|Reporting in from the Vermont Quilt Festival. Yesterday I spent four and a half hours there looking at sewing machines primarily.
I think the parking and access to the event were really excellent. The venue is nice because there are huge rather new exhibition buildings, complete with air conditioning, penteous parking, well controlled, and facilities for food. However, the food was not really the best. I hope next year there are more choices and better setup for eating without leaving the exhibition area - inside and out. The area this year was rather small and the choices limited.
There were hoards of dedicated quilters from as far away as Oregon, South Carolina and Maine, not to mention Canada. All the ladies, they were chiefly ladies, were enjoying the beautiful fabrics, the plethora of notions, and the demonstrations of such arcane items as irons costing in the hundreds (Euro Steam System).
I saw the Statler and Gammill quilting machines quilting away by themselves using a computerized onboard program. I saw so many wonderful quilting cottons, and so many absolutely lovely and elegant quilts.
This year there were over 400 quilts on exhibit. They represented 21 states and 2 Canadian provinces. The smallest quilt was 36" in perimeter and the largest was 452". The youngest entrant was 7 years old!
All this was background for me though because my chief motivation in attending was to touch, look at and pet the sewing machines. There were four area dealers there representing Bernina, Janome, Pfaff, and Viking. I spent time in each vendor area, and saw several machines I had never seen. Actually, I had never seen any of these recent models except for the Vikings.
The Viking dealer was selling the Sapphire 830, she didn't have the 850 there. "Show price" $999. The Janome 4900 was also "show price" $999. The Bernina dealer and the Pfaff dealer were also represented and had special pricing.
The size of the quilt festival surprised my friend who went along, though each year there is advertising for the festival and the size of this event is apparent from the literature you can get from their website.
With admission came a lovely program which is actually a 168 page book, and which describes the quilts, the teachers, and the vendors with addresses, lists of events, classes, and a complete directory to locations of events and vendors. Of course I completely failed to check this out before I plunged into the fun! Probably because I had no idea what the event would be like and how one would navigate.
I highly recommend attending next year if you are able. Garment sewers can browse and buy machines, fabric, notions, cutting implements and probably more interesting items. The beauty of the quilts cannot be overstated.