I'm home and finally up for air after a totally inspiring several days at International Quilt Festival Long Beach. After four days of classes, lots of legwork around the show and vendors, lots of good conversation I'm exhausted but so totally inspired to finish some ongoing projects and get on to new ones.
The quilts on display were awe inspiring including the winners from 2009 World of Beauty as well as special exhibits "West Coast Wonders", "Tactile Architecture 2009", "In Full Bloom 2009", "Beneath the Surface", and Quilts on the Wall's "Journeys". I enjoyed my short stint working in the SAQA booth on Sunday talking about the two SAQA shows "A Sense of Humor" and "SAQA at 20", selling books and talking about the organization to show attendees.
My own quilt "Balancing Act" was part of "West Coast Wonders" and was strategically hung right at the bottom of the main escalator entrance to the Convention Center floor. It was just about the first quilt visitors saw as they entered. Quite a thrill! My friend Linda Miller took a photo.
My class choices were fantastic. I've come home with a fully marked , if small, traditional wholecloth quilt ready to trapunto and machine quilt thanks to my day with the wonderfully quirky Karen McTavish whose white work quilts I've admired for years. My day with Japanese art quilter Noriko Endo was inspirational and productive. I'll post a photo of my "Confetti Naturescape" when I've finished the last details.
Of course, I spent a lot of time trudging the vendor aisles, but tried to limit myself this year to what I really needed - backing fabric and quilting thread for my new quilt for Quilts on the Wall's "Discovery" and some much needed bobbins for my trusty Viking SE. Of course I found beads that may inspire me to add a beaded border to my Discovery quilt and some of Judy Bianchi's wonderful hand dyed sateens for some future project. My only criticism of the vendors at the show is that there is so little non-commercial hand dyed fabric to be found there.
The show crowd seemed huge at the opening on Friday and Saturday. Sunday seemed quieter as it was last year. Hopefully the southern California quilting contingent has forgotten the problems of the 2008 - parking difficulty, lack of available food, long ticket lines - which have all been solved and will embrace this fabulous show which brings the best of quilting from around the world to our own front door. The city of Long Beach certainly lays out the red carpet for the quilting community.