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Monday, April 11, 2011

International Quilt Show Cincinnati, OH

Fountain Square, Cincinnati
 Last year, when we found that the International Quilt Festival (IQF) was moving from the Chicago area to Cincinnati, a number of the members of my local quilt guild jumped on the reduced rate offers at the Hyatt and signed up.

I wanted to go to IQF Chicago for years.  Now that it was only going to be an hour and a half from home, I was really happy.  Since I didn't know exactly how I was going to feel or how I was going to juggle chemo (which was supposed to happen Friday) and the show, I didn't sign up for many classes, but I did sign up for a class with Noriko Endo 

I had the great fortune to work for Iris Karp at the Mistyfuse booth, which I did a lot.  She's one special lady and while I was sold on Mistyfuse before, I really learned a whole bunch more from Iris.  I hope to put up some tutorials or a video on Mistyfuse in the next week because the pencil transfer really confused me when I read about it. Now I understand it!  For more info, you can go to the Mistyfuse facebook page. :)

IQF vendor's floor, right side
The show was large, but not as large as I thought it was going to be.  Cincinnati, as long as you stay downtown right around Fountain square, is very clean and safe.  Here's a shot of the floor from the second story walk over.

I didn't take any photos of the quilts, because on the oneline information it said "NO PICTURES" and there were additional signs to that effect at the special exhibits.  However, people were taking photos of the general entries.

I thought the show was a good mix of traditional and art quilts.  While there were probably more quilts falling into the "art quilt" category, the Baltimore Album exhibition should have satisfied the most die-hard of traditionalists.  It was pleasing to meet Susan Shie and give her a hug at her solo exhibition.  Carolyn Mazloomi also had quilts on display from the Underground Railroad museum, but I missed seeing her. 

IQF Vendor's floor left side
Pokey Bolton was in my class with Noriko Endo and danced with a bunch of my Batty Binder Buddies at the "Welcome to Cincinnati" party.

I also met Roxanne Lesse, another SAQA member who does really neat work AND is a dancer.  I suppose this sounds a lot like name dropping....but I really think these larger shows are wonderful.  You get to see the quilts of people you already know and admire, you get to meet some of those people you only know through the internet and you are exposed to a ton of work you've never even thought of.  Since it is an international show, there was an exhibition called  "Oh, Canada" which showcased Canadian artist's impressions of their home country as well as quilts from quilters from overseas.  I talked with quite a few people from the Netherlands, Germany, France, England and Australia.

Notable events for me:  I managed to get out of the show without buying a single piece of fabric...YAY! Threads, batting and paint....not so good at keeping those items out of my arms.  The other thing? Well, the "confetti " technique Noriko Endo teaches involves a LOT of cutting up scraps into slivers with a rotary cutter.  She warned us NOT to cut our fingers as it was easy to do later in the day when you're tired. About an hour into slicing up fabric, I squealed....and the room fell silent.  A small voice from the back said..."Did you cut yourself?"  Oh! No! My rotary cutter just exploded! I was using one of those ones with the handle you press to open up the blade and the screw had come undone...the spring, washers, protection disks etc. went flying...and my squeal was merely of surprise.

Cincinnati is a really nice city, the people are nice.  I'm a little worried that it won't return after the three year contract is up.  I'm told there weren't as many people who attended.  I'm not sure how much of that is because Ohio is a "fly over state"---one which people don't think about visiting.  Vendors and the IQF staff were happy about the ease of parking and lower cost.  While some vendors were having tough times, some, like the Hobb's booth and a lady from England selling printing blocks, were selling out.  One attendee was complaining about the food.  The food court upstairs was sort of cool as it was showcasing Cincinnati's local foods--Graeter's Ice cream, Skyline Chili, Montgomery Inn Barbecue, another barbecue place (Scott's) which had grilled turkey, another pizza place, another with salads..I ate at the food court on Saturday and was fed quickly, with reasonably priced, good tasting food.

Very close to Duke Convention Center (like one block north in Carew Towers accessible  going through the skywalks if you preferred), you could eat at Hathaway's, a diner,  which had good food and fast service, there were food carts, as well as many other eating establishments with very good food (Bagpiper's, Nicholson's, an Indian place, and several others of various price-points and speed. So, I'm not sure that that was a valid complaint.

I know I had a good time and hope to attend next year for an even better one when my hip doesn't hurt!

1 comment:

Pam Geisel - For Quilts Sake said...

Thanks for the details...I couldn't go to the show because I was in Atlanta, but I hope to go next year!