Report from the 2014 Show
On Wednesday I was at the show’s opening at 9 am. I wanted to get to Hobb’s vendor booth to catch their traditional sale price on wool batting before they were sold out. Took all I could carry back to the motorhome where Ross was waiting for the delivery. The attendance on opening day was as big as I’ve ever seen it. Since AQS now runs several other annual quilt shows & contests I’d wondered if Paducah was getting less popular. But judging from the crowds I encountered on Wednesday and Thursday, I’d say no. There were over 400 quilts entered in the contest from 40 states and 10 foreign countries. So in my estimation Paducah’s Quilt Show remains the “Big Show” and unofficial national quilting convention.
There were so many attractive and expertly done quilts it is very difficult to name favorites. The Art Quilts continue to amaze me with their realism and artistic perfection. Yet there are also many beautiful quilts using more traditional quilting styles. I’ll show a few favorites here.
Although the Big Show doesn’t open until Wednesday, many quilters come into town early to take advantage of pre-show specials and enjoy some of their favorite Paducah-area places before the crowds.
One of the favorite dining spots of quilters and Paducah area visitors is about 25 miles east of Paducah in the quaint little resort town of Grand Rivers, Kentucky. It happens to be our number one favorite place to eat – Patti’s Restaurant in the Grand Rivers 1881 Settlement Complex. We were there Tuesday night and it was apparent the place was jam-packed with quilters as the ratio of female diners to male dinners was easily 10 to 1. If you’ve never been to Patti’s or its companion restaurant – Mr.Bill’s you’ve got to add it to your AQS Quilt Show bucket list. The wait staff are all costumed in late 1800s apparel and exude the traditional southern hospitality and courtesy. The food is truly home-cookin’ good and generous portions. Jo had their grilled Salmon with stir-fried veggies. Patti’s managed to keep the Salmon moist and crumbly. The veggie medley wasn’t overcooked and had lots of variety. The dinner salads were also expertly done and generous portions. Ross had Ella Mae’s special chicken breast topped with thinly sliced black forest ham and swiss cheese. Excellent combination. Ross managed to finish all of his meal and I much of it but both of us almost needed to be rolled out of the place. Unfortunately we didn’t have room for one of Patti’s famous pies.
Another favorite dining place in Grand Rivers is Bob and Irene’s Bright Side Café and Bakery. We usually catch a breakfast omelet and a delicious pastry with them but this trip we stopped by for lunch. I had their bison burger with mushrooms and swiss cheese. A mushroom-swiss burger is my benchmark hot sandwhich when we are dining out. Bob’s bison burger served on one of Irene’s specialty buns got top marks. Excellent and big enough that I got to take home part of it for a snack the next day. Ross had the black bean burger also served on Irene’s homemade buns with lettuce and tomato. A decent veggie burger. Bright Side is only open Thursday – Sunday and only for breakfast or lunch. A family owned and run café with a unique and brightly decorated atmosphere.
In Paducah I managed to catch Eleanor Burn’s Fabric Frenzy before they officially opened for the Quilt Show. It was in a new location on Jefferson Street and workers were still doing finishing work to get ready for opening day. But despite the work in progress, they were also open for business. Managed to find several Batiques I’d been searching for a certain pattern and at a very attractive price. Don’t know how she does it but Eleanor manages to have good quality fabrics at terrific prices. In the back of the Fabric Freenzy sale space, Eleanor’s crew constructed a combination classroom and mini-auditorium. Big enough for the classroom but only a fraction of the space Eleanor had for her long-running Quilt Week Tent Show. So for the first time in 20 odd years there was an admissions fee and reserved seats to attend the show. (It was packed).
During the show we took a tour of Paducah’s Dogwood Trail. A few years ago many of the trees were damaged in a storm but now most have recovered with new growth. The peak was just a few days before the show, but there were still lots of beautiful blossoms left. You can see some earlier Dogwood Trail pictures here. Below are some pix from this year.
There are a few more events or activities that don’t have a lot to do with quilting but are worthwhile: Touring Paducah’s Mural Wall and the walking tour of historic homes in the Lower Town Arts District. (The links all go to feature pages on our website with pictures and other information). If you or your partner are golfers, see Ross’s Reviews of Paducah Golf Courses. Here’s a few more links of interest:
That’s all til next year.