Friday, April 7, 2017

International Quilt Festival Chicago 2017

I love going to quilt shows. It's a day off from my everyday life while I immerse myself in the wonderful world of quilts, quilters, and quilting goodies. My first quilt show ever was the International Quilt Festival, back in 2016, in Rosemont, IL. I only live about 20 miles away, so it's an easy day trip. It's a medium-sized show, about 130 - 140 vendors, but given how it's right in my neck of the woods, of course I have to go back this year.

First up, some beautiful quilts I saw this year. (I didn't feel really well this morning and looking at all the quilts was making me dizzy, so I only saw about a third of all the quilts there.) Per Quilt Fest rules, these photographs are for personal enjoyment only, not for printing or reproduction.

Left: iQuilt by Kathy York
Right: One Earth by Kathy York

Left: Thread Challenge: Branes, Strings, and M-Theory by Alicia Merrett
Right: Windy by Emily Parson

Left: Jeweled Window by Judy Nelson and Debbie Spencer
Right: Drunkard's Bullseye WOW! by Jackie Nixon-Fulton

Left: Journey by Kimie Tanner and Missy Winona
Right: Moonlight in the City by Genevieve Guadalupe

Left: Uber Up and Away by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill
Right: Playing Well Together by Jackie Nixon-Fulton


One of the highlights of my day was meeting Mary Fons and getting a book signed by her. I've seen her on TV, YouTube, and Craftsy, and I really adore her because she's so passionate and genuine. Well, she's just as nice in person as she seems on the air!

Later, I joined in an exhibit tour hosted by Mary Fons, and her mother Marianne Fons was the surprise co-host. It's so nice seeing people I've only ever seen on a screen, live! The exhibit was called "Beauty in Scraps", and I saw some real beauties that gave me all sorts of ideas.

A quilt show isn't a quilt show without some merchandise ... I didn't buy a whole lot this year as I was making an effort to be judicious about my spending, and not to let fabric fumes and convention fever drive me to make purchases I'd regret later. It probably worked too well, because I didn't buy a scrap of fabric ...

My main goal at the show, though, was to try out all the longarms. Happily, a lot of the major longarm manufacturers were represented today. I visited Handi Quilter, Gammill, Innova, Bernina, and A1, and test drove probably every machine at the show. Using a longarm is really not as easy as it looks. It's true there is no bulk or drag to manage (which is so nice!), but the machine has a certain amount of momentum, so it's an entire new challenge to manage that. It completely changed my perspective, as well, on what I want. I thought the bigger the throat the better, but now, I'm finding that a smaller machine is lighter, and therefore easier to control and maneuver! Yet, it's possible that if I get a heavier machine with a larger throat, in time I'll get used to the momentum, and then I'll be able to benefit from the extra quilting space. So, I'm not sure, but I'll be playing with more machines still before I make a decision.


  1. Love the quilt photos, Liz! Wow, they are amazing. Mary Fons was the speaker at our guild show last month. She is humorous and thoughtful. A tour of the show with her and her mom sounds great. You didn't get to try out APQS?

  2. APQS wasn't there, so I'll have to find another time to try them. But I definitely want to try them before I make a decision, after all the good things I've heard about them!


Thank you for visiting and for your comments! I try to reply to comments, so if you don't hear from me, check if you're a no-reply blogger. Have a nice day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...