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I must say, the last time I attended MQS was in Overland Park, KS. It was big, and inspiring, and busy. Not now.

 

When MQS was in Kansas, the aisles were long with several vendors on each side. I am going to guess 15 per side, so 30 per aisle. There must have been 4 or 5 aisles too. Some vendors, such as Gammil would have several booths, so a little repetitive unless you love Gammil. But there was something for everyone, and so much to look at and so much to buy. I would walk through the vendor area several times, buying a lot of great tools. Then ooh and aaah over the quilts over and over again.

 

The rows of quilts would be just as long, and at least 5 aisles. So many catagories, it was so amazing to see all of the talent under one roof.

 

We arrived at MQS on Thursday at about 10:00 am. We walked through the vendor aisles just browsing, and making small talk with some of the vendors. We watched 2 demos and purchased a few items from the one stencil company represented. Then we walked through the quilts. There were some beautiful quilts and some very talented people had entered. It didn't take long to see them all.

 

We went back to the vendor side and purchased a little thread, and a set of rulers, and that was it. We left by about 12:30 pm. We didn't go back, there was no need.

 

I met a lady there that lived near me here in Kansas City. She went to the show is Wichita and in Cedar Rapids last year. She told me it had really gone down since the Overland Park location. I must say I was a little shocked. We walked away wondering how in the world they keep going. They do have a theme for next year, "Calliope" I think, so we will see what happens.

 

We always enjoyed the auction, but this year we did not enjoy it at all.

 

I have decided not to waste my time next year.

 

Maybe I was spoiled by the good ol days of MQS. Then I visited Houston last fall and it was sensory overload, but I loved it. I notice MQX is selling out of classes, so maybe I will give them a try next year. And I want to go to HMQS next year. Then there is always Paducah....a must for quilters.

 

Anyway, I just thought I would share a few thoughts on MQS.

 

Liam, if you read this, I was really looking forward to meeting you and I am so sorry we missed you.


Mary Beth 

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That was my impression the first year they moved to Wichita. No excitement, no energy, and I am sure I am going to alienate some people..but the same quilts winning that win everywhere else. I am not alone in that thought, either. My friend who is not a machine quilter, has said the same thing. The same quilts win all the time so why would anyone want to enter with zero chance of winning anything. And how many times can you get excited about the same quilt, no matter how nice it us. Quilt entries decline, attendance declines, vendors decline, classes decline. I will not attend MQS again if I have to go to any distance. Wichita was a huge disappointment and from those attending last year and this year it is not getting better. I plan to go to MQX if I can work that out.


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Mary Beth,

 

I don't think it is unique to MQS, I feel the same way when I go to MQX.  The shows aren't as big as they used to be and don't have near the amount of vendors.  I think this is because there are so many shows now.  I could easily do MQX in a day.  I usually take a few classes and then just use it as my down time.  

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I am in agreement with you all - very disappointed in MQS - again.  I did attend MQX in 2014 when it was in Springfield IL - not as scrimpy as MQS, but . . .  Not sure if I'll go over to Springfield this year or not - the class registration just opened up yesterday.

 

There are just too many shows - look how AQS has expanded their number of shows the past few years.  Here in Iowa, the AQS show is well attended, but I've noticed fewer vendors here as well.  They just can't afford all of the costs to participate in all of the shows. 


Norma H with Schultzi, my Blissed Millie - Circle Lord and Quiltazoid enhanced

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The internet is so big too.  You can go online and buy anything you want. You can watch You-tube all day long....thank you Mrs. You Tube where ever you are. Yes, there are a lot of shows. If you are on Facebook you see most of the details of the show quilts before they are in the show. Although it is fun to see them in person so you really get the "feel" of how awesome the quilting or piecing really is. So, maybe just go to the big shows once in a while.


Mary Beth 

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I went the first year it went to Wichita.  YUCK! In the blink of an eye, I was thru, and done.

 

Now to hear its almost the same?

They need to relocate it to a city where an INTERNATIONAL airport can accommodate everyone.

They want to keep it centralized, then they should either keep it in KC, or Omaha, NE.

Both have huge airports, several large hotels, convention centers, etc.

 

OH well, i'll join you if you go out west in the future!!


F55CA928B31BF9D50E35FB71F402EFB1.png Millennium/Circle Lord 402-450-8321 Designer of the 1/2" foot for Ult II's. 1sheributler@gmail.com

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We thought the AQS Show in Des Moines was rather skimpy last Fall, too............must be a trend........I took a friend who is a brand new long arm quilter and was raving about all the booths for this and that and what we could find for her, only to be disappointed that a lot of them weren't there.  

