Monday, December 22, 2008

Executive Inn Lottery Update

Work is progressing on the closing of the sale of the Executive Inn. There are many legal documents that have to be finalized to complete it. We, too, wish this could all be finished, and hope that soon we can announce that it is all final.

Last week I met with Bill Parsons, President of Space Coast Hospitality Management Services, who is buying the hotel, and Chef Tim Creehan, who will be managing all of the food services at the hotel during our event. Here is a link where you can meet Chef Creehan: . He is excited to plan food for our special events, for the restaurants in the hotel, and also outside near the barbeque and strawberry shortcakes. I have the Chef's cookbook, Simple Cuisine, and I can't wait to taste some of his culinary handiwork.

Also, those of you who participated in the room lottery at the Executive Inn will be contacted soon by staff from the Space Coast office. We are forwarding them all of the cancelled checks that you have sent to AQS. If you had a check cashed for this lottery and have not sent a copy of it to AQS, please do so immediately. You can e-mail a copy of the both the front and back of your cancelled check to:, or mail it to Sylvia Thomas, AQS, PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290.

Bonnie Browning
Executive Show Director

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Merry Christmas from AQS

All of the AQS staff wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and
a New Year filled with quilts, quilt shows, and quilting friends.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Some fun during your holiday preparations

As you are busy making holiday preparations, take a break from your baking or shopping, and see if you can answer these questions related to Christmas.

1. What President was the first to decorate the white house Christmas tree?

2. What song was written for Thanksgiving, before becoming one of the most popular Christmas songs?

3. How many gifts would you receive if you received all of the gifts in the song "The 12 Days of Christmas"?

4. In the song "Winter Wonderland," who do we pretend the snowman is?

5. What popular children's cracker today was introduced in 1902 as a Christmas ornament?

6. In 1939 Robert May created this Christmas figure as a Christmas promotion for Montgomery Ward department store in Chicago.

7. In the 1920’s what world wide beverage company adopted the Santa Claus figure for a winter advertising promotion?

8. What popular Christmas candy today had it’s debut and was given out by a choirmaster in 1670 to quiet the noisy children?

9. What best selling Christmas song did Gene Autry record in 1951?

10. What American President barred the Christmas Tree from being displayed in the White House?

11. The politicians, women’s groups, and seniors’ organizations protested this Christmas song written in 1979 and popularized by Elmo and Patsy.

12. Round or oval candies filled with fruit preserves or cream and covered with chocolate are called _______?

13. Which country created eggnog?

14. How many reindeer hooves are there (include Rudolph)?

15. What carol demands figgy pudding?

Answer the questions....then scroll down, down, down to find the answers. You can use these questions for your guild or other gathering during this holiday season.

1. President Pierce
2. Jingle Bells
3. 364
4. Parson Brown
5. Barnum's Animal Crackers
6. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
7. Coca-Cola Company
8. Candy cane
9. Frosty the Snowman
10. The environmentalist President Teddy Roosevelt
11. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
12. Sugar plums
13. United States
14. 36
15. We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Hope you had fun!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Paducah Contest Deadline

The deadline for entering the AQS Quilt and Fashion Contests in Paducah, Kentucky, is nearing. In the rush of the holidays, don't forget to send your entries. Your entries (maximum of 2 per person) must be postmarked or received in the AQS office by January 5, 2009.

If you need a copy of the rules, just click on the title of this post and it will take you to the rules on the AQS Web site.

We are already processing entries, so you can send your entry any time. You don't need to wait for the deadline.
Good luck! Maybe you will be the Best of Show winner at the 25th Anniversary AQS Quilt Show!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Paducah Registration is Now OPEN & Executive Inn News

The Paducah registration is now open! Just click on the title of this post and it will take you directly to the online registration site.

This morning opened the link for online registration for the 25th Anniversary AQS Quilt Show & Contest in Paducah, Kentucky, April 22 - 25, 2009.

Update on the Executive Inn: The final closing is going to be this week, and work will begin on hotel rooms next week. When the new owners take over next week, they will go through the reservations to determine the status of everyone who has paid for rooms at the Executive Inn and will be in contact with you. Thank you for being so patient with this whole process. We want you to come to Paducah and enjoy an exciting 25th anniversary with AQS.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Paducah Registration Guide

The quilt show staff has been working hard to get the Paducah Registration Guide ready. It went to the printer today.

The online registration will be open next week as soon as our Webmaster gets the links and all of the information uploaded onto our Web site, . Just click on the Show & Contests link at the top of the page.

The past Best of Show winners will be our guests at the 25th Anniversary Celebration. Several of those winners will be teaching too. This will be your opportunity to take classes from some of the best quilters in the world.

