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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Denver Quilt Festival

I'm so glad Debra e-mailed me a few weeks ago and asked it I was going to attend the Denver

Quilt Festival. I hadn't planned to, but since she was coming, I checked it out online and realized I needed to be there. I made reservations at my favorite Denver B & B, my oldest daughters home in Wheatridge, and planned to be there on Friday and Saturday. On Thursday, Joe drove the car to Pueblo, had a flat tire, and decided I couldn't drive to Denver until he put on 4 new tires, which he did Friday morning. I drove up Friday afternoon, and got into a downpour and 5 lanes of bumper to bumper very slow traffic through the Denver Tech Center, so I stopped at Colorado Avenue for a late lunch and waited out the storm and traffic jam; so I didn't make it to the show until Saturday morning.

My middle daughter, Kat, joined me and as soon as we registered, I got on the phone to Debra. She and Samantha were straight at the back from the door at the Hoffman's Challenge Quilts, so that's where we met for the first time in person. I'd have known Debra anywhere, after about 3 years of seeing her photos online. I had only recently met Samantha through her blog and she is
cute, energetic and has a great sense of humor. The 3 of us had our photo taken in front of Kay's
Hoffman quilt. What a gas to actually know the quiltmaker whose quilt was chosen to be part of the Challenge show. We had so much fun looking at the quilts together and doing our own judging and wishing we could read the minds of the actual judges. Why this one and not that one? Surely this one deserved an award. What do they consider innovative?!!

And, let me tell you, we wept copious tears over the wonderful, personal quilts in the show, "Alzheimer's: Forgetting Piece by Piece" curated by Ami Simms. Photos were not allowed of these quilts, but you can get the CD or buy the book at Ami's site.

Although I had charged my digital camera battery just before I left home, it was not holding a charge very well, and I wasn't able to take all the pictures I wanted to. Luckily, Debra and Samantha got a lot of good photos. I will post more photos of quilts that were meaningful to me tomorrow. Can't stay up all night posting photos. I'm posting later than the other gas because I stayed in Denver through Monday. My greatgrandson Miles, had his 5th birthday party Sunday afternoon and I didn't want to drive home in the dark, with it snowing and slippery on Monument Hill.

As a thank you to Debra for all the teaching, encouragement, and fabric she has provided to me, not to mention the pedometer she sent me, I made a spirit doll for her. Here is a close up of the doll, which is covered with fabric photos of some of her quilts and website logos. I got the idea of a spirit doll from Robin Atkins' Bead Lust blog. I had so much fun
making this one, and my greatgranddaughter, Kaylee, admired it so much, that I'm going to make a lot more of them for my loved ones. Kaylee wants a Princess Doll.

This is the first time I've been to a big quilt show with all the vendors, etc., and I gained so much from it. While admiring the hand quilting being done by the lady tending her Soft Fabric Photos' booth, I mentioned that I couldn't hand quilt due to arthritis, and she directed me to the booth of Jean's Impressions Quilts, where they were demonstrating a system of hand quilting that creates perfect stitches on back and front of the quilt without moving the fingers or wrist. Jean has been using this system for over 40 years and demonstrates and teaches at shows and guilds all over the country. I bought a lap frame (which doesn't have to be held), Aunt Becky Tool for the under the quilt finger, and a beautiful thimble with a solid brass top piece that lasts forever, and will now start learning her system. I've always been a great admirer of hand quilting and never thought I would be able to do it. Thank you so much to both Jeans for directing me and demonstrating the system.

I didn't have time to look at or purchase fabrics (luckily) but I did manage to get some tools that I've needed for some time (a Clover stilleto and an embroidery hoop with a hands free stand for stitching on crazy and journal quilts), as well as a tiny latch hook type of tool for beading that Debra had discovered. I now realize that you need 2 days to be able to look at both the quilts and the vendors.

I also enjoyed talking to the ladies at the Janome booth, where I discovered that my Bernette 75 might have been marketed by Bernina, but it was made by Janome. I've been seriously researching whether I should choose a Bernina or a Janome when I am ready to make the leap to a computerized machine.

All in all, my first foray into the world of large Quilt Shows was quite worthwhile. Debra was not happy with the motel she was at; too bad that she didn't stay at my Bed and Breakfast. It wasn't as close, but was a lot more fun, and the commute was not bad, including the scenic deadend route through an industrial barrio when we took the wrong turn off of I-25 (It was Cinco de Mayo!).

This is the view from the deck of the B & B showing the lilacs blooming and the Rocky Mountains in the distance. The spreading junipers are showing the flattening results of all the blizzards this winter. The green is due to the copious rain and hail this week.


Deborah said...

I couldn't decide whether I wanted to go to Houston or not this year and I think you just made up my mind. I haven't been to a major quilt show in 15 years. Maybe I'll meet up with some of my Internet friends there. I agree with you, B&B is the way to go. I never stay at hotels any more.

Lori (A.K.A. Elkhoundmom) said...

Sounds like you really had a fantastic time. I hope that some day I will make it to a major quilt show!

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

Sounds like you guys had a ball. I'm jealous.

Debra Spincic said...

I was wondering if you got stuck at the show forever!

From the looks of your goodies it was a good thing you didn't hit the fabric tables!

Wonderful to meet you! You are just like I thought you would be!

Barbara C said...

I'm glad you had such a good time and met some good friends in person.

Allison Ann Aller said...

Terrific report, Fran! So glad you had fun and learned some new things too.

I tagged you for the 7 Things About Me meme.......

Samantha said...

It was so wonderful to meet you- glad you found such great purchases after I split off from you! That hand quilting system sounds wonderful.

Rian said...

What fun! Loved reading your "spin" on the show!

The idea of "waiting out a downpour" is a foreign concept to me. When it rains here it rains steadily all day or longer.

I have both a Bernina and a Janome. I like the Janome better.

paula, the quilter said...

You may not have purchased fabric, but I did! I think I bought both my allotment and yours. When we left on Sunday afternoon there was another downpour and that bumper-to-bumper going north was no fun. I took 120th to 287 and scooted home that way. Maybe we can meet up at Quilt-A-Fair in Sept?

jenclair said...

What fun, Fran! Meeting internet friends, seeing all of the beautiful quilts, visiting the vendors, and finding a way to do hand quilting again--priceless. :)

Suzanne said...

Just had to tell you that I've been enjoying your blog for a while and was quite surprised to see my quilt in your photo! :) The Hoffman Challenge on the left, when y'all met for the first time, is mine. I didn't even realize it was at that show! :)

Thanks for the nice surprise. :)

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