 

I also agree with the winning quilts being the same ones over and over and over..........they win at all the shows, so why does an amateur even bother with it?   It is expensive to ship, insure, enter..........I would love to see them have a category for "non-professional"........Not sure I will go back.


Linda B.       :rolleyes: 

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I have never been to MQS but I heard last year that it was not as big or nice as it had when it was in Kansas City and seemed to be heading downhill. AQS has so many shows, every show seems to be diluted. I know that AQS has pulled out of the Phoenix, AZ market and will not be returning. I agree with others that the same quilts win over and over and although they are gorgeous quilts, I want to see some new blood. I will not be traveling to any big show unless they offer lots of classes that I am interested in. By the time I pay airfare and hotel and meals, I am priced out of taking classes. Everything is just so expensive today!


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Sue in Phoenix, AZ
Millennium with IntelliQuilter
http://www.flickr.co...aciouscreations

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I think the folks putting on the show are not giving enough consideration to population. The Kansas City Regional show had huge attendance last year..to the point that parking was impossible opening day. The complaint about Overland Park was the distance from the airport to the show, and no places to eat within walking distance. You can't please everyone I guess. The regional show was awesome. Next one is 2017 and I am looking forward to it. We spent the day and had a great time. I didn't take a class, but many quality teachers were there.


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I will not be traveling to any big show unless they offer lots of classes that I am interested in. By the time I pay airfare and hotel and meals, I am priced out of taking classes. Everything is just so expensive today!

 

These are reasons they need to have the shows is larger cities that have international airports. You have more of a chance to get a decent air fare, so you don't spend all of your money flying. I heard someone say that AQS will not be in Des Moines after this year, but I cannot remember who told me this.


Mary Beth 

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Yes, I am with you ladies and gents.  I've seen shows shrink over the last couple years.  I've talked to vendors and they can't afford the huge fees for booths, especially the small quilt shops and specialty items.  I've set at lunch and heard over and over remarks about the same quilts winning at every show.  Some quilts even travel city to city with the show, especially the large ones (Mancuso).  Years ago when I attended MQX they were talking about making a "Masters" category, "Intermediate" and "Beginner"  so the average quilter had a chance to win.  I know a lot of great quilters who just gave up on entering their quilts.  I think just like everything else, prices have blown out of the sky.  For instance, I noticed the classes for the upcoming AQS show in Grand Rapids are around $80 to $100.   I can't afford classes along with an expensive hotel (even at show rates), parking, meals, travel, etc.  I have respect for the teachers who are making a living but really, $100 per student?  I probably pe'ed someone off with that one.  It's not only the quilt shows, but some of the other shows are heading the same way.  If you've attended the Sewing Expo, it's shrunk too.  It's sad because I really loved meeting people at the shows and having a really good time.  I'm not sure what the cure is, access, fees, products but they need to change something because things are slipping away to quickly.  I love the internet and YouTube but you can't beat a live class and feeling all the fabric and gizmos!


Connie
Port Huron, MI   48060
APQS Sales Rep and Educator
Millennium with Intelliquilter (IQ)

"Be a good listener, your ears will never get you in trouble" Frank Tygr


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Yes, I am with you ladies and gents.  I've seen shows shrink over the last couple years.  I've talked to vendors and they can't afford the huge fees for booths, especially the small quilt shops and specialty items.  I've set at lunch and heard over and over remarks about the same quilts winning at every show.  Some quilts even travel city to city with the show, especially the large ones (Mancuso).  Years ago when I attended MQX they were talking about making a "Masters" category, "Intermediate" and "Beginner"  so the average quilter had a chance to win.  I know a lot of great quilters who just gave up on entering their quilts.  I think just like everything else, prices have blown out of the sky.  For instance, I noticed the classes for the upcoming AQS show in Grand Rapids are around $80 to $100.   I can't afford classes along with an expensive hotel (even at show rates), parking, meals, travel, etc.  I have respect for the teachers who are making a living but really, $100 per student?  I probably pe'ed someone off with that one.  It's not only the quilt shows, but some of the other shows are heading the same way.  If you've attended the Sewing Expo, it's shrunk too.  It's sad because I really loved meeting people at the shows and having a really good time.  I'm not sure what the cure is, access, fees, products but they need to change something because things are slipping away to quickly.  I love the internet and YouTube but you can't beat a live class and feeling all the fabric and gizmos!

