, is a lot of fun and I enjoy seeing how quilt makers creatively and artistically bring the whole quilt design together.
Although the photos are out of order below, I am sure you can match the detail photo with the full quilt photo. I hope you enjoy seeing these quilts as much as I did.