If you are looking for lodging for the Paducah show, please go to the Paducah Visitors Bureau's Web site, and click on the AQS Quilt Show, then look for the AQS Approved Accommodations list. You will see that most of the hotels in the city are already filled.

Another option for lodging is the AQS Home Bed & Breakfast where local homeowners open up their guest rooms to house more quilters in the city. This program starts February 1, when you can call 1-800-PADUCAH to request the AQS Home Bed & Breakfast form. If you are an AQS member, they will find you lodging in this program.

Wednesday night will be the 25th Anniversary Celebration & Reception at the Four Rivers Center. This will be the night when the 2009 winners receive their awards (not Tuesday night like we have been doing), we'll honor all 25 of the Best of Show winners, and more surprises. Thursday evening will be Alive on Stage: 30 Years of Eleanor Burns, and Friday night will be Ricky Tims in Concert to help celebrate our 25th anniversary.

Make your plans now to be in Paducah for this extra special show, April 22 - 25, 2009!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Harman Sister Reunion at Des Moines AQS Quilt Expo

We Are Family!

We are sisters—one from California, one from Florida, and two from Illinois who share many interests and thoroughly enjoy doing things together. We have had opportunities to gather for birthdays and weddings (each of us has two children) but we wanted a Harman sister reunion. No husbands, no children, no responsibility, no accountability—just food, fabric, and fun!

We’ve had only two reunions in the last 15 years, so our third had to be especially memorable. We all love needle crafts including cross-stitch, embroidery, knitting, and quilting. Following a very brief discussion of the interests we share, we made the decision—let’s quilt!

The AQS selection of Des Moines for its new quilt show offered the perfect venue for our reunion. The weather and hotel accommodations were wonderful. The instructors inspired us and the classes gave us the confidence to continue on our own, stitching and piecing back in the hotel room well into the night.

We signed up for the Mystery Quilt with Kimberly Einmo and wore our matching lime-green Harman Sister Reunion 2008 T-shirts to class on Thursday. Instructors, vendors, quilters, and shoppers greeted us and laughed as we explained the significance. Several people asked if they could become honorary sisters. We browsed through the huge variety of quilting supplies and beautiful fabrics every chance we could, and when we returned to the market on Friday to purchase one more fat quarter or quilting tool, many people greeted us saying, “Oh you’re the sisters!”

Mom introduced us to the world of fabric, thread, and needles. The four of us have made quilts for our own children (five girls and three boys), and now for their children (six boys and two girls), and our daughters have made quilts as well. Guess you could say quilting is in our family.

Linda (Harman) Apple, California
Susan (Harman) Nelson, Illinois
Karen (Harman) Anderson, Illinois
Janet (Harman) Turner, Florida
Thank you to the Harman sisters for sharing their story, and to AQS American Quilter Editor Chris Brown for snapping a great photo of them. Many reunions happen at AQS shows - moms and daughters, sisters, friends from across the country all make their plans to spend some quality time together. If you want to plan your own reunion in Des Moines, Iowa, next year, the dates are October 28 - 31, 2009.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It All Begins with Destruction

Steve Doolittle, Downtown Development Director, visits with AQS staff Rick Loyd, Billy Schroeder, and Meredith Schroeder about the destruction taking place. Today we were given a tour of the building to see the progress being made. Here are some photos so you, too, can see what will lead to a completely renovated convention center in Paducah. Many of the areas were really destruction zones but we stepped as close as we dared to snap these photos.

The City of Paducah has committed to renovate the convention center compatible with the renovation of the Executive Inn. The classrooms will be completely remodeled with new everything - from top to bottom, and we are especially grateful to have new lighting in these rooms for our workshops. New heating and air conditioning will be installed. The International Rooms will be renovated with new ceiling, lighting, wall treatments, and carpeting.

Steve Doolittle, Meredith Schroeder, AQS President; Mary Hammond, Executive Director of the Paducah/McCracken Convention & Visitors Bureau; and Terry Guill, Director of AQS Show Operations, take a look at where the planter (we always called it the moat) was removed in the lobby of the convention center. It is amazing how much space that planter took up.

The ceilings will be replaced throughout the building. Two shifts a day are working to get the building ready for reconstruction. All they left in place are the metal heat ducts as you can see in this photo. New electrical lines will be installed throughout the building.

The upper hallway was in big time destruction mode today. Won't we all be anxious to see it all put back together?

Workers were busy ripping out wiring and heat registers. This was a pretty big mess.

