Thursday, February 26, 2009

Executive Inn Progress

For the past two days, staff from Space Coast Hospitality Management Company has been working at the AQS office on the hotel rooms for the Executive Inn lottery. We have called those who have confirmed rooms and those who do not.

Work has begun at the hotel to prepare it for the quilt show. Space Coast signed an agreement to operate the hotel through the quilt show. They expect to have the closing on the property by March 15. If a room is not available for some who paid for a room, funds will be held in escrow at the closing of the sale to refund all of the money you paid after the March 15 closing.

Space Coast will be sending written confirmation to those who did receive a room, and also to those who did not.

I made many of these calls myself. We wanted you to know as soon as possible so three of us split up the list to talk to you directly. This has been a trying time for all of us, and for those who did not get a room at the Inn, we hope you will be able to take advantage of the two options we have given you so you can come to the 25th Anniversary Celebration in Paducah.

If you have paid for a room in the Executive Inn and have not been contacted by telephone, please call the AQS office at 270-898-7903, and ask for Bonnie.

Bonnie Browning
Executive Show Director

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Interested in Teaching at AQS Quilt Shows?

We have been receiving calls from authors and quilters who would like to teach at the AQS Quilt Shows. There is a brochure on our AQS Web site with information on what you need to send to our office for consideration as one of our teachers.

Suggestions: Make sure you have a good variety of 3-hour classes. The 3-hour classes fill the best at our events. Keep your supply lists to a minimum; no one wants to purchase a lot of supplies for a class and not use them. Colorful projects that other quilters will want to make help to sell the classes.

Here is the link for the brochure with Instructor Information: .

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"25" AQS Contest to benefit the National Quilt Museum

Have some fun making a quilt with 25 of something -- in the AQS Contest where the quilts are donated to the National Quilt Museum.

The quilt rules are simple - include 25 of something - this could be 25 squares, 25 triangles, 25 fabrics, 25 stars, 25 blocks, well, you get the idea, and you can add other designs to it. Just tell us on the entry forms what you have 25 of.

Here's the link to the rules: .

The deadline is March 2, so start sewing today on your 25 quilt. $1,000 in prize money will be awarded to the winners in this contest. Your quilts will be displayed at the Paducah show and auctioned on Thursday.

The Paducah show is April 22 - 25, 2009.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Convention Center Photo Update

Terry Guill and I had the opportunity to enter the "hard hat zone" during the construction at the Julian Carroll Convention Center earlier this week. We want you to see the progress as well. The remodeling is a week ahead of schedule and it will be ready for our 25th Anniversary AQS Quilt Show in April.

As you enter the Julian Carroll Convention Center, you walk into the atrium lobby area. The "moat" around the stairway has now been filled with concrete, giving several feet of space in the lobby.

The classrooms have already been painted and are waiting for the new ceiling tiles to be installed. There will be new lighting in all of the classrooms too.

The hallway is getting a new makeover too. Won't it be fun to see this space all completely remodeled?

You can see in this photo of the exhibit hall how the ceiling has been raised. The quilts will be displayed in this area giving us much better lighting to show off the stars of the show - the quilts!
Here we are inside the exhibit area on the second floor of the convention center. The drywallers have been busy taping some new walls in this area.

Lottery Rooms at the Executive Inn

We have been receiving messages about the hotel lottery asking what is happening with the money you paid. Your checks were sent to the Executive Inn and were cashed by its owner, Bhupinder Singh.

The hotel is in the process of being sold to a new corporation. Until the closing is held on that transfer of title, neither AQS nor the new owners can do anything about your hotel rooms. Believe me, we are as distressed about all of this as you are and are working with the new owners to expedite confirming the hotel rooms as soon as that closing takes place. It is now in the hands of the attorneys who are preparing the legal documents for the transfer of the hotel.

We pray that is is not much longer before that closing can be accomplished. There are other planning activities that can't be resolved until that happens too.

Please hang in there with us.

Bonnie Browning
Executive Show Director

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Convention Center Remodeling Update

Yesterday we needed to measure a space in the Paducah Expo Center and I stopped to shoot a photo of the workers busy on the renovation of the Julian Carroll Convention Center. You can see this huge crane lifting parts of the heating/air conditioning units onto the roof. The parking lot was full of cars and we know a lot was happening there.

We didn't want to interrupt the workers and did not go inside, but the supervisor told us they were busy working on drywall, painting, and ceiling tiles on the second floor. From the front doors, we could see the drywall dust in the air from sanding.

