I took a day off work on Monday to go to the red-and-white quilt show at the Armory, thinking it would be a nice quiet day. I was not prepared for the busloads, literally, of ladies coming to town especially for this show. The quilts, particularly the way they were displayed, hanging back to back up to the rafters of the massive Armory, were stunning, and a little overwhelming. The curator cleverly arranged the quilts in circular “rooms” so you could also take in smaller groups at a time. Almost as interesting were the attendees. The average age was about 65, and many came as part of a tour, with their friends or quilting clubs. I overheard many women who had visited the show several days in a row. There was no idle chit chat; these women were there to talk about quilts, period.
Walking around, I felt a little bit like when I blithely signed up for swim camp in middle school because I liked to swim, for fun. I found myself swimming laps for five hours a day with all-state athletes in serious training. I came home with a chipped front tooth (racing dives) but in tip-top shape. Just like the girls at swim camp, the quilters were a friendly bunch, and they were happy to chat about techniques and patterns with us novices. One woman very kindly explained reverse applique to me and one of the very few gentlemen in attendance. I think he just wandered in, the exhibit was free after all, and found himself awash in ladies and decided to stick around.
The exhibit was true to its name; the quilts ranged from intricate to bold graphics, and there were some very sweet sailing ships, houses, and airplanes. I’ve included details from just a few of my favorites.