Carpeting is being ripped out of the classrooms. New ceilings and lighting will be installed in all of the classrooms.
The bathrooms have been gutted and will be brand new from top to bottom.
Wow, can you believe all that they have torn apart so far? Keep an eye here on our Blog and we'll bring you new photos as the work progresses.
Can't wait until April? Well, you can see that there is a lot of work to be done, but these crews are up to the task, and the building will all be fresh and new for our 25th Anniversary Celebration. And, we'll also get to celebrate a newly renovated convention center and hotel rooms. Put on your dancing...or your track shoes and come celebrate with us.
Meanwhile back at the office, Cindy Carrico and Marcelle Cashon are busy working on the Registration Guide for our 25th Anniversary Celebration. It will be later in November before it is all finished. We still have a lot of information to get formatted in our software, and then it goes back to the teachers for proofing, and a final proofing in our office...then we'll get it to the printer and posted for online registration. We'll post a notice on our Web site and here on our Blog when we have a better idea of the date it will be ready.
Here's a little secret: 19 of the past Best of Show winners will be joining us in Paducah...and you'll be able to take classes from several of them. How great is that... to learn from some of the best!
Bonnie Browning
Executive Show Director

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Olfa Young Designer Okada Award at Paducah

Do you know any young quilt designers who are creating innovative quilts?

One of the categories in the Paducah Quilt Contest is Young Designer Quilts. The quilter can use any technique in making a fabric quilt in a unique interpretation. This category is open to ages 18 to 35 (determined on the opening day of the show). The judges will be looking for originality in this category.

There are some great awards for this category. All quilts in this category are eligible for the $5,000 Olfa Young Designer Okada Award. In addition, there will be 1st ($1,500), 2nd ($1,000), and 3rd ($750) places.

Pass the word around to your quilting friends and to your guild about this special contest geared to young quilters. They can't win if they don't enter.

The rules for the AQS Quilt Contest are available on our AQS Web site, Just click on Shows & Contests and then choose the Paducah Quilt Show. The deadline for receiving contest entries (entry form and two digital images) is January 5, there is still time to work on an entry.

If you have any questions about the Young Designer Quilts category or the Paducah Quilt Contest, please call the AQS office at 270-898-7903.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Executive Inn Update

The contract to purchase the Executive Inn by Space Coast Hospitality has been signed. The contract closing will be in 10 to 14 days. The long-awaited renovations will begin shortly after the closing.

Once the closing has taken place, the new owners will begin to determine the status of the reservations for those who sent checks to the hotel.

If you sent a check to the hotel and have NOT received a confirmation for your room, please forward a copy of the front AND back of your cancelled check to Sylvia Thomas in the AQS office who is collecting this information. Her e-mail address is: or fax it to 270-898-1173.

A Glimpse of the 2008 AQS Quilt Expo in Des Moines

If you missed the show in Des Moines, here is how it looked through Bonnie Browning's camera lens. You can view them larger by clicking on the photos. Put the dates for next year's AQS Quilt Expo - Des Moines on your calendar now so you don't miss it: October 28 - 31, 2009.

The view from the windows on the third level of the Iowa Events Center was beautiful. The exhibit floor looked like a patchwork quilt. This is only 2/3 of the exhibit hall. There is another room of quilts under where I was standing. More than 900 quilts were on exhibit at this show.

Two familiar faces, Dale Perry and Bill Schroeder, greet quilters as they enter the show.

Winners Marilyn Badger (co-winner with Claudia Clark Myers of the Best Longarm Workmanship Award) and Anne Lullie (winner of the Best Machine Workmanship Award)
visit in front of Anne's quilt.

AQS President Meredith Schroeder presented a contribution to the Des Moines Area Quilters Guild in appreciation of their assistance in providing volunteers for the show. (L to R: Mary Shotwell and Jill Reber, Co-AQS Volunteer Coordinators; Meredith Schroeder; Sherri Street, Guild President; and Doris Rumpp, Guild Treasurer)
With this being an election year, we included a Hooray for the Red, White & Blue exhibit. Nancy Kirk, Kirk Collection, Omaha, Nebraska, shared some of her antique red, white, and blue quilts and costumes.

One of the popular events is the All-Star Review where the instructors demonstrate a technique and the quilters move around the room at their own pace. Each participant receives a booklet of handouts from the instructors so make notes or as a reminder when they get home.

Quilters are getting a close look at one of the quilts in the exhibit by Sandra McMillan, Albion, Nebraska. We all aspire to make such beautiful quilts.

You know how popular aprons are again. MaryJane Butters, Moscow, Idaho, shared her collection of aprons as one of our special exhibits. Do you remember your grandmother wearing one of the aprons that covered her whole front? I do. And it reminds me of her baking cookies.

An exhibit of Judy Martin's quilts was very popular. People loved her Log Cabin quilts. Thanks, Judy, for sharing your beautiful quilts.

