Quilting Season has Arrived!

While the end of summer always makes me sad, the shorter days and less time in the out-of-doors means there is more time for sewing and quilting – YAY!! September and October are always filled with quilting events – shows, retreats, classes, etc. Now that I have my Studio, I can’t attend as many of these as I used to. Just this month, for instance, are several events I’ve attended in the past. Last weekend was the Hill City Quilt Show and The Great Black Hills Quilt Escape in the Black Hills of S. Dakota. This weekend the South Dakota Quilter’s Guild is holding their Fall Quilting Retreat in Huron. Next weekend is the Indian Summer Quilt Show & Conference held in Fargo ND.

The first weekend in October is our local show, the Watertown Quilt Festival hosted by the Magic Needlers Quilt Guild. This is this year’s raffle quilt:

If you want to know more about how the raffle quilt was made, you can read this post.

The second weekend in October is the AQS Show in DesMoines, IA. A friend and I were planning on going but decided we had too much else going on to attend. However, the last weekend in Oct. we will be attending a three day quilting retreat not too far from home.

I enjoy attending both shows and retreats.

Shows energize and excite me.

The quilts inspire me to try new things, consider different color combinations, strive to improve my techniques. The vending booths contain all sorts of fabrics and patterns and notions and doodads just crying out to be taken home and given a whirl. (And those demonstrators make everything look so easy – I can be proficient and artistic and efficient if I just buy their product!!) Spending time with the bigwigs and stars of the quilting industry, in a class or a lecture, keeps me amazed at how inventive and creative some people can be. I’m never sure if I should feel inspired by what they’ve achieved or depressed that I’ll never produce something half as beautiful!

Some retreats are similar to a show, with the whirlwind of running to this and that event, but the ones I like best are more relaxed.

We arrive when we want, with most of the contents of our sewing room in tow. There is no real schedule other than when to eat. Otherwise, we do what we want. Sleep late, or get up early. Spend time during the day napping, or reading or walking in between sewing, or sew the entire time. Finish an old project or start something new. This is the time I can be most productive. All those projects I’ve started in a class, and never had time to finish, can get completed. Those items I bought at the vendor mall at a show can be tested and tried. And although we don’t have formal classes during this retreat, I’ve always learned something. Someone shows a new ruler or gadget. Another shares a different way to applique. Look at the great pattern someone found at the last show they attended. Did you see this method of doing binding?….or mitered corners?….or…….the possibilities are endless. And the easy companionship of spending time with like-minded individuals is good for the soul – who else will “ooh and aah” over your latest creation?

So are you attending any shows or retreats this fall? Do you have a favorite?

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