Next week we'll stop by late in the afternoon (after the workers have gone home) to shoot some photos to give you a look at their progress.

The Convention Center will be all new for the AQS Quilt Show in April. The ice storm only slowed them down by two they are still right on target for their completion date.

And Now the Clean-up After the Ice Storm

Thanks to all of you who have inquired and sent messages asking about AQS and our staff. The AQS office is back up and operational. The online registration is again working properly, so you can go to . From this page you can order a registration guide, print the pdf of the registration guide, or go directly to online registration to register.

Now that the ice is gone, we are left with the aftermath of the ice storm. This is a view of the trees surrounding Dolly McNutt Plaza, just behind the library in downtown Paducah. It looks like this on all four sides of the Plaza. Some of you may have visited this city park where free wireless Internet connections are available. This ice storm is the worst natural disaster ever in the state of Kentucky. This week it was designated a Major Disaster by President O'Bama, which will allow the cities to recoup some of the money that has to be spent on handling the disaster. (Click on the photo for a larger version.)

This utility pole located at the corner of the Paducah Expo Center parking lot is an example of the problems the utility companies are facing. There are literally thousands of utility poles snapped in half, or in this case thirds. The weight of all that ice was more than these poles could stand. The transformer from this pole stands alone like a little soldier left behind on the street. Cindy Carrico, our Assistant Show Director, counted 28 snapped utility poles between her home in Fancy Farm and Mayfield, Kentucky. What a huge task it will be to get all of our power operating again.

The power is being restored section by section, however many of our staff still do not have power in their homes. Many have generators and others are living with relatives and friends. This is now Day 12 and some don't expect to have their power on for two to three weeks yet. Yesterday the news reported that more than 500 utility workers from nine states are here helping to work on the power lines. A big Thank You to all of them and to our local utility companies for working so hard to restore our power.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Update on Ice Storm

Most of our staff is back in the AQS office today. We have resolved the problem we were having with the online registration. However we have lost registration information from Tuesday January 26 until today (February 2). We have the names but no other contact information for these people.

If your name is on this list and you used our online registration during the past week, please contact our office via telephone, 270-898-7903: J. Bryant, L. Cartwright, L. Andrews, N. Lindsey, M. Myers, M. Carr, V. Hermann, C. Hanks, R. Chabot, E. Hutchins, M. Thelen, S. Russell, J. Walsh, K. Daniels, N. Dearing, J. Epperson, J. Massingill, S. Livingston, C. Wanska, P. Zepp, K. Curran, J. Waldrop, C. Grimmer, K. Briggs, L. Meyer, S. Lewis, N. Muskopf, D. Herman, M. Pittman, J. Sanborn, S. Hobbie, S. Creevy, A. Neisler, S. Rogers, C. Anderson, M. Rexford, S. Scherer, J. Norton, B. Meade, L. Neumeyer, R. Grych, S. Davis, D. Ames, B. Carrier, A. Gore, L. Elza, L. Even, S. Irvin, V. Meadows, A. Niehaus, C. Lammers, J. Irving, L. Benway, J. Carlson, M. Duff, L. Quakenbush, C. Jones, R. Badger, R. Vaught, J. Rogers, K. Barrow, T. Youngblood, R. Marlow, C. Haberman, C. O'Dea, B. Badger, D. Lynch, J. Ross, D. Day, and S. Barley.

You can view the photos larger by clicking on them. This photo shows how the tops and branches of our trees look. There are still many branches just hanging from the trees.

This is the view as you drive on Highway 62 toward Paducah onto Clarks River Road that shows how the trees are bent to the ground or toppled all the way to the ground.

This view as we drove down the street shows how the trees just completely toppled over from the base of the tree. You had to navigate around the trees on many, many streets.

Here is a close-up view to give you some idea of the amount of ice that covered the trees here in Paducah and across the state of Kentucky. You can certainly see why the branches fell - they could not withstand more than 1/2" to 3/4" of ice on every surface.

Thankfully most of that ice melted and fell off on Friday when the temperatures nearly reached 40 degrees. It sounded like mass wind chimes when the ice fell off.

It is a blessing that we all survived this massive ice storm, kept warm the best way we could - many of us becoming better acquainted with our neighbors, and are moving forward. Many of our homes still don't have power but we know the utility companies and many volunteers from utility companies in other cities are working hard to restore our power. There are some major transmission lines down that will take some time to restore.

Thanks to all of you who have sent message inquiring our AQS staff. We are back to work and glad to be in our warm offices.