The National Quilt Museum displayed two exhibits at the show: New Quilts from an Old Favorite: Sawtooth, and the 2009 Pilgrim/Roy Challenge. The Yoyos from Paducah drew crowds as they demonstrated some tricks for making yoyos and how to use them in a variety of ways.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Here's a great view of the exhibit hall!

This is a view of the exhibit hall from the skywalk windows that overlook the show. Great quilts! Great vendors! Lots of visitors!
Wish you were here.
The show closes at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday - that's tomorrow, so you still have one more day to come see the show.

Sunrise in Des Moines

Here is the view of the Iowa State Capitol from my hotel room window.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Do you need a hotel room for the AQS Quilt Expo in Des Moines?

If you need a hotel for the Des Moines AQS Quilt Expo, the Downtown Marriott still has some rooms available.

The Marriott is located in downtown Des Moines and is connected to the Iowa Events Center via the skywalk system. It is the closest hotel with rooms still available.

To book your room at the Marriott, call 515) 245-5500 today. Rooms at the AQS rate are limited.

Des Moines Marriott Downtown
700 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309

See you in Des Moines, October 8 - 11!

Bonnie Browning

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's Quilt Expo Time in Des Moines

Wow, do you know that AQS will have more than 900 quilts on exhibit at the AQS Quilt Expo in Des Moines? We'll have the AQS Contest quilts - where more than $42,000 in cash will be awarded, and a variety of special quilt exhibits.

The Des Moines Area Quilters Guild will display quilts in their annual show - it's the 25th anniversary of the guild.

When have you seen an exhibit of Judy Martin's quilts? We'll have 25 of them at the Expo. She'll also be giving a lecture on Wednesday evening.

And prizewinning quilter Sandra McMillan, Albion, Nebraska, will exhibit 24 of her beautiful quilts.

Nancy Kirk, Kirk Collection, Omaha, Nebraska, is sharing some of her patriotic quilts and costumes.

And if you have never met MaryJane Butters of Moscow, Idaho, you're in for a treat. You will be able to view her collection of 40 Aprons at the show. MaryJane will be teaching and sharing some of her experiences in developing your own business. One of her classes is making rugs.

Come have some fun at the AQS Quilt Expo -- you'll be in heaven.

And don't forget that Friday is Dressed Up Denim Day - wear your jazzed up denims that are so popular today. If you don't have any jazzed up denims yet, the Dressed Up Denim Lab is located at booth 403/502 on the show floor. Bring a denim garment with you to the show.

You can see how crystals are put on in Cheri's Crystals booth, or how to use Paintstiks in Laura Murray's booth, or how to use Designer Bindings in the Lollipops booth nearby - purchase your supplies and work away on dressing up your own denims. We'll have some practice pieces so you can try it out first if you want.

If you are into hockey, then you'll want to go to the opening game of the season of the Iowa Chops Hockey team. It's on Friday night. Scroll down in this blog for information on ordering tickets. Get your own cow bell to cheer on the Iowa Chops!

See you all at the show - October 8 - 11 at the Iowa Events Center, 730 Third Street, Des Moines, Iowa!

The AQS Quilt Show Staff:
Bonnie, Terry, Cindy, Sharon, Marcelle, Mary Beth, and Tracey

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Executive Inn Deposits

We have received calls and e-mails from quilters who submitted checks for the room lottery at the Executive Inn that have been cashed and no confirmations have been received. AQS is working with the attorneys from the City of Paducah and McCracken County, as well as the Kentucky Attorney General to determine what has happened with these monies and who has rooms confirmed.

As soon as we know more, we will post it on our Web site,, and here on our Blog.

Bonnie Browning
Executive Show Director

Thursday, September 18, 2008

American Quilter’s Society Night Out with the CHOPS!!!

Don't miss out on the American Quilter’s Society
Night Out with the CHOPS!!!
OPENING NIGHT October 10, 2008 in Des Moines.

The Iowa Chops Hockey team vs. the Peoria Rivermen

Ticket Prices for Quilters:
Center Ice seats $16.00
Endzone seats $9.00

Free Chops Cow Bell for each group ticket purchased!


1) Click on the link below and enter the offer code 1010QUILT, click on the “BUY” logo on the right, and then enter your desired quantity. Do not clicks on best available or you will not be given the discount!

2) CONTACT YOUR TICKET REP JARED YOUNGMAN AT 515-564-8043 and order your tickets over the phone.



Wednesday, September 17, 2008

AQS Quilt Expo - Des Moines

Are you coming to the AQS Quilt Expo in Des Moines, October 8 - 11, 2008? There are still some rooms at the Des Moines Marriott, 700 Grand Ave. It's the closest hotel to the Iowa Events Center where the quilt show will be held and you can get there through the skywalks. They have free shuttle service from the airport. Don't miss out on the great AQS Quilt Expo rate of $129 -- the current online rate is $229. To book your room, log on to or call 515-245-5500.

