Wednesday, May 4, 2022

My Post-Covid Paducah Experience

I've been attending the AQS show in Paducah since 1997. The first couple of times it was on a bus trip, down and back from St. Louis in one day. Then it was day trips driving with friends. If you've ever been to Paducah you know that there was always too much to see and do in one day, so we started staying over. Some years with a local hostess, sometimes in a hotel, then with a different hostess, then at a farmhouse B&B. Prior to Covid it was always a big "girls week out" adventure. We'd usually meet up with groups of other St. Louis friends while we were there. 

with Sandy, 2012

We had plans to do the same in 2020. But of course Covid cancelled everything. Since then several of the friends I always went with have scattered, to Pittsburgh and Memphis, and I've moved to Phoenix. 

I had a quilt in this year's show, so I talked to the girls about meeting up in Paducah. Planning was a bit complicated, but we pulled it off. It was wonderful to be with long-time friends again!!!

Our gracious hostess from years past agreed to host us again. She has a lovely home and she serves gourmet breakfasts. Best of all, we get to have wine and chocolate and have show-and-tell parties in her sunroom to share our fabric purchases. She gets tickled by our quilter lingo sometimes. 

We didn't see nearly as many St. Louis friends as in years past, but we connected with several, including Kevin the Quilter and Tea of TeaQuilts (You Tube). 

Kevin, Tea, Cherie and me

The Paducah experience was different this year, as expected. Many of the in-town ancillary events and shops weren't there. The Rotary didn't have their antique quilt show and vendors; that was always a highlight in previous years. The Quilt in a Day shop is closed and Eleanor Burns didn't have her warehouse sale. Murrays of Kentucky was the only pop-up shop in town, in a different location than in the past. The "hurt books" sale wasn't in the pink Finkle building but they had a booth in the Bubble at the AQS show. We heard that a tornado took the roof off the Finkle building last year.

Hancock's of Paducah is still there and was as crowded as ever. Apparently they did all right during Covid. But like everywhere they can't get enough help so they were only open from 9 to 5 each day, no evening hours.

No Paducah quilt show experience would be complete without strawberry shortcake from the Boy Scouts' booth. Yes, they were still there, and we indulged. 

The caliber of quilts on exhibit in the show was exceptional. Entries that were accepted in 2020, quilts that would have been entered if there had been a show in 2021, and quilts ready for 2022 entry were all part of the competition. Three years of show-worthy quilts, and they could only accommodate the same number as usual, so the level of excellence was amazing. Watch for photos to be posted at AQS. Updated, photos at AQS.

I'm honored that my quilt was accepted; it's nowhere near the level of excellence of most of the quilts in the show. Being in the Group Quilt category helped as it's a small category. It was very gratifying to see my quilt hanging. I think the lighting flattered it. Sandy is one of the 33 CSQ Piecing Group members who helped hand piece it, and she quilted it. Gotta love those Contestant ribbons hanging from our show badges! 

I didn't take photos of the quilts in the show because I ordered the show book, which will be sent to me when AQS returns my quilt. So, sorry, no photos to share here.

We enjoyed looking at the show quilts and we also enjoyed shopping the vendors, both in the Expo Center and in the Bubble, although there were fewer vendors overall. So what did I get and how badly did I splurge on stash additions? Not bad. 

I rarely buy patterns, but I found a book that will help me with PCQ's 2022-23 challenge, and a cross-body bag pattern with a built in wallet. The challenge, due March 1, is to make something featuring the Cube. This book is perfect!

I've been wanting a new cross-body bag with a built in wallet that's big enough for my phone and my large sunglasses case. My regular handbag isn't quilt big enough, and the sunglasses are a must in Arizona. I think I found what I need, and I tried out my stuff in the vendor's sample so I think it'll all fit. The bag is small and lightweight, exactly what I need. The vendor says it's a challenging pattern. Wish me luck!

I didn't go overboard on fabrics - I had to carry everything home in my luggage on the plane - but I did find a few goodies. I couldn't pass up a FQ pack of linen-texture prints in "my" colors. I bought several cones of thread, some as a gift for Sandy and a couple for me. 

One of the vendors at the show was featuring Charlie Harper prints. Cherie collected them all, and I nabbed the Roadrunner and the Quail. I'll make pillows for my family room with them. My husband was quite tickled with them when I showed him. The small geometric (not CH) looks like stylized feathers and could be combined with the bird prints, maybe. The sage-y green matches the upholstery fabric of our new recliner chair and will be the back side of several pillows. . 

Last but not least, a bit of stash enhancement. Cute prints that coordinate, and a couple of great neutrals. 

So not the huge haul of years past, but I think I did all right. And I was able to get it all in my carry-on so I didn't have to check a bag for the flight home. 

Did you go to Paducah? What did you think? 

Linking up with Quilt Fabrication


  1. It's impressive that you were able to get everything into a carry on for the flight home. It sounds like a lovely time to reconnect with friends. Congratulations again on having a quilt in the show!

  2. Jan your quilt is beautiful! What an honor to have a quilt in the Paducah quilt show! That's too bad there wasn't all the pop up shops; especially Eleanor Burn's! I wonder if she will retire and close her stores like Jinny Beyer. You showed a lot of restraint on buying fabric! Lol! I have only been once to Paducah but hope to go next year! Did you happen to tell Kevin the quilter that everyone misses him and hopes he starts blogging again?

  3. So was the Murray pop up store fabric still $5 a yard? You sure found some fun fabrics for pillows.

  4. I've never been to the Paducah show, but did visit the museum one year. I've also been to the Houston Quilt Festival several times as I have family in the Houston area. It must have felt rewarding to have your quilt hanging in the show. And a great testament to all your friends who helped you get it done.