It's beginning to look a lot like...QUILT WEEK!

As Paducah gears up for Quilt Week, I thought I would revisit a post I wrote last year to introduce the rest of Kentucky to the event that preoccupies my little neck of the woods. - SSH

There is one event the entire year revolves around. There is one event every Kentuckian around me loves but also dreads. The tourists. The crowds. The traffic.

The Kentucky Derby?!?!

Nope! That's for you central Kentuckians. Over here in Western Kentucky, the event of the year is the AQS Quilt Show. Starting early this week, the streets of Paducah will start to fill with quilters from near as far (seriously, FAR, as in Japan far) and really live up to its name The Quilting Capital OF. THE. WORLD.

The Quilt Show transforms the entire town. I will never forget the first year I moved back. I walked into my favorite coffee shop downtown only to find the front had been filled with fabric bolts of every color. Coffee shop/Fabric store! Only during the Quilt Show.

Some less enthusiastic citizens complain about The Quilt Show. These are the people who have never actually gone to the Convention Center and taken in the beauty and artistry that is competitive quilting. These are the people who prefer to frown over the slightest change in their routine and giggle at the ladies in their quilted vests. These are the people who don't even go down town the entire week for fear of being confronted by someone not from Paducah!

These are not my people.

I'm very lucky to have my own quilting tour guides every year. My husband's parents run Planet Patchwork, a popular quilting website, and have been coming to the Show for years. (That's how I knew Nicholas and I were meant to be. He took me to the Quilt Museum on his first visit to Paducah and showed me his father's endorsements in the front of all the quilting books.) They show me all the best shops and shows. We eat at the church quilting luncheons. It's a blast to be a foreigner in your own town.

So, as the rest of Kentucky gears up for a little horse race, Paducah will be living large with the quilters. If you're not from around here, I encourage you to come by. And if you are from Paducah and have never embraced the Quilt Show in all its glory, it truly is your loss.

~ Sarah Stewart Holland

Reason #2 to come visit

So, the last reason I gave you to come visit was kinda gross...fascinating but gross.

Then Lydia wrote her awesome tutorial and I was reminded of the real reason you should come to Paducah. Such a good reason I ranked it #2! (#1 being ME...of course)


Paducah is Quilt Capitol of ... wait for it... the WORLD!

We have a Quilt Convention. We have a Quilt Museum. We have lots and lots and lots of quilts.

So, what's the big deal you ask? A bunch of blankets. Who cares?


Quilts aren't just blankets. Quilts are ART and until you've stood inches from tee tiny stitches which are not only exactly the same size but were done by hand.  Then you may not look down upon the art of quilting.

It's not just the incredible skill that is required.

(Side note: Upon graduation from college, I decided to make my now husband a quilt. I spent an insane amount of money on fabric for a quilt that ended up being about the size of a crib sheet and was pushed to tears in frustration. I've all but blocked the entire memory.)

Real quilters create incredible tableaus that put color and shape together in ways you can't even imagine.
The quilts themselves are beautiful. They are unique. They are definitely worth a visit.

~ Sarah Stewart Holland