Monday, May 2, 2011

Scenes from the Show - Paducah 2011

This is a review of the Week that WAS!

The 27th AQS Quilt Show started off as usual with the AQS staff moving the quilts and all of our equipment to the convention center on Friday. Saturday and Sunday were judging days. The judging crew had just enjoyed a hot luncheon with our spouses when about 1 p.m., we had a visit from the Mayor, City Engineer, and other city officials telling us that we had to vacate the Expo and Convention Centers by Monday because they had to install the flood gates. (For those of you not familiar with Paducah, we have 12 miles of flood wall with 47 gates to protect the city from the waters of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers that converge at Paducah.)

 (Click on any photo to view it larger.)

The judging still had to be completed so some of us continued on with that while other members of the AQS staff proceeded to go look at empty buildings that could possibly be used for the show. Soon we even had a tornado siren go off and we moved the judges into an interior lower level room of the convention center. Always safety first when you hear those sirens. That didn't stop us from judging though, we just moved the miniature category with us and the judging continued. Soon the all clear was sounded and we moved back across the hall to finish the judging.

By 8 p.m., we all had returned from looking at churches and other buildings to determine what we could do. The decision was to hold the classes at the First Baptist Church where they had 10 classrooms on one floor and the Chapel would be used for the lectures, plus the Great Room there would hold the small wall quilt categories in the AQS Quilt Contest. The former Office Max and former Circuit City buildings in the Kentucky Oaks Mall area would hold vendors and the special quilt exhibits. So the challenge began - how could be accommodate all of our vendors - many of them were already in town? We found that we could make room for all of the vendors but most of them would only get one booth.

Monday and Tuesday were exhausting days for the Freeman crew, who now had to reset all of the pipe and drape for the vendors and quilt exhibits in these new locations. Everyone worked long hours on those days - we are blessed to have an experienced AQS staff who know what needs to be done, and the Freeman crew that has worked with us for many years.

Ann Denton greets the quilters at the
entrance of the Pavilion.

The Pavilion would hold the Admissions and Workshops desks, the sponsors and vendors from the Expo Center, the Janome Best of Show and the other top awards, the bed quilts and large wall quilt categories, plus the miniatures.

Viewing the contest quilts in the Pavilion.

Crowded aisle in Office Max building
The Office Max building would house the vendors from the Pavilion, plus the 2011 winners from the AQS Quilt Show in Lancaster, PA, and the 2012 Pilgrim/Roy Challenge.
Winning quilts from the 2011AQS
Quilt Show in Lancaster

Shopping at vendors at Circuit City

Circuit City would hold the vendors from the 1st and 2nd floors of the Convention Center, plus the Alliance for American Quilts contest quilts, and the AQS Authors' Quilt Exhibit.

Alliance for American Quilts Contest
The winners of the AQS Quilt Contest were announced at the Awards Presentation at the Carson Four Rivers Center at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Congratulations to Pat Holly who won the Janome Best of Show Award with her quilt Paisley Peacock!

Click here to view the complete list of winners.

The doors opened right on schedule at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 27. Anchor Trailways made changes in the shuttle routes to handle the changes in the schedule and the increased numbers of riders because of the lack of parking near the Pavilion - the headquarters for this year's show.

Vendors were busy with quilters trying out their machines. When you are looking to purchase a new sewing machine, attend a show and try them out.

And you could register to win one of three Janome sewing machines that were given away (I'll post the winners' names in my next blog).

We did have some rain throughout the week but most of it occurred overnight. We were all pleased to see the sun shining brightly on Thursday, Friday, and most of Saturday.

This was definitely a week to remember -- but you all proved that neither rain from the heavens nor increased water levels in the river will keep quilters from being at the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah. We did everything we could to make this year's event as seamless as possible even though we had to move quilts and vendors to other locations.

The Ricky Gaga look  -
enlarge the photo to
view the background
 If you did stay home or didn't get a chance to attend all of the events, you can still enjoy the lectures and special events through the AQS Webcasts, sponsored by Pfaff.

Just click here to subscribe to the webcasts (including Ricky Tims' concert).

If you missed the dogwoods this year, here are a couple of photos I took just before the show started.

Dogwoods in Paducah - 2011

Put the dates for next year's AQS Quilt Show in Paducah on your calendar: April 25 - 28, 2012.

Tell us your Paducah stories - just go to to set up your own web page and let us know what was memorable about your trip to Paducah this year.

See you next year!
Bonnie Browning
Executive Show Director


Nancy said...

I thought everyone did a great job of moving venues at the last minute...I was there Friday and it wasn't a terribly crowded and we found out if you "asked nicely" you get the drivers to drop you off anywhere along the route..which was really nice..The only suggestion I would have would be to have one bus totally dedicated to going to the hotels and then back to the "bubble". Then those staying at the hotels could start on the regular route. It was a waste of time circling a hotel or two on every route when most of the time there was no one waiting for a bus...All in all though I think you all did a terrific job with what you had to work with and I applaud you..

YankeeQuilter said...

Ditto on the great job comments! The folks the the Baptist Church were so nice and patient while being overrun with quilters!

Anonymous said...

You guys rock! You were given a challenge and you met that challenge. Kudos to all involved. Already looking forward to next year.

kwiltnut said...

As a first timer at Quilters Heaven (Paducah) I thought staff did an awesome job getting everything moved and relocated. The shuttle buses were great and gave us a chance to see something of the town which we may not have seen otherwise.I do agree with Nancy about the hotels and also witnessed the kindness of the drivers. One actualy went back to the mall and picked up a very tired lady and delivered her to her Hotel. I'll be back

judebeattie said...

We arrived on Tuesday before the show to find that everything had moved. You pulled off a miracle!! Having the show in different venues made the experience an adventure. I can remember years past when a fair number of the vendors were downtown in empty buildings. You got to experience Paducah the way it should be. Visit shops that you wouldn't normally. Interacting with other quilters, sharing your finds and where you found them. Meeting the townspeople and hearing their stories. It was like the old times before the new convention cneter. Good job!

Sondra said...

I am looking for Dorothy from Canada who wore the darling vest and matching big bag that her friend designed - I have lost your email address from memory I came up with but that is not correct! I cut your fabric at the Fabric sale store and have lost your address. My email is if you see this post - I just loved the bag!