AQS Des Moines

Last week I flew to Des Moines, Iowa for the 2nd annual American Quilter’s Society show.  They have a great facility in downtown Des Moines which is perfect for this type of show.  Show coordinator, Bonnie Browning suggested I attend the awards ceremony on Wednesday morning.  I usually like to exercise in the morning and since the awards ceremony was being held right before the start of the show it meant I had to get up really early if I wanted to go to the gym first.  Since it is a habit of mine to go to the gym first thing in the morning I got up at o’dark thirty to get on the treadmill.  Once showered and dressed I walked over to the show area.  Downtown Des Moines is all connected via a skywalk.  It’s great when the weather is bad or when you have to take several suitcases from the hotel to your classroom.  I will say that if you are not from Des Moines and you get in the skywalk it is not marked well and you can get turned around easily.  Don’t be afraid to ask for directions.  I had to ask a couple of times.  One thing is for sure….the people is Des Moines are very friendly and helpful.  I had traveled in Iowa on three other occasions.  Every trip to Iowa has been enjoyable.  This time was even more enjoyable because when I listened as the names of the winners were called I heard my name called for “Best of Show”.  I had tears in my eyes.  I thought….did I just hear them correctly?  It was a rather large monetary award and I was certain there had been a mistake.  (I still think there might have been a mistake!)  My quilt Arabesque was awarded “Best of Show”.  Some of you who know me know that I have won some other “Best of Show” awards over the years.  But, each and every one of them is very special to me.  I put a lot of myself into each of my quilts but Arabesque has more of me in it then any other quilt I have made.  I worked on this quilt for three years.  I have never made a quilt this intense or so time consuming.  So, getting this recognition means a lot.  It’s the reward for many, many, many long hours hand appliqueing and machine quilting.    To view all the winners from the show go to

Here are some of my favorite quilts and exhibits from the show.

AQS Des Moines 003The name of this quilt is “Alpha”baa”t Sampler and was made by Janet Stone of Overland Park, Kansas.  One of my other most favorite quilts in the show was also made by Janet.  The name of the quilt is “Alphabet Alchemy”.  The detail work, beading and stitching, on this quilt is truly incredible.  I remember seeing this quilt for the first time at Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, PA in July.  I really liked the quilt when I saw it in Hershey and liked it just as much when I saw it in Des Moines.  If Janet ever decides she does not want this quilt I will gladly take it off of her hands. Thanks for sharing your quilts Janet.

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My favorite exhibit at the show was called “Artful Bras”.  These are one-of-a-kind bras created for Breast Cancer awareness.  Each artist started with a 36C underwire bra.  The creativity and workmanship on these bras was eye catching.

This one is called AQS Des Moines 032“Support Your Favorite Boob”  It made me laugh.

The one to the left is called “Hooters”.  You figure it out.

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Another quilt that caught my eye was made by Carol Taylor from Pittsford, NY.  The name of her quilt is “Silhouettes”.  I love the clean lines of her design.

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And then finally, this quilt was perfect for the time of year. It was made by Laurie Tigner from Rapid City, South Dakota.  The name of the quilt is “Boonina”.

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There are lots more quilts to view on the AQS web site.  I hate just picking so few when there were so many I liked but this gives you a taste.  In addition to the AQS show the Des Moines guild had their show in the hall beside the AQS show.  They had several hundred quilts on display and both halls had lots of great vendors.  And yes, I did spend some of my money at the vendors.  How could I not?

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