I am going to my first quilt show at the end of the month and I am beyond excited! I'm taking several classes (probably too many), and I'm staying with a local family.

 

I'd love any advice on what to take, how to manage my time, things to be sure to see, etc. while I'm there. Have you been to the Paducah show?

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I've been to Paducah twice. In 2002, and in 2004. I love Paducah. Even though we live in Maine, my family is from Kentucky (parents, grandparents, and cousins). Paducah is a beautiful city to visit. I don't know if they are still doing this, but when I was there you could take a horse drawn carriage ride around Paducah to see different areas. The driver acted as a tour guide and told us about various places around town. I did this both times that I was there. The National Quilt Museum is also a great place to visit. The other thing that I really loved was the murals painted on the walls by the river. I took a lot of pictures of these. I hope you have a great time at the show.
This is going to my 1st time to. I'm coming from OKC with Red Bud Tours and can hardly wait.

Any part of Kentucky in the spring is beautiful!  I know! I live here.  ;)  While likely warm during the day, the eves can still be cool, so take a sweater along!  Necessities:  Empty shoulder bag to carry your purchases (there will be many, I'm sure!) and do not go anywhere without a camera and 2 extra sets of fully charged batteries!  Trust me, there will be gobs of inspiration that you'll want to record!  Last bit of advice I can offer.....you'll be overwhelmed with things to see and do, but go slowly so you can absorb and fully appreciate all you see! 

If the quilt show is like what we have in MA, then bring lots of money. My advice is to go through the entire show before you buy a lot, that way you can prioritize where your money goes. Also, I learned a lot just by going to each vendor and watching and listening to their poduct shpiels. If Clare Rowley is there with Creative Feet, make sure you watch and listen to her. I bought her products two weeks ago. I haven't tried them because my house is being renovated and I have a mess in my sewing room, but she was really worth sitting down for. She'll take an hour of your time.

If you buy a pattern the vendors usually let you take photos of their sample. Bring your camera

in case you are allowed to. Otherwise, a notebook for a quick sketch is okay.

 

Bring a large zippered bag for all your purchases.

Food at these is expensive.

I have never signed up for classes at a quilt show because I think I can learn a lot from the vendors.

I envy you for getting to go to a quilt show!  I've been quilting for 5 years and have yet to attend one.  If I could only attend one in my lifetime it would be to go to Houston!  By the way, the thing I hear the most is to make sure your shoes are comfortable!
Bridget...comfortable shoes are a must...and a big bag to carry your purchases in. I'd like to do the Paduca show myself. It's going on right now. It sounds HUGE!
I wish I could go too because I entered a contest through The Alliance for American Quilts and all of the entries are being displayed there.  I'd love to see something I made hanging up in a public venue!  I also make quilts for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative and Ami Simms always has a booth in Houston with at least 1000 little quilts there for sale.  I'd love to see that display in person as well!

All your advice was wonderful. Paducah was great, even though the venues were changed because of the flood. I took way too many classes (by Friday night I was tired, my back was sore, and I made silly mistakes that caused me to do a lot of ripping out).

GREAT idea to take a jacket and an empty bag for purchases (well, SEVERAL empty bags).  My strategy was to take a lot of classes so I wouldn't do a lot of shopping, thereby saving money. HAH! I ended up buying a slightly used sewing machine (only used by little old ladies taking quilting classes for one week!). A Janome Heritage 7700 -- 11" Throat, and I'm SO excited. I wish I would have brought tape to hang my paper trash bags from the table, and I'm very glad I bought a little wooden roller the first day for 'ironing' since none of the classrooms were able to use irons due to unexpected power constraints.

I had a fabulous time and can't wait to go again. I was both inspired and intimidated by the quilts that were entered in the show -- they were amazing. I hope I can get that good some day.

take a big bag for the things you buy.

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