The Quilt Show

Baby Quilt for Japan

A good quilt show is a magical place.   As a quilter myself, I marvel at the wonders I often see at these shows.   There are mesmerizing miniature  quilts where a 12″ x 12″ area could contain hundreds of tiny pieces sewn together.  There are spectacular large quilts of every kind, whole-cloth, applique, and pieced, along with every size and style in  between.

There  are quilters who finish their quilts  with a substantial amount of machine quilting stitches and  the minimalist who tends to quilt  sparingly, but perfectly by hand.  There are three-dimensional quilts and quilts done in  separate sections.  Some people even use different  fibers such as wool  and  silk.

You could find a quilt with bright and bold color combination’s along side a quilt with soft pastels.  There could be a quilt with large wildlife prints next to one with  calico fabric.  Each quilt is as different as its creator.  Each quilt has a story behind it. One quilter may have had a desire to  get out of a rut of stagnation and another to send a message about a current hot-button issue.

I have to admit that when I go to these fantastic quilt shows, I marvel at the time, energy, creativity and ability these  artists have.  In my opinion, I do not have  enough of any of these things, but wish I did.  It is easy to feel like an insignificant quilter in the shadow of so many stunning quilts.  I could spend a lifetime trying to make a showstopper quilt, but I would get nothing else done. No quilts to keep my loved ones warm and cozy.  No  quilts to bring life to a plain wall or room.  No table runners to invite people to a home cooked meal. No quilts for friends and family to enjoy.

I made a patchwork quilt  for my daughter’s bed when she was three.   There is a photo that always makes me smile of her sitting on the quilt, while I am at the sewing machine attempting to sew on its binding.  That quilt is quite worn from 15 years of use, the colors have faded and it is looking a little threadbare in places.  For people who struggle with the challenges of  autoimmune diseases like SLE (lupus), it is easy to feel like a worn out patchwork quilt most days.  It is natural  to occasionally get in a funk and feel like you have little value in this fast-paced, high achievement world.

While the award-winning quilt is wonderful, you would not wrap your sick child in it, because it is often for visual enjoyment only.  On the other hand,  patchwork quilts are some of the most used and best-loved quilts around.   When my daughter was a teenager, she told me  that she  keeps the end with the  label up toward the top so she can read the handwritten message  each night before going to sleep. To this day, my daughter treasures that patchwork quilt. She tells me it would be one of the things she would take  if there was a fire. Wow!

So while you and I may feel like  simple patchwork quilts most days, I bet  our families would say we are priceless treasures that they would not part with for anything.  They would most likely rank us right up there with the showstopper quilts.

When it is all said and done, the quilt show does inspire me, even though  I  have to remind myself not to compare myself with these gifted quilters.  Each one of our lives is as unique as we are and we all have special talents and gifts to share.  The trick is to finding those gifts and sharing them as we are able.

Whether you are a quilter or not, if you have never been to a national quilt show like Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XVIII,  you should consider going to one, you will find it an eye-opening experience you will not forget.  More  next time as I share about the Vintage Revisited exhibit.

At this time I will be posting about every two weeks. I hope you are enjoying your spring. I thank you for your readership and your support. Many of you have encouraged me all along the way.  You have blessed me and helped me press on.


Leslie Rose K

If you would like to contact me apart from leaving a comment please email me at the following address

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jean Makl on May 4, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Very insightful and thoughtful.


  2. Posted by Brenda on May 5, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    A very good post Leslie and it comes at a good time for me. I am feeling a lot like the patchwork quilt, not feeling very useful because of the pain that I have been in the past couple of days. You have helped me to feel that I am worth something even though I feel like I’m not. Isn’t it funny how God works. I have know about this post the last few days, but just didn’t feel like reading it until tonight when I was feeling low and useless. God guides me when is the right time for reading these posts. It just amazes me how God gives me guidance. Thanks for a great post!


    • I truly believe there are no consequences with God. The more you believe He is active in your life the more you tend to see Him moving in all sorts of ways. I love it! I hope you will be feeling better soon. I know I have been trying to cope with fatigue this week. It will get better again for both of us. Thanks for your encouragement. It means a lot Brenda.


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