Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Kindness of Quilters and the Chicago Quilt Festival

As we mentioned in our post, Going Global, My husband and I (Kara) will be heading to Germany in June. Before we make the big move overseas, we wanted to take a farewell trip to see our parents in Ohio and Michigan. Was it a coincidence that our midwest tour coincided with Quilt Festival Chicago? Nope! No coincidence there. It actually worked out quite well, as my sister lives in Rockford, Illinois and she and her family were willing to meet us there. Also, my quilting aunt, from Michigan, was going to be going with some of her quilt sisters, so the festival was shaping up to be the venue for a mini family reunion.

Our view as we walked in the door

We all made plans to meet together on Friday during the festival, so my dad dropped my mom and I off at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, and we were ready to roll. Upon entering the convention center, a lady came up to us and asked us if we needed tickets. We, of course, said yes, and she proceeded to give us two passes that would allow us to get into the show. She then asked if we were meeting any others, and did we need more tickets. My sister and two nieces were going to be joining us, so she gave us the rest of her passes. We were so grateful and surprised with this random act of kindness. This lovely lady, a vendor, had been given these passes but had not found anyone to give them to, so we were the lucky recipients!

Since Teri had been able to get a press pass at the Lancaster Show, (you can read about that here) I thought that I would see what was available at this show. The front desk very graciously gave me a badge, a media ribbon, and an exhibitor ribbon. While I didn't get a tour like Teri, I was still quite happy.

Feeling pretty fancy with my ribbons!

As we set foot into the exhibit hall, the first quilt we saw was this enormous forest scene. From left to right, it starts out as a photograph and finishes as a quilt. You can read more about this quilt and others like it here.

Northwood Awakening
by Anne and Steve Loveless 

Detail: Northwood Awakening

My mom and I moved rather quickly through the quilts, as we wanted to see as many as possible before we had to meet up with our family. We took quite a few pictures in that short time so we could share them with you, but we weren't able to catch them all. Here are a few of the winners:

The Grand Prize winner, Slices of Opulence 
by Randa Mulford

Detail: Slices of Opulence 
This is an absolutely stunning quilt; I wish my picture-taking skills did it justice.

First Place Traditional
Mystical Garden 
by Mary Alsop

Chatting with the quilter of
Mystical Garden, Mary Alsop

First Place Modern: Playing Well Together
by Jackie Nixon-Fulton

When we did our post about the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show, Put a Bird on it, we shared that birds were somewhat of a theme there. If I were to theme the Chicago show, I would have to go with "floral." There were so many amazing quilts with flowers as a centerpiece (pun intended).

Gladiolus and More 
by Marianne R. Williamson

Petunias on Parade
by Barbara McKie

Aussie True, Oh Dear, We're Blue
by Denise Griffiths

Detail: Aussie True, Oh Dear, We're Blue:

A Sunny Day in April
by Emily Parson

by Emily Parson

Pink Tulips
by Emily Parson

Flower Field: Daffodils
by Emily Parson

Of course, I had to have some family pictures taken in front of our Fairy Tale Album quilt. Showing the quilt to my family members attending was a special treat!

My Aunt Carol, the quilter
My mom, sister and nieces

After our first round of viewing the quilts, we decided to visit the vendors. My niece, Julie, and I took off at racing speed to see as much as we could in the time we had left. She is a speedy walker and was very patient with my fabric purchasing. One of my favorite stops was Bungalow Quilting and Yarn. I was so impressed with the variety of fabrics Judy carried. Stop by her Etsy store and see all the beautiful and varied wares she carries! We also stopped by to see our friends at Paper Pieces and Sew-Cherished and then continued our way through, enjoying the plethora of fabrics, quilts, and vintage wares.

So many lovely quilt patterns were available

The Menidy Quilt booth with some amazing quilts from the tentmakers of Cairo

Love, love, love this vintage trim!

I'm still not sure why this didn't come home with me

The Quiltmania booth was quite busy!

As we toured through the vendors we made a point to stop by and see Cindi Egerton, of A Very Special Collection. Cindi is the gracious lady we met as we came in the door. Our day of family and quilts was made more special by her act of generosity. We visited her booth to thank her again and we were happy to see that she was quite busy, but not too busy to take a picture with me.

Demonstrating her patterns
Thanks Cindi!

I had such a great time with my family and enjoyed seeing so many amazing quilts and vendors. This was just a small taste of Quilt Festival Chicago. Next week we will share more pictures of this wonderful show and a little bit about a popular exhibit. 


  1. What a great post. I had to laugh at the first paragraph, I thought you were going to say your were arrested for scalping tickets! Quilters are the best aren't they? These quilts are amazing. I love seeing your photo next to your quilt. Don't you love standing next to it and hearing all the compliments? You deserve a big Hooray! I surely hope you can continue to join Teri in this blog from overseas. I know she will miss you and we would miss your input to the blog! Looking forward to Quilt Festival part two.

  2. Thank you for sweet words Wendy!! We have big plans for our global adventure!