Sunday, February 9, 2014

AQS Quilt Week Phoenix 2014

What a fun time this past week in Phoenix, Arizona!

My parents live in the adjacent town, Mesa. This meant, that AQS Quilt Week was close enough I could spend a week with them, and include my mom in the many quilty festivities and help her out with her own quilt group.

Here are some of my highlights.

"Spinner" was juried into the show in the Wall Quilts - Traditional category. The EQ7 tutorial button in the upper righthand corner of my blog will lead you to how to draft this yourself if you're interested in making one.

I did mark 'stitch regulated' on my entry form, but did not enter it into the Computer Aided category as I couldn't imagine trying to compete with a Computer Aided --typically considered from a guided perspective--entry. This was quite a controversial subject for entrants with AQS's new category definition. Given the lopsided amounts of entries in various categories, I'm guessing there will be new definitions in 2015. Given the remaining shows of 2014...there might be some interesting options for people to consider. Winners were listed on the AQS site.

Here are the stats by my observation in the show and program:
...approximately 140 different quilters or quilting groups represented in the show; Categories/Description/# of juried entries:
500/WallQuilts -Innovative -Art /96;

Unfortunately it did appear that some ComputerAided (not considering Stitch Regulation of which I'm sure there were many) quilts were in other categories, but the judges didn't move them. Seemed to be difficulty in maintaining the integrity of the definition within a category ...perhaps both on the entrant's part in choosing the appropriate category and the organization taking liberties to move a quilt if it has been entered into the wrong category. Sad when there is this sort of controversy. I even saw someone in person that had entered a quilt in a prior show (not AQS) that by all appearances was past its qualified 'show life'...but I didn't have the heart to talk with them about how that ended up (sure thought about it though).

Wednesday was the opening, and the first 300 people got cupcakes to celebrate AQS's 30th year. A former high school student of my mother's from the mid 60's is now a friend of hers here in AZ and came with us for the day. We enjoyed looking at all the quilts, finding brief descriptions of them in the program and reviewing the various exhibits that were included in the show as well. We walked through all the vendors, connected with friends I've made from being at various shows and tested machines--always got to take a little time to play and leave a little bit of stitching on their sandwich. Even saw Marci Baker from Alicia's Attic, The Tucker's from Studio 180 and Cheri Meinke-Johnson who does all the crystals (she had given me advice on 'Flutterbright' when I was at AQS-Knoxville, before I put the crystals on that auilg). I tend to walk these pretty fast and then return to specific booths, but since I had my mom and friend with me...I would walk two booths and typically have to walk back one and wait and then do it again. I should have worn my 'standing' shoes...not my walking shoes (HA!)

Thursday was an opportunity to sit in on two different author related events. Elaine --Executive Editor of AQS--spoke about solving the publishing puzzle...and at the end asked impromtply for me to share my own experience of how it came to be that I am publishing with AQS.  ahhhh....hopefully it came out ok! HA! A good experience for me though.

Late in the afternoon there was an Authors Roundtable with four recent authors with AQS, two who I follow on Facebook, newsletter and/or their blog (Linda M. Poole and Judi Madsen --Green Fairy Quilts). Fun to meet them in person and hear their stories. They answered questions about how their idea became a 'book', the process, good, bad, etc.  Somehow I helped them take pictures together, but didn't capture any on my own camera, so I'm linking to the picture that I took on Linda's camera that she posted!

Took a leisurely lunch at the local greek restuarant (My Big Fat Greek). Not a style of food I can get very often where I live now, so that was nice. After lunch one of my students/clients from the Grand Coulee area who is wintering in AZ arrived to see the show and catch up with me. We looked at some of the quilts and played more on various machines, visited with friends, etc. We got to enjoy a quick meal w/Kathy before she took off.

