It's Not Even My Hobby!

Weekend before last, Madison hosted the annual Quilt Expo, sponsored by Wisconsin Public Television and Nancy Zieman of Sewing With Nancy fame. This four-day extravaganza of all things quilting was something I'd always been fascinated by but never attended because, you know, it's not my hobby. However, as you all know, it HAS become Cassandra's hobby this year (The Year of the Quilt, remember?) and, being the lovely, supportive friend I am, I agreed to go with her this year. This served double-duty as it meant that her husband didn't have to get dragged along for once. :) And, truth be told, I'm sure I'll end up making a quilt at some point. I just haven't gotten there yet.

And, speaking of husbands, I wish I'd gotten a photograph of the "wall of husbands" sitting in folding chairs, waiting for the wives to scour the aisles for fabulous quilt-y goodness.

Interestingly, the Quilt Expo helped pique my interest in this particular craft because, holy cow, these quilts were A-MAZ-ING. Plus, it helped me to define what I like in a quilt and what I don't - thus, getting me closer to actually picking a pattern and fabric. The one thing that both Cassandra and I agreed upon is that, regardless of whether a quilt was done in a style we liked or not, we could really appreciate the craftsmanship and work that went into each.

So, we played hooky from work on Thursday afternoon and basked in the glory of gorgeous quilts and amazing talent. One high point of the day was as we were leaving the Expo hall, I was looking at something and Cassandra suddenly said, "It's Nancy! You're Nancy!" and then we proceeded to go all fan-girl on Nancy Zieman and I think we scared her. She sort of smiled and backed away (in horror). So, herein you'll find our photo-essay of our day at the Quilt Expo 2012, minus a picture of us with Nancy.

The first thing we saw, above, was a bunch of women tailgating outside the entry to the Expo Center. Yep, if there's an event and a parking lot, a Wisconsinite will tailgate...

An understated entry for such an majestic event.

One of our favorites - Blue Underground Quilts - doing wonderful, graphic, modern designs.

Buttons, buttons, buttons

We were, honestly, at the young end of the demographic.

A basket of wool quarter-flats.

We really adored Cottage House Primitives wool quilt designs. Very different from most of what we saw at the event.

Well-crafted and great use of technique.

This woman was doing a latch-rug. Very cool process.

We fell in love with these quilters - Sew Mod. Their style sense, fabric choices, and modern variation of classic design was outstanding. It really set them apart.

Cassandra loves this "bug in a jar" fabric. Quilt from Sew Mod.

Outstanding use of color and fabric. Another favorite.

Also from Janie Lou (above). Note the contrasting, black quilting.

Modern Quilts Studio publishes books and patterns of their own design. This husband and wife team has some of the most original designs we saw.

More from Modern Quilts.

A beautiful example of a wall-quilt. The quilting was done on a long-arm.

More detail.

Note the bunny shape in the quilting itself.

We loved the composition and color of this winner.

This was our favorite quilt of all the entries into the competition. The amount of design work that went into this piece is astounding. If you expand the photo below, you can read a description of the quilter's inspiration. It's a lovely story.

Cassandra's haul of fabric which will be used to make a quilt for her daughter.


  1. Fun! I can't believe they let you take pictures in there! Nancy is my fave! I would love to meet her!
    You will be making a quilt soon! I'm sure of it!

    1. Yeah... I was too. We were super-careful with people at the booths. We explained why we wanted to take pics and that we had a blog and would give them credit by showing their business name and/or mentioning it. We only had one booth where the people were REALLY not into it and asked us not to take pics.

      As for the show quilts, I think everyone was happy to have their quilts photographed. :)