Quilt Festival/Chicago 2013

We were pleased to take International Quilt Festival back to the Chicago/Rosemont area and the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Since we’ve been gone the area added the MB Financial Park–a new district with many restaurants and entertainment facilities located within walking distance of the Stephens Center. We enjoyed many of these places at the end of each show day but show first and then play. So with workbook and name badge in hand on June 20th, it was time to start Preview Night for the 2013 Chicago Festival. Let the fun begin!

Jill Benge and Judy

Jill Benge and Judy

The show was composed of Special Quilt Exhibits, Education on the show floor, and Exhibitors. It was hard for attendees to decide where to go first. Many started with the Special Exhibits to find their quilt or one they have heard about among the more than 500 quilts and pieces of fabric art on display. I checked out the quilts made by my friend Barbara Black in Traditional Treasures. This is a juried exhibit and Barbara’s quilts “Lone Star Garden” and “If it’s Purple…”were both among those accepted in the exhibit. Barbara’s work is perfection. They were a joy to see hanging in the exhibit.

Barbara Black's Quilts

Barbara Black’s Quilts

Among the other many quilt exhibits hung one of the masterpieces made by Libby Lehman from Houston, Texas.  I said a prayer for Libby as I stood in front of “Ripple Effect” and thought about Libby and the friendship I have had with her since the 80’s. If you don’t know, on April 30th Libby suffered a stroke after a ruptured aneurysm and is now in rehab. If you want to know more about Libby Lehman and how you can support her go to Caring Bridge for updates. God bless you, Libby. We all love you and miss you.

Libby Lehman's Quilt

Libby Lehman’s Quilt

There was much talk and delight over the “ChiCOWgo” quilt exhibit. From a pattern in the book “Out of the Box with Easy Blocks” by Mary Lou Weidman and Melanie McFarland, friends and students customized the “Purple Cow” into various themes. The cow quilts were accompanied by cow photography done by my dear friend Wilma Hart. I loved looking at her photography of Texas cows as much as I enjoyed the quilts.

ChiCOWgo Exhibit

ChiCOWgo Exhibit

The greater part of my time was spent in the Education segments held on the show floor. There were opportunities to create a project or learn a new technique in ‘Open Studios” and “Create on the Spot” areas. “Create on the Spot” was a great place to sit down for an hour and for $10 you could complete a simple, but fun project such as a Poppy Brooch and Light Up Trading Cards.

Create on the Spot

Create on the Spot

I taught one of the segments to a group of fun-loving students. They each went home with three “Cut and Paste” greeting cards and materials to make three more. It was a fun hour.

Teaching at Create on the Spot

Teaching at Create on the Spot

“Open Studios” had presentations on modern quilting techniques, hand piecing, machine quilting, dyeing and painting fabric, stamping and silk screening fabric and more. Over the course of the show, four quilt artists demonstrated simultaneously under the categories of “Embellish,” “Stitch,” “Quilt,” and “Paint” in four specially designed studio rooms. There were 40 sessions of demonstrations over the duration of the show. It was a busy place.

Open Studios

Open Studios

Each day I spent time demonstrating my “Collage Greeting Cards” to a group of interested attendees. I never tire of making these cards using vintage photos and embellishments.


What would a Quilt Festival be without things to buy? There were rows and rows of 300 booths selling everything from sewing machines to beads to threads to fabric to patterns and much, much more. Lisa and Nick Bongean, the owners of Primitive Gatherings have everything you could possibly need for your wool embroidery.  Check them out at their quilt shop in Wisconsin or visit them again at one of our upcoming shows.

Primitive Gatherings

Primitive Gatherings

A visit to our Commemorative booth is always a must. We have show totes, t-shirts, pins, and programs for sale there among other fun items. Barbara Youngflesh and Patty Teufel keep this booth running throughout the show. Stop by and visit them. They always have smiling faces and great things to sell.

Commemorative Booth

Commemorative Boot

Not that the time at the Convention Center isn’t fun, but it’s always enjoyable to relax at the end of the day with friends and co-workers. This night Karey, Nancy, Trix and I enjoyed a steak dinner at Morton’s. Even though we are out for the evening the topic most often turns to how we can improve on the next show. We hope you will join us back at Rosemont/Chicago in 2014. It will be fun!

Dining with Friends

Dining with Friends

Please join us for one of our upcoming shows.

August 2-4, 2013 at Long Beach Quilt Festival

October 31-November 3, 2013 at Houston Quilt Festival

April 3-5, 2014 at Cincinnati Quilt Festival

June 20-22, 2014 at Chicago Quilt Festival

August 14-16, 2014 at Portland Quilt! Knit! Stitch!


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6 Responses to “Quilt Festival/Chicago 2013”

  1. Jill Benge Says:

    Great Blog!

    Jill Benge

    Education Assistant


    713/781-6864 ext 124



  2. Debbie Says:

    Very well done! I heard that Morton’s has a wonderfuil souffle.


  3. vcmquilts Says:

    This is a great review of the show Judy! I love the way you introduce us to what’s happening on the show floor. I also enjoy seeing you guys enjoying dinner.


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