Thursday, March 25, 2010

AQS Lancaster Quilt Show Review

Oh I had such high hopes. AQS was putting on a quilt show in Lancaster, PA, our backyard quilting capitol and home to the Amish. AQS. This is the Paducah AQS. In Lancaster - about 1 hour from my house. This was going to be a high quality, exciting quilt show filled with eye candy and quilts to drool over. The previous quilt show held in Lancaster at The Host Farms, Quilters Heritage Celebration, said their good byes in 2009. It had indeed grown a bit tired. It was time for them to leave. AQS stepped in to fill the void.

The facility was beautiful. The new Lancaster Convention Center is attached to a brand new Marriott. The show was on 3 floors and also at an off-site location. There was a free shuttle bus provided to get to this other location that was a little over a mile away.

I so want to say nice things, but I think the most positive things I have to say I just said. Oh, one more - there were LOTS of very clean women's restrooms.

I was truly underwhelmed. First, the lighting was horrible. Many of the quilts were so poorly lit, that you couldn't tell if they were raw edge appliqued or appliqued with the edges turned over. And did you want to know if those quilts were machine or hand quilted? Forget it!

The quality of the quilts also left something to be desired. There were a few wonderful quilts, but many that you wondered how they were accepted into such a prestigious show. The Best of Show quilt was a Mariner's Compass by Linda Roy. It was exquisitely pieced and quilted with metallic thread (and we all know how difficult that can be), but was it innovative or unusual at all? I didn't think so.

The one trend that I dfid notice was the use of unusual edge treatments and borders. In Double Damask, Liz Jones used small scallops and striped piping. It gave a great effect.
And there was one with "tabs", created by Janet Shore.

Karen Kay Buckley's border had these beautiful spirals in the border created from appliqued leaves.
Esterita Austin also had a humorous quilt called "Incommunicado" with an unusual border and a very cool depiction of transparent wine glasses. Sorry that I don't have a photo of it. By the time I saw it, I had given up and put my camera away. My favorite quilt was one by Betty Busby, called Cherry Trees. The reflection of the trees in the water was done with paint and was just wonderful. It was embellished so tastefully with beads.

Many of the quilts have been around, for a while. Some I may have seen at least 4 years ago. The vendors were interspersed with the quilts. It made it a little hard to immerse yourself in the quilt entries. Once you went to the 2nd and 3rd floors, there must have been more vendors than quilts. I have to say there was nothing that interested or excited me to try something new. Most of the vendors seemed to focus on country type fabric and patterns.

I am getting depressed even writing this blog post. I just hope that not a lot of people knew about the show, there will be more publicity and that next year will be better.


  1. That's so disappointing. I had thought it would be a much better show, too. I have friends going this weekend and I'll get their report when thy return.

  2. Sorry you were disappointed by the show, Cheryl-
    but thanks for the compliment!
    Hopefully things will improve with it.

  3. Sorry it wasn't what you expected. Most of the vendors that do the AQS shows weren't invited to vend at this show. They had to use the same vendors that were at the old venue and if they had room they selected a few more. I'll be vending in Paducah with my handdyes but will be downtown at the Finkle bulding.

  4. Oh how disappointing for you. I am writing from the UK having read your post on "Amy's Creative Side."
    I do so hope that the next show is far more interesting.


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