Eleanor Burns' Fabric Sale & Quilting Tent Show
Jo and most of the attendees at the annual Paducah Quilt Show rarely miss an event that actually isn't part of the Show itself. It occurs a few miles from the convention center at the fairgrounds park where two large tents are set up. One for a huge quilting fabric sale with a huge inventory of fabrics at prices hard to beat anywhere else. In the other tent Eleanor Burns, from TV's Quilt in a Day fame, puts on an old fashioned tent show that mixes comedy, music, videos and practical quilting information into an hour of fun.
Burns is a mixture of Lucille Ball and Oprah. She has more fun than a barrel of monkeys yet beneath that fun-loving, merry exterior is the quilting world's most saavy entrepreneur and business-woman.
Like Lucy, she manages to talk reluctant staff employees and family members to get involved in her schemes so they appear as supporting players in all her skits as well as provide behind the scenes support for each production. The only true performer on stage is Eleanor but all the rest give it their best shot and ad to the folksy charm of the production.
< < < Eleanor as Marilyn showing off one of her new Diamond quilt patterns.
The video below is from her 2011 show where she featured Strips to Stars and Diamonds in her latest quilting designs which are available in her quilting books and her quilting pattern kits. She opens the show outfitted as an astronaut to introduce her new Radiant Star patterns and in a later skit impersonates Marilyn Monroe to introduce her new Diamond pattern collection. In between skits and showing off patterns, Eleanor plays videos on the large screen monitors showing off techniques and gadgets she's invented to save time, energy, and fabric in creating quilts.