Thursday night my mom and I went to the Freddy Moran trunkshow - Red is my Neutral. My mom is always wearing red, so thought she'd enjoy how Freddy does red! Always fun to see how Freddy thinks and puts her art together. Lately, she is just using a glue stick and sends the entire top off to the quilter to stitch it together. She is over 80! Still a hoot! I was so pleased to be able to tell her the story of the first time I saw her trunkshow in San Francisco c.2002. The very first and likely only San Francisco Quilt Guild meeting I went to before moving out of the area. I had started quilting just before that and I was invited by a gal in my class to attend. Freddy's freedom of expression in her quilt designing gave me an early start to thinking outside the box.

Friday morning my mom took a class from Cindy Seitz-Krug. It was great to see Cindy again after meeting her when I decided to attend a local guild meeting in Bakersfield, CA in the late spring of 2012. She was the featured presenter at the meeting and it allowed me to get acquainted with her work. I have seen her quilts since then at APQS shows and has been a repeat winner in AQS shows.

Friday, my last day at the show, was met with great anticipation. I was going to take a class from Judi Madsen (Green Fairy Quilts). The AQS people had been talking about how this was her first time teaching and how excited they were to have her personality just bubbling over. She was teaching several different classes and I was going to take her Simple Marking, Fabulous Quilting class. With my red/white quilts due by the end of the month...I thought this would be perfect. I have always loved Judi's beautiful quilting and was excited for the opportunity to hear how she does it. The fact that her book was available too, was a double bonus.

Here is what I did in the class. The center flower mimics the design she put into one of her own quilts. Handi-Quilter provided the machines and we had two students per machine, so our blocks were loaded side by side and we took turns working through our quilting.


From Judi's quilt

I was able to pick up a bit more So! Fine Superior Thread spools in anticipation of my red/white quilt work when I get home.

Said good-bye to the AQS staff that I have gotten to know and headed out for a fun evening, reconnecting with a former boss from 20+ years ago during my 'international banking' days. Crazy!!! He and his wife met us at a restaurant in North Scottsdale. Wonderful evening catching up on our lives.

Saturday night I had a great treat....spent several hours with a dear friend who had quadruplets 50 some days ago. She has her work cut out for her once they get home. Two are out of NICU in a step down unit and two are still developing the necessary skills to survive. But daily progress is there. They are just so precious. If you want to read more about them, you can check-in at her blog

Been testing some more of our Skill Builder Blocks that will be going into the book. Here are some I've done while here in AZ.


Monday I'll be teaching in Apache Junction, AZ the zig zag quilt I put together from the blog hop a couple of weeks ago. My mom has a charity quilt group that she meets with weekly, so I'll be showing them this simple way to use some of their donated fabrics that they get. Red/White was the blog hop purpose, but if you turn it into 4 values and a nice border print, you could use any colors.

Looking forward to getting home and back to my piecing, teaching, and quilting. They have had very fridgid weather so haven't missed that and I've been enjoying 60's and 70's here --just lovely!

Waiting at home is my dear husband....we're looking forward to celebrating 5 years of married life on Valentine's Day!

If you're still reading...thanks for stopping by. It's been a full week!


  1. Did I read that right? You are going to be published in AQS? Congrats! An article or a Book, I gather. You did have a full week rubbing shoulders with some of your quilty friends and your mom. Lucky you!!!

  2. Looks like it was a great show! One day I'll get there. My friend had a booth there, Hearts to Holly, from Charlevoix MI. Their claim to fame is fat quarters, Holly Bunches, usually colour grouped to go with patterns created by their daughter in Nevada. Apparently it's a big hit with the quilters at all the shows they do. I guess a lot of quilters don't like the fabric selection process.
    The babies are so cute. I couldn't imagine having 4 at once. I bet there won't be any fighting about whose turn is it to hold the baby. Plenty to go around.
    Happy Anniversary and here's to many more!

  3. Really enjoyed this post, your work and those babies. Prayers going out for them. Thanks for reaching out with my EQ frustration on the FB group. You are a sweetie! Dreaming of going to a quilt show, maybe Houston!