I agree 100% Connie!  I know small business owners and they struggle just to recover the booth fee.  There is so much work that goes into vending at a show.  I had no idea until I saw a picture of a good friends of mine, that showed everything she shipped to the show!  I was amazed.  So add on their travel, shipping and booth fees and they really need to sell a lot to make it worth the effort.  Sometimes it is because they just have the same stuff as others but other times that isn't the problem.  I think buyers have gotten pickier as well or go home and order online.  It is expensive to go to a show even if you keep your costs to a minimum.  I love seeing the quilts up close and personal but I don't want to go to show after show only to see the same quilts up close and personal.  I limit myself to usually only 1 or 2 shows a year and only one that requires hotel and lots of driving.  It seems to me that there also hasn't been a lot new on the market, don't know if that is good or bad.  I tend to be a more frugal shopper now and only get  those things I know that I will use and not be in the moment where it looks really cool and maybe something I will use.  As far as class fees I think the internet is competing with that as well.  You can "buy" a online class and watch it over and over and over.  I don't have much of a problem paying $40 for a 2 hour lecture but I don't tend to go for the hands on classes that are in the hundreds now.  It isn't that they aren/t worth it but you don't know for sure what you will get, how the teacher will teach and I don't prefer to quilt on the spot.  I'd rather go to the lectures, doodle and then come home and play on my own in my own time but there have been times where the class was horrible and I felt like I wasted my $40.  The only exception to that for me was Deloa's Camp Mowanna!  Oh how I wish that would come back.  I loved that because the machines were available 24 hours a day and you could go practice any time you wanted.  The teachers were there 24/7 as well and oh it was an extra special treat!  I spent a lot of dollars going to those camps but I find that I learned the most there and got a lot of bang out of my buck.  It was 3 - 4 days of nothing but quilting, food was served, lodging was right there and you could really get to know the other quilters.  It was a no frills place, nothing fancy, no tv's in the rooms even but I could have cared less.  The food was usually good and I didn't have to cook it :-) and you could just enjoy quilting.  I would like to see some of the other teachers come up with this type of event.  I know it was a ton of work to put together and bring all the machines and set them up.  The teachers go through so much to come teach and I sure hope that doesn't go away!  I try to support the industry because I remember when you couldn't even find anything on how to longarm!  I just think right now the market is a little saturated.  

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Yes, camps like this would be perfect. I was trying to think of a way to do a quilters retreat where we could have a room full of quilting machines and we could go a play and learn from each other. I guess it would work if a dealer has a room full of machine and would be willing to give us a deal for renting the room for a full day or weekend. We all know how to use the machines, so it is not like we would have to go through the training classes.

 

Yes, Lynn, the Kansas City Regional Quilt Show was huge. I think it was as big as MQS at it's best. The aisles were so crowded we could not get down them. The quilts on display were beautiful. It was hard to find a parking place. It was so great for a "regional show". They are having this show every 2 years, which seems reasonable. This gives us time to make a really great quilt to enter. The vendors were great too. Some local shops, and something for everyone. I am excited for the next one. They have a list of vendors going now. I have tried to encourage APQS to get in there, but I don't think they get it. I notice that Fabric Recycles will be there, and they are the local dealer, but I really think we need to have THE APQS there. The other machine companies are represented by the main company. I love APQS and just want to see them represented like everyone else.....I guess if they are not worried about it, I should not be either.


Mary Beth 

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Well said Heidi.  The last LA classes I paid for were at MQX in Providence RI, there were around around 75 in the IQ class, I didn't get much out of it because the instructor talked to the front row and the projector screen was the wall so everyone could see, however the wall was not a good screen due to marks and being blurred.  Another class I attended there were so many students we had to sit outside the room, not good either. 


Connie
Port Huron, MI   48060
APQS Sales Rep and Educator
Millennium with Intelliquilter (IQ)

"Be a good listener, your ears will never get you in trouble" Frank Tygr


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These are really interesting reads on the "show markets" of the USA.  I have wishlist of shows I would like to attend and participate in classes as well as send one of my own quilts too.  A very expensive exercise for the travel to get to the US from Australia - but I am still saving my dollars.

 

Australia has only one major Machine Quilting Festival every two years.  My first time attending I was disappointed that APQS was not represented, I had only become a dealer a few months before it.

 

Two years ago I took my machine to represent APQS and have not received a sale from it.

 

This year I am again taking my APQS machine so it has a representation.  I am also vendoring my Glide threads.  Vendor space is $3000. Vehicle Hire $2000 petrol for vehicle $1500.   Return Distance to venue 2500 miles so  4 nights accommodation on the road with meals $1000.  Five nights accommodation and meals at Festival $1250.  So I am out of pocket  at least $8750.  I do not receive any funding from either APQS or Filtec whose products I am representing.  My husband accompanies me so at least I can do some classes and he can do the heavy lifting. 

