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Desert Quilters of Nevada Quilt Show - 2023

DQN hosted an amazing quilt show this year and had a great turnout. They had 230 quilts on display, tons of amazing baskets for raffle, all the art quilts were set up in a separate room for an art gallery like experience, and there were two full days of back to back demos. I was so excited to demo FPP and am teaching it as a class for DQN this spring! This week I got a behind the scenes look and realized that a quilt show takes soooooo many man and woman hours! A big thank you to the DQN board and all the volunteers who made this event possible!

The week started off with a day of classes taught by Vicki Ruebel from Orchid Owl Quilts. I attended the morning session on free motion quilting and I love that Vicki was so honest and real. Free motion can be so intimidating and it's easy to get stuck before even starting. Vicki acknowledged that it's normal to feel that way, talked about some of her experiences, and said not to worry because our quilts will not spontaneously combust when we quilt them! Sometimes you just have to go for it and of course, lots of practice makes it better. I gained a lot of confidence and learned so much from her! If you've wanted to learn or get better at free motion quilting, I highly recommend taking her class at her shop! If you don't want to quilt your quilt top, no worries. She offers longarm services too. This quilt of Vicki's, "Summer Sunrise", won best of show and definitely deserved it! Congrats Vicki! Hindsight is 20/20, I should have moved that strap in front of the quilt before taking the picture, but regardless you can still see what an amazing free motion quilter she is! This quilt was also featured in American Patchwork & Quilting in 2022!

The next day was judging by Nancy Fuka. What an amazing experience to see quilt judging in action! When I chatted with Nancy, she was kind and personable, then when it came time to judge the quilts, she was professional and on task! First she would stand back to get an overall look at the quilt, then she would look up close. It seemed like she had a checklist she went through with each quilt... first the piecing and/or applique in each block, then the borders and any sashing, then the quilting from the front & the back, and then the binding. The take away is that if you want to be in the running for a ribbon, make sure your quilt is as technically well done as possible. Even a very creative, eye catching quilt won't win a ribbon unless it is put together well, so watch those points and thread tension. The quilts in each category that met the mark got set aside on a separate table. When she finished judging every quilt in a category individually, she went to the quilts she had set aside and chose the winners from those.

I was lucky enough to see her judge my quilts and it made me so happy to see her face light up when she saw Exploding Peppermints. She loved the colors and the roundness of my pieced circles. It was so exciting to see it make it to the separate table and that it was one away from a ribbon.

Since I didn't have my peppermints quilt in my booth, I decided to at least have a peppermint pillow and quilted it up the night before the show.

Then of course came set up and the show! I love that this show happens in my home town of Las Vegas. Yes, I got to sleep in my own bed and didn't have to drive out of state, but the best part was that I got to see so many of my quilting friends from DQN and LVMQG! Quilters are just the kindest, friendliest people!!! I love you all! Thank you for being so sweet to me. It means so much.

Right side of my booth and the left side.

Okay, now here it is.... a gallery of the quilts! To see the full size photos, click on the image below.

My mom and I tend to stop and really look at the quilts that have lots of detail. This first quilt, "Over the Hill" by Pamela Marmar, certainly caught us. I loved the black sheep and that the flying geese were appliqued wool. "Old Fashion Christmas" by Darla Holt made us stop because even though it's a panel, the free motion quilting added a texture that made the quilt seem alive. You can see my mom really checking out "Theresa's Market Day" by Theresa Caselman. These vegis were so cute and sparkly! Each shoe in "The Love of a Shoe Diva" by Kimberly Soelberg was so playful and unique! One shoe had a green key dangling from it!?! I love that she quilted each shoe on it's own platform and in the spotlight. "In the Limelight" pieced by Judy Dale and quilted by Vicki Ruebel was one of my favorites because of the border. It's a simple border to piece because it's a solid stripe but the quilting makes it shine by continuing the quilting designs of the blocks. What a great idea! Again, take Vicki's free motion class! There were so many gorgeous quilts, I wish I had a photo of each and every one. Which were your favorites? Share in the comments below.

Another great thing about quilt shows, is that they bring about great connections! At the Desert Lily Quilters show in Yuma, AZ this January, my booth neighbor was Sew Renewable and guess what! They were at this show too! This family run company saves fabric from going in the trash. They find their quilt fabric, patterns, and books at estate sales! Since the Yuma show was my first time being a quilt pattern vendor, they gave me lots of info and great tips. When my pattern stand was falling down during set up at Yuma, they got their zip ties out to help me fix it! It was so great to spend another show next to them.

The Christmas Goose quilt shop was also a vendor this weekend. I'm at their shop at least once a month and every time I go in, I see something new. This shop is loaded with fabric, amazing rulers, notions, batting, patterns, & embroidery supplies and has the best staff! So many of you asked when I'm teaching curved piecing and Many Moons there next. I'll work on getting it on the calendar!

This weekend there were lots of us from Henderson, Vegas, Pahrump, & Boulder City but people also came in from out of state to see our show! Rachel Mayfield from Breakwater Fabric came in from California and she now carries my "Fenced In" quilt pattern in her etsy shop! Woohoo!

What an incredible week! What were your favorite parts of the show?