Did you know the Iowa State Capitol’s impressive 275-foot golden dome is the largest of any state capitol in the nation, and is flanked by four smaller domes? The largest dome is covered with 23-karat gold sheets, equaling 100 ounces of gold. These sheets are so thin that 250,000 of them piled together would measure about one inch high. The Capitol building, dedicated in 1884 and completed in 1886 at a cost of some $2.8 million, is built of limestone, granite, sandstone and brick. In addition to serving as the seat of Iowa government, the Capitol is a showcase for artwork, woodcarving, artifacts and decorative wall and ceiling painting. Today, the Iowa State Capitol has just finished an extensive interior and exterior restoration. Add a visit to the Capitol to your visit to Des Moines.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Dressed Up Denim Brunch & Fashion Show with Laurie Malm

Laurie Malm, Lollipops Designer Bindings, shows off her denim vest decorated with fancy binding strips.

Her booth will be next to the Dressed Up Denim Lab at the Des Moines show. Stop at her booth and learn all of the tricks in applying binding to your Dressed Up Denims.

Don't mis the Brunch & Dressed Up Denim Fashion Show with Laurie Malm - Friday at 9:00 a.m. at the AQS Quilt Expo in Des Moines.

Dressed Up Denim Lab at Des Moines

Dressed Up Denims

Denim clothing that is decorated...with stitching, appliques, ribbon and trims, and, of course, crystals, is all the rage. Couture clothing by many of the leading designers have picked up this trend in garments of all sizes - from small rompers to elaborate jackets selling for hundreds of dollars.

At this year's AQS Quilt Expo, you can dress up your own denim. Just bring a denim shirt, jacket, jeans, or other garments with you and we'll have a space set up at the show, the Dressed Up Denims Lab, for you to do just that. Some of our vendors with products that you might need will be located nearby. These include Cheri's Crystals, with crystals that are heat set to adhere to the garment; Lollipops Designer Bindings, with binding that can be stitched in a variety of designs; Igolochkoy (Gail Bird), with materials for needlepunching designs, and Laura Murray Designs, with some great fabrics for applique and Paintstiks.

Here's how it works. You can watch demos in their booths to learn the techniques, purchase any supplies you might need, and go to the tables in the Dressed Up Denim Lab to work on your shirt, jacket, or jeans. We'll have some shirts for you to try it on before you begin working on your own jacket.

What fun! You can learn techniques from some of the best and they'll be close by if you have any questions...and you'll end up with your own couture style denims.

Then, be sure to sign up for the Brunch with Laurie Malm on Friday at 9:00 a.m., where we'll have a fashion show of Dressed Up Denims...and you can show off yours too.

Everyone should wear your Dressed Up Denims on Friday at the show.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Des Moines, Iowa - AQS Quilt Expo

And next we will be off to Des Moines, Iowa, for the very first AQS Quilt Expo, October 8 - 11, 2008.

The name badges were mailed on Friday, August 29, to those who registered by Wednesday, August 27. If you registered after August 27, your name badge will be held for pickup at the show. All international name badges will be held for pickup at the show.

The show will be located in Hy-Vee Hall at the Iowa Events Center, 730 3rd Street, in downtown Des Moines.

Lodging: If you still need to make your hotel reservations, here is the link to the list of hotels on the AQS Web site:
Just call the hotel directly and tell them you are coming to the AQS Quilt Expo so you'll get our quilt show rates. Don't delay in booking your room though, those rates will end soon and you'll be paying higher rates.

This is going to be an exciting event -- there are 800 quilts on exhibit, including the annual show of the Greater Des Moines Quilters Guild. More than 350 vendor booths will make it a quilt shoppers' paradise - you know they will have all of the latest tools and fabric that you just need to add to your stash.

Check out the next blog entry for information on our special Dressed Up Denim Lab, where you can jazz up your own denim jackets, jeans, vests, and more.

Bonnie Browning
Executive Show Director

Book Your Rooms for Knoxville - July 22 - 25, 2009

It’s easy to book your room for the AQS Quilt Expo in Knoxville, July 22 – 25, 2009. The hotels are all listed by their distance from the Knoxville Convention Center.

For online room reservations, click here.
Or, call 865-588-7426 or 1-800-753-3823.
Book your flights and car rental with discounts to Knoxville by calling 1-800-753-3823.
E-mail if you have questions related to your reservations.

Shuttle service is not provided from all of the hotels. If you will need shuttle service, look at the hotels in the downtown area. Here is the online map for the free shuttle service:

If you need additional assistance on whether this service is available from your hotel, please call the phone number above for making reservations.

