It’s Time for a Quilt Show!


  End of the Trail Quilt Guild
Abilene Fairgrounds
Sterl Hall
Abilene, KS
© Lydia Lowe

     It’s time once again for the best little quilt show in Kansas.  This show happens every two years in Abilene.  I look forward to it every other year and it is not to be missed.  It’s a small show that packs a big punch.  It’s not overwhelming, like some of the bigger shows, and there’s plenty to see and do.

     When you enter the door to pay ($4.00, what a bargain) and sign up, there’s a give away at the door.  Unfortunately, I never pick the slip that says: Winner”.  One of these days I think the law of averages will will out and I’ll win something.

     This year there were over 250 people that attended the event.  I think this is one of the best kept secrets in the state of Kansas.  If there was a bit more promotion for the event, I think that would help.  I knew about it and had a contact who gave me the details of when and where this year. 

     At the show, there are sewing demonstrations.  Wandering the floor are the ever-present ladies with white gloves who are allowed to touch the quilts.  They are the chosen ones.  I saw a quilt that was at the top of the quilt rack and had been tucked behind another one.  I really wanted a photo of the entire quilt and I found a white gloved attendant to pull the quilt out so I could photograph it in its entirety.  The white glove attendants are the unsung heroes of the quilt show. 

     What quilt show would be complete without vendors.  The vendors who show up for this show are from a variety of small towns in Kansas that aren’t necessarily destinations spots.  They come armed with all sorts of delightful wares that aren’t necessarily available in the shops in larger towns.  I found one that had designed many of her own embroidery patterns.  I was so taken with her bare tree design on a shaded brown fabric that I had to have it.  Her shop is in Belleville and her designs are amazing. 

     And then there are the quilts, there are a vast array of those.  Usually the quilt guild in Abilene has a challenge and those quilts are set aside in an area and they explain about the challenge.  This feature was missing from the show this year.  It’s one of my favorite parts every year, so that was a bit of a disappointment.  However, to make up for it, there were jelly roll race quilts.  These were quilts where jelly roll strips (a jelly roll is strips of pre-cut fabrics) were placed end to end, sewn together, then folded and cut to make the quilt top fabric.  They can remain in that state or appliques can be added to the top to make it a bit more unique.  It was very inspiring.

     To top off the show, there is a silent auction.  Also, the ever present opportunity quilt, that no guild would ever hold an event without, to buy chances on and perhaps win. The show runs for two days and if you visit on Saturday, you can even buy lunch at the venue.

     This show returns again in 2016.  So mark your calendars now and plan a trip to Abilene to the show.  If you have time, don’t forget about the Ida Stover Memorial Quilt show at the Eisenhower Center that runs concurrent with this one.  I didn’t make it to that show this year and I feel like I missed a huge part of the experience.  So be sure to allow time to take in that show while you’re in town.

Here are some quilts from the show:
Off Center Square  (this was a mini quilt)
Blockhead Hearts 
(a quilt challenge-each block was made by a different person)
Prairie Bouquet ( I love the embroidered quilts)
Blossoms (this was my favorite large quilt)
Penguins (this was just so much fun)
Grandmothers Kitchen 
(this picture doesn’t do it justice-reminded me of my grandmother 
and great grandmothers kitchens)
Spring Anew 
(I saw a tree in the park outside of the venue with three tiny blossoms just starting to spring forth)
Wedding in Paradise


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