Last weekend I got to go to the AQS Quilt Show in Des Moines. This was my first international quilt show and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. According to the website there are over 1600 quilts on display. I meant to take pictures, but was so awestruck by everything that when I got home I discovered I'd only taken five pictures. Worse; none of them were quilts that had inspired the plans I was developing as I headed home. A couple of the quilts on display were set on black backgrounds. I loved how the dark background made the colors jump off of the quilt. My quilt guild's challenge this year is to take at least three colors from a paint chip and make a quilt using only those colors and neutrals. I was already toying with the idea of a black background, but after seeing those quilts I am definitely using black in my paint chip quilt.
One of the exhibits featured miniature quilts. I've seen lots of bloggers making miniatures/doll quilts, but they are nothing like what was on display. These quilts followed the standard rules of 24" or smaller, blocks that are 4" or smaller, but they took the or smaller bit to the extreme. There was a double wedding ring quilt that couldn't have been more than 8" wide and 12" long, still featuring at least 12 full ring blocks with the same number of pieces you'd expect in a large wedding ring quilt. There were log cabins with pieces no more than 1/4" wide. Not only did these quilters (both women and men) work with teeny tiny pieces, they have precision I struggle to accomplish on full size quilts. One of the more experienced quilters I was with said that they use paper piecing to make the small blocks. After finding out that EQ7 lets you print your own paper piecing patterns I've started laying out my own miniature quilt. There are a couple of projects that need to be finished first so I probably won't start sewing the miniature until January, but I have big plans for some small quilts.
In addition to seeing the amazing quilts we also visited the vendors' booths. I was overwhelmed by all of the choices. I found these cute little fat quarters that are destined to become a wall hanging for one of the people on my Christmas list. I'm not sure if the Scotties will make it on the front of the quilt or not, but they were too cute to leave behind.