Connie Guthary, Aurora, IL, wins AQS Nashville Giveaway

Connie Guthary, Aurora, Illinois, was thrilled to learn that she won the AQS Nashville Bound Giveaway. Her prize was an ultimate quilting studio: HQ Sixteen™ Longarm Machine with table and frame, cabinetry for her sewing studio from Tracey's Tables, and a free trip to the AQS Quilt Expo.

For a complete list of all winners in the AQS Nashville Giveaway, go to:

(Pictured above, L to R: AQS President Meredith Schroeder; Mike ________, Tracey's Tables; Connie Guthary; Mark Hyland, HandiQuilter; and Gloria Bolden, AQS Ad Manager

Meet Marge Boyle and Cindy Carrico

Two more members of our staff -- Marge Boyle, Director of Sales of Marketing, and Cindy Carrico, Assistant Show Director.
Cindy handles the quilt entries for each show, and also works with the well as all of those other duties as assigned.
Marge helps out at the Workshop Desk during the shows, but her regular duties include selling and marketing AQS books and membership, as well as handling advertising for our events.

Meet Marcelle Cashon, AQS Registration Coordinator

Many of you talk to members of the AQS Quilt Show staff as you are registering, entering your quilts, or maybe just to ask a question.

Marcelle Cashon is our new Registration Coordinator. She processes the registrations and makes sure you receive your name badges for the show.

Look for Marcelle at the Workshop Desk at our shows.

Dawn Gerber, Best of Show winner - Nashville

Dawn Gerber, Hanover, Pennsylvania, shows off her check for $10,000 for winning the Best of Show award at the AQS Quilt Expo - Nashville.
Watch for more information on Dawn and her prizewinning quilt in the next issue of American Quilter magazine.

Nashville was a Great Show!

The quilters couldn't wait to enter the AQS Quilt Expo in Nashville, Tennessee. The quilts were great and there were plenty of vendors in the Merchant Mall. What more could a quilter ask for?
We'll miss Gaylord Opryland Resort next year.
The dates for next summer's show are July 22 - 25, 2009 and the Expo will be held at the Knoxville Convention Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

AQS Quilt Expo - Nashville Begins on August 20

It is just a few days before the AQS Quilt Expo opens at Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee. Join us as we visit Music City USA for the eighth time. Quilters from around the world will enjoy seeing more than 500 quilts on exhibit, including five categories in the AQS contest, where one quilter will win the $10,000 Best of Show Award. The special quilt exhibits will range from More Than Warmth, quilts made by children, to the American Quilt Study Groups exhibit of quilts inspired by 1840s quilts.
Look for DiVine in the Delta area just outside the Convention Center. You won't believe it until you see it. You might walk up and see this vine along a post...and all of a sudden it moves.

Special quilting celebrities include Billie Lauder (Wednesday); Joe the Quilter: A Musical Quilt Show by Joe Cunningham (Thursday); Afternoon Tea with Jodi Barrows, Show & Tell with Eleanor Burns, and Dear Jane Turns 12: Anniversary Celebration with Brenda Papadakis (Friday); and Brunch with Sue Nickels (Saturday).

Don't forget to experience Nashville by attending the Grand Ole Opry on Friday or Saturday evenings, or a cruise on the General Jackson Riverboat.

The Workshop Desk opens at 12:00 noon on Tuesday. Check there for ticket availability on workshops, lectures, and special events.

Put on your walking shoes and join us at Gaylord's just one week away!

Bonnie Browning
Executive Show Director

Sunday, August 3, 2008

More about MaryJane Butters

I'll let MaryJane tell you how she became a "farmgirl" raising organic fruits and vegetables...and a whole lot more.

Five years ago, before the idea of MaryJanesFarm and my playful definition of “farmgirl” made the newspaper that Toni read, I was known as Paradise Farm, since my little five-acre piece of paradise was nestled at the base of Paradise Ridge. When I bought my piece of ground some 20 years ago, I dreamed of making my living as a farmer. My first season here, I sold green bell peppers, pickling cucumbers, and other odds and ends. But to make more money from my crops, I needed a longer growing season. So I built six hoophouses that I had to crawl into on my hands and knees. It was good training, because for the next 15 years, keeping my farm and making a living required lots of kneeling — the late night prayerful variety that builds mighty calluses on both kneecaps. During the Paradise Farm era, when my daughter was all of 7 years old and still letting me put her hair in two braids, she zenned me in a stunning way. A single mom living the homestead life, without indoor plumbing, without money, I drove a car so old we wore masks in it because it sucked dust in through the rusty floorboards (my son remembers getting his leg stuck in one of the holes), when late one evening coming home from town, the driveline fell off. It jammed into the ground like a javelin. Crying, I lifted my 3-year old from his seat and the three of us began to walk. My daughter grabbed my hand, “Momma, there’s always something good out of something bad.” With her words as my mantra, I survived the next decade by reinventing myself over and over again, growing this, growing that, trying this and trying that.

