TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Paducah Quilt Show, April 23-26

Paducah is a small city on the Ohio River, a 6 hour drive South of Chicago and under 3 hours from Nashville, St. Louis or Memphis. Our population is about 25,000 at night and 60,000 during the day. There's not much to do here, compared to my former home of Chicago, but there's enough. A thriving art district, Lowertown, offers a creative community, and the locals have been warm, funny, and wonderfully receptive to this Northern transplant.

In April of every year, about 40,000 women with big bags invade the city for the annual quilt show. They come from all over the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe and last year I even met a group of quilters that were here from Brazil! It's a great boost to the local economy and all of us are now in a fever preparing for the holy event.

This year I will be sharing a retail space downtown with Bob and Helene Davis, members of my fiber art group. I have been buying textiles like a madwoman and promise a wonderful booth. I have a pile of kilims, ralli quilts, molas, salt bags, and other textiles. I will also have a bunch of beads and kuba cloths from an African friend. Oh, and piles and piles of textile blocks.

Bob and Helene will be selling top quality fabric by the pound. They already have a faithful following and I am sure our space will compete in jostling, chaos and grabbing to that of any world market. Come join in the fun!

If you come, you will find us at 212 Broadway (on the main street downtown, just a couple of blocks from the wall which protects us from the river) from Monday, April 21st through Saturday, April 26th. We will be open from 10AM to 5PM.

Paducah puts on its best face at this time and there will be plenty to do. Hotels are probably all booked by now, so you're out of luck if you haven't booked one already. Maybe if you cry and beg with the Tourism Office, they might have some local tips. Here are some Paducah links that will be helpful in deciding how you want to spend your time here:

Bryerpatch Studio
Discover Paducah
Down in Lowertown
Land Between the Lakes
LowerTown Arts District
Paducah Artist Relocation Program
Paducah Tourism
Quilt Museum

The quilt show is hosted in our Convention center. Aside from drooling over the hundreds of wonderful quilts on display, a highlight for me is visiting other vendors, learning about new trends, gadgets, and books available. Last year, I learned a bit about some oil crayons that are used for rubbings and drawings on fabric, got to see the new bamboo batting that's just starting to gain popularity, and saw some little embroideries from Africa that were very special.

For those of us who are afflicted with this fiber condition, this is our time of passion in Paducah!


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