We had a drizzly ride from Hamilton to Branson, but the scenery was still lovely. This was my first time visiting this fascinating city and when we arrived it felt like we were on one of the many attractions/rides. The city is built atop many hills and the roads through town often resembled a roller coaster 🤣.
I took these next photos for my grandkids, but if you’ve never been to Branson, I think you may find some of them entertaining. Like the Aquarium:
And the wax museum:
And of course you’d expect to find the Titanic here:
It seems there was something bigger than life around every corner.
This quilt show was billed as the 100th American Quilters Society show and it did not disappoint. Cathy and I were anxious to take a class with Judith Baker Montano, so we did that the first morning ~ even before we saw the quilts!
Her hand-stitched landscapes are amazing, and her class was delightful.
Crazy quilting is more of Cathy’s passion than mine, but I loved hearing Judith’s stories and learning her techniques.
After class I couldn’t wait to get to the competition quilts (my favorite part of every show), and I was overwhelmed by the creativity and quality of the entire exhibit.
Photos of the winners are available on the AQS site and blog, each one was deserving of the ribbons awarded their makers and I know you’ll enjoy seeing them all by clicking here. I think all of the quilts were winners just by getting into the show – and we were winners because we got to see them 😊. As usual I’d like to share a few of my favorites.
The “Best Traditional Design” winner was nice from a distance,
but amazing and rather untraditional up close (those are 1″ squares!). It was very 3D, and it “blew my mind”. This quilt was truly “Beyond Reason”:
I have friends who are really into selvedges, and this was a very innovative variation by Mayleen Vinson:
The next quilt was my favorite of the large quilts and it didn’t have a ribbon. I loved everything about the design from a distance,
and it was just as spectacular up close. The border is what I call a threaded border – just contrasting stitching!
To take the threaded borders to another level ~ this is a wholecloth threaded quilt! Every portion of the design is thread!
The bright circles were all stitched in contrasting thread before layering and quilting, and then the quilt was quilted. The circles looked as if they were stuffed (trapunto) and I don’t know if this is the case, or if two layers of batting were used (wool on top) to achieve the effect. No matter which, the results were striking.
I have always admired Cynthia England’s quilts, and I think this may be my favorite to date:
The previous quilts were all in the large quilt categories. Then we went into the wall quilts and this pictorial quilt was my favorite. I’ve been working a lot with shadows lately and Isabel Munoz, from Spain, did a phenomenal job of using value to get amazing shadows.
The next quilt came all the way from Italy. Don’t you just love Ulla’s water?
AQS also featured a number of great exhibits and challenges like this one:
It was such fun to try to guess the song each note conveys, and it was a crowd pleaser. Wish I’d thought of it 😊 ~ I’d love to have participated by making a note, but we had a fun time trying to guess each one.
The “Light the World” challenge from SAQA was very intriguing. Here are a few of my favorites:
The entire show was a feast for the eyes. We were over~stimulated, over~inspired, and hungry. The vendors would need to wait until the next day so we could try out Paula Dean’s restaurant in the mall across the street. It was yummy!
We headed back to the hotel very well fed and ready to do a bit of sewing (yes, we brought Lucy and Irma, our sewing machines, along).
The next morning we spent some time supporting the wonderful vendors.
Then we walked over to the outdoor mall next to the river and were blessed to arrive just in time for the fountains to dance in rhythm to our national anthem. It was beautiful ~ and everyone in the crowd was singing along with their hands over their hearts. It brought tears to my eyes.
We realized the next day that all over Branson at noon, our National anthem is played ~ what a blessing!
After a delicious lunch of pizza at the Mellow Marshmallow, we drove to the Sights and Sounds Theater to experience Queen Esther.
It was one of the most moving performances I’ve ever seen. Cathy and I enjoyed it very much.
We had one full, and very rainy day left in Branson, and decided to spend it thrift shopping. Branson has oodles of thrift and antique stores. It was so much fun.
That night Mike warned me that they were predicting massive snowfall overnight in Wisconsin. We headed out Saturday morning not knowing what to expect, and what we got was sunshine the whole way. The Arch in St. Louis was beautiful.
And by the time we got to Wisconsin the roads were clear and a lot of the 7″ that fell earlier had already melted. A great ending to a wonderful trip. Thanks Cathy!
And speaking of shows and exhibits. This weekend was the Crazy Quilters Show in Mukwonago, WI. I was honored to be one of the judges of the show. There were so many wonderful quilts and the decisions weren’t easy. Once all the quilts were hung each judge was asked to pick a favorite. I narrowed it down to two. And the ribbon went to 2,307 Logs in My Cabin by Joan Ledanski:
I’m a green and orange girl, so the colors grabbed me, but I must admit ~ I love everything about this quilt. Wish I’d made it 😁. Congratulations Joan!
I also want to share my second choice because it will make you smile:
Cats was made by my friend Dorothy Livernash, but I didn’t know that until I’d made my decision and was allowed to peek at the label on the back, along with this silly kitty:
The Crazy Quilters also invited our ThreadBender group to display our Curves Ahead quilts. It was the first time they’ve hung together and I think they looked great!
And one last photo! My dear friend Wendy at Sew Much More in Waukesha, asked if we’d like to exhibit our prizewinning Travel Poster quilts in the classroom at the store. Of course we said yes.
If you’re in the store, please stop by and see them for yourself.
What a quilt-filled March I’ve had! Can’t wait for April ~ Paducah here I come!
Julie Vandermause says
What an inspiring trip!!! Thx for sharing, loved it all, Julie
Dorothy A Livernash says
Thanks for the mention of my Cats quilt. It was so much fun to make and it makes me smile. I’m glad it had the same affect on you. The Curves Ahead display was beautiful and it was so nice to see them in person.
Janet Griinke says
Thanks for the fantastic verbal trip! Your pictures are fabulous as well.
Kathy Downie says
What a wonderful trip and great post! Felt like I was there!
Judy Rosynek says
Thanks for sharing your adventure and seeing all those lovely quilts. There sure are a lot of talented people out there.
Heather Hickling says
Thanks for taking us along on your travels. Loved the pictures. Safe travels to Paducah.
Joanne Corrigan says
Thank you for this wonderful quilt road trip! I loved it!
Cathy Borneman says
I enjoy our travels! Talk about opening my eyes to the full world of quilting!!!
judy raddatz says
Just an amazing trip. So happy for you two.
Seeing some of those quilts in the AQS magazine is not nearly as good as your pictures & personal comments. Thanks for taking us along on your quilting adventures.
Eileen Diercks says
My husband and I attended the Branson Quilt Show, as well – so many lovely quilts! Thank you for sharing your pictures.
While I did not win a ribbon, I was lucky enough to have my large quilt, “Granny Squares Reimagined,” juried into the show. It was a thrill to see my quilt in person hanging in the show.
Glad you were able to take in some more of the sights of Branson.
Wow, I will stop buying quilting stuff so I can travel.
What a wonderful adventure!