My mother had seen to it that I had a passion for feeding people, and my father had taught me how to grow absolutely anything. Given I’d worked for the Forest Service right out of high school, and I wanted to create a secure value-added market for other local farmers, I eventually ended up with a line of backpacking foods — the kind of foods I would have liked when I was backpacking as a wilderness ranger.

You'll hear more about her journey to make a living with her organic farm at the Lunch with Mary Jane Butters at the AQS Quilt Expo in Des Moines. She has experienced lessons we can all learn from in whatever we endeavor to do. Registration for this lunch is open on the our Web site, .

Are you a farmgirl? MaryJane definition of a farmgirl... is anyone who sews or knits or weaves (or wants to learn how). A farmgirl remembers her mother or grandmother paring apples for pie. A farmgirl believes in the strong arms of friendship, community and the just plain fun of being together.A farmgirl believes in connection. a farmgirl ...isn’t afraid to go it alone. A farmgirl takes joy in the quiet satisfaction of making things with her own hands. A farmgirl wants a world that is sane, and just, and clean, and is willing to do her part to make it so. A farmgirl doesn’t have to live on a farm. There’s a farmgirl in all of us. Farmgirl is a condition of the heart.

Learn more about MaryJane Butters on her Web site: .

Meet MaryJane Butters - Instructor at Des Moines AQS Quilt Expo

One day I picked up a copy of MaryJanesFarm at our local book store. I bought it because it was a Spcial Stitchers Issue - now that title would entice any quilter to read further.
This magazine was full of interesting stories, and had a great article (and some patterns) for aprons that are in fashion again. I called MaryJane to see if she would lend some of her aprons for our AQS Quilt Expo in Des Moines, Iowa.
Our brief conversation ended with MaryJane agreeing to share her aprons for an exhibit and to come teach some needlework classes too.
Just who is MaryJane Butters? Read more in the next Blog entry.

Nashville Quilt Expo Registration is Now Closed

Thursday, July 31, was the final day for advance registrations for the AQS Quilt Expo in Nashville. We still have name badges to print for those of you who registered after July 9 - badges received by July 9 were mailed.

If you registered after July 9, you will need to pick up your name badge at the Workshop Desk in Ryman C Exhibit Hall at the show. All international name badges are held for pickup at the show too.

A few of you received your plastic badge holder in the mail. We experienced some problems with them going through the mailing equipment and did not mail the rest. If you did not receive a badge holder, you can pick one up at a special table right next to the Workshop Desk. Look for the sign that says Name Badge Holders. Don't forget to bring your name badge and your confirmation with you.

We are definitely looking forward to a great show. There are more than 500 quilts on exhibit. Whether you enjoy viewing traditional designs, innovative art quilts, or those quilts that tug at your heart, there will be a wide variety of quilts. AND, you'll love the shopping at nearly 400 vendor booths in the Merchant Mall.

We'll see you in Nashville, August 20 - 23.

Friday, July 25, 2008

New Babies Have Arrived

This has been a busy week at the Paducah hospitals for our quilt show staff:

Wednesday, July 23: Terry Guill (director of show operations) and his wife Jill had a baby girl, Daisy Grace, at 5:41 p.m.
7 lbs. 8 oz., 20 3/4 inches long.

Friday, July 25: Kelly Meyer (registration coordinator) and her husband Chris had a baby girl, Riley Elizabeth, at 3:03 a.m.
6 lbs. 10 oz., 18 inches long

Welcome to these two beautiful little girls.

Bonnie Browning
Executive Show Director

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Last Days to Register for Nashville

The office is buzzing with activity as we get ready for the AQS Quilt Expo in Nashville, August 20 - 23, 2008. If you registered by July 9, your name badge is in the mail. Some of you only received the green name badge - please stop by the Workshop Desk inside Ryman C Exhibit Hall to pick up your plastic holder for your badge. We have been having trouble with mailing that plastic badge - it gets caught in the mailing machine. So please stop and pick up your holder and you'll be on your way. We'll have a special spot for you to do that.

Advance registration for the Nashville show ends at 3:00 p.m. on July 31. That will give us time to get the last batch of name tags ready for pickup at the show. All international badges are held for pickup at the show.

Are you excited to visit with the great group of instructors we have this year. Don't miss:
* An Evening with Billie Lauder on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
* Joe the Quilter: A Musical Quilt Show by Joe Cunningham on Thursday evening.
* Show & Tell with Eleanor Burns - do you have a quilt from one of her books to share?
* Afternoon Tea with Jodi Barrows at 2:30 on Friday.
* Dear Jane Turns 12: Anniversary Celebration with Brenda Papadakis
* End your visit to the show at the Brunch with Sue Nickels on Saturday at 10:00 a.m.

To register, go to or call Marcelle at 270-898-7903, ext. 141.

See you soon in Nashville.

Friday, July 11, 2008

AQS Quilt Expo - Nashville, August 20 - 23

AQS will hold its 8th AQS Quilt Expo at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, August 20 - 23, 2008. Registration is open online for this year's event.

We have a great lineup of instructors for Nashville and hope you will enjoy Joe Cunningham, Jodi Barrows, Billie Lauder, Eleanor Burns, and the 35 other instructors. Here is the link to register for the Nashville show:

Since we are doing a third show in October now, we needed to switch the dates for the Nashville Quilt Expo from August to July so we can prepare properly for both events. Unfortunately we could not get July dates at Gaylord Opryland until 2011, so we sought a different venue for the summer show.

The Knoxville Convention Center will be the site for the summer show in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Those dates are July 22 - 25, 2009. Someone wrote that they had trouble getting around in Knoxville. I have made several trips to Knoxville and have had no trouble getting to the Knoxville Convention Center where our event will be held. It is right off the I-40. We chose that site because Knoxville is located on the 2nd and 4th most traveled interstates in the country - I-40 east & west and I-75 north & south.

The Knoxville Convention Center is a beautiful facility and all of our events will be held there. Their classrooms are some of the best I have seen - large rooms, electrical in the floor for sewing machines, and good lighting. The exhibit hall is one large room where the quilt exhibits and merchant mall will be located. The lobbies of the convention center are filled with art - from quilts to tiled mosaics, paintings, and sculptures.

We hope to see you all in Nashville, August 20 - 23, 2008 and then in Knoxville, July 22 - 25, 2009 for the summer AQS Quilt Expos.

Bonnie Browning
Executive Show Director

Monday, July 7, 2008

AQS Quilt Expo - Des Moines

We have received calls from quilters asking about the water damage in Des Moines and how it will affect our Quilt Expo there, October 8 - 11. The facilities we are using had no damage and were not affected by the flood waters that flowed through much of central Iowa.

The good news is that the Iowa Events Center sits on a hill and had no flood water in the facility. All of the hotels are safe too. They did evacuate one hotel downtown but the water did not get as high as predicted so no damage was done there either.

The major flooding in Des Moines was in the Birdland subdivision on the north side of the city near a reservoir.

Lodging suggestions: We have blocked rooms in the downtown hotels so you can be close to the Iowa Events Center - the location of the quilt exhibits, merchant mall, and all of the workshops, lectures, and special events. The downtown hotels are connected to the Iowa Events Center via skywalks. Des Moines has an extensive, 4-mile skywalk system; the largest skywalk system per capita in the world! The skywalks link downtown meeting facilities, shopping, hotels, restaurants and entertainment, making it easy for you to get to the convention center, find plenty of places of eat, shop, and find a wide array of things to do. You will want to go see the beautiful capitol that sits in the heart of the city.

If you are staying for two or three nights, I suggest the Des Moines Marriott. They still have rooms for Thursday thru Saturday - full on Wednesday already. Other downtown hotels with rooms available include: Embassy Suites, Holiday Inn Downtown, and Hotel Fort Des Moines. A complete listing of the Des Moines hotels is available on the AQS Web site: . You need to call the hotel - phone numbers are on the list - to make your reservation. Be sure to tell them you are attending the AQS Quilt Expo, October 8 - 11, 2008.

We all look forward to seeing you at the show. And what a show it will be - you will see more than 800 quilts on exhibit at this event!

Bonnie Browning

Introducing the new AQS Blog - AQS Quilt News

Quilters from around the world call our office every day with questions. This new Blog will make it easier for us to answer those questions in a timely manner and to share the latest news in the quilting world with you.

Many of you are asking about the renovations of the Executive Inn. We will be bringing you photos to show the progress of the renovation of the hotel and also of the Julian M. Carroll Convention Center. Check back regularly to see what's happening with the renovations.

Demolition has begun for the remodeling of the hotel rooms. All 400 rooms are supposed to be completed in time for the show - along with the restaurants and the Showroom. Space Coast Hospitality Management Services is now managing the hotel. Space Coast Hospitality manages more than 20 hotel properties around the country and knows how important it is to provide quality facilities and service. We will all look forward to both of these.

The Executive Inn is now accepting applications for the lottery for rooms; deadline for receipt of that Room Application and your check or money order is July 28, 2008. If you need a 2009 Room Application, go to the AQS Web site to print a copy of the form: .

Mark AQS Quilt News as one of your Favorites, and check back often!

Bonnie Browning
Executive Show Director