Will I do it again in two years time? Depends on the sales -  it is a shame that this is the only Machine Quilting Festival in Australia and I know the organiser is also looking at the costs before committing to do it again.


Lyn Crump   Hand Guided 2013 Millenium Blissed and Gliding    APQS Sales Rep SE Qld Australia   www.busyquilting.com.au   On Facebook and Instagram as BusyQuilting


Attitude is everything - So pick a good one!

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oh goodness....i have enough "stuff" and fabric to last me for years,  I am older, My feet hurt when I am on them too long, I don't sleep well in hotel rooms...Quilt shows were fun for a few years...now I am good if I last a half a day at the vendors.  Our state shows are trying to interest younger folks about quilting...I have more supplies than I can possible use!!!!  But it is fun to meet folks and see the new stuff.  Retired now....so only go to nearby shows.  There will be one in town next year and then no more for several years.  So I will enjoy the one next year but then...I guess I will actually have to just work on piecing and quilting...Gasp!!!!  Lin

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I was also disappointed in the number of quilts in the MQS show - many were beautifully done, of course, but I would have loved to have seen more. I would guess that MQS won't be in a larger, more accessible location until the number of entries makes it worth their while. When that happens, hopefully the number and quality of vendors will increase as well. 

 

I know that my quilting isn't of the caliber of most of those artistic quilts, but there were a couple of categories that any of the "rest of us" could enter - one is hand-guided overall and the other is bread and butter. I read on another forum that the theme for next year is Kaleidoscope, and the bread and butter category requires either stack-and-whack or one-block-wonder quilts. They can then be quilted with an overall pattern or light custom (no SID). I don't think there's any theme requirement for hand-guided overall. Hopefully more info will be coming out from MQS soon. Entering your own quilts is one way you can help the shows grow and get back to the quality or stature you're used to.

 

Confession time: While I did enjoy seeing the artistry of the quilts in the MQS show, I much preferred the local guild's show on second floor. There were over 250 quilts, and it was a pretty good show. Granted, I'm a little prejudiced since that's my guild. It was, though, a nice addition to the MQS show. 


Louise

APQS Millennium

www.mypiecefulcorner.blogspot.com

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I went to the International Quilt Show (Quilts Inc) in Rosemont Illinois this year.  I hadn't been in years.  I was so very happy with the show this year, though.  It's always got a good variety of traditional quilts, and art quilts--hand quilting to long arm quilting.  And there were plenty of vendors (though no APQS this year).  This year the main display was filled with art quilts of every description.  Loved it!!!  And the SAQA folks had a tremendous show as part of this too.  All in all, I was impressed.  I took one class, the cost of which included my admission for the day.  One day was enough, but only because I was so inspired I wanted to get home and create! 

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Confession time: While I did enjoy seeing the artistry of the quilts in the MQS show, I much preferred the local guild's show on second floor. There were over 250 quilts, and it was a pretty good show. Granted, I'm a little prejudiced since that's my guild. It was, though, a nice addition to the MQS show. 

 

Yes, the local quilt show was very good. I loved reading the stories on the vintage quilts. Every quilt has a story! That was a great idea to have a local show along with MQS. I don't know what the answer is to the low turnout at the shows. I think maybe if they cut out some of the shows it would be better. Like 1 MQS, 1 MQX, 1 AQS. I understand they are trying to make it in locations for everyone to attend, but if they have them in larger cities I think it would help.


Mary Beth 

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Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

http://marysnutshell.blogspot.com/




 

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I wonder how many quilts are turned away and the reasons, other than the obvious.


Connie
Port Huron, MI   48060
APQS Sales Rep and Educator
Millennium with Intelliquilter (IQ)

"Be a good listener, your ears will never get you in trouble" Frank Tygr


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It was my experience from talking with those who entered MQS..if you entered, you were in. 2 years ago they were begging for entries and even extended the deadline. A customer of mine was entering his art quilt that I quilted for him. The quilt made it into the DesMoines show, was juried into MQX but couldn't go because of a conflict with DesMoines, and went to MQS. I know MQX did not jury some quilts into the show. I think they plan the number of quilts they have room for first, then accept or reject based on that..not a percentage.


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Back in the day they would publish a list of "sold out" classes. I noticed they did not do that this time. I get messages from MQX on Facebook, and they were posting some classes were sold out. So either their class sizes are smaller or they have a larger group of people attending.


Mary Beth 

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Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

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Well, I am lucky to live in the Houston area (except for the weather) and get to attend the "Big show" every year.  I went to MQX last year in Iowa and was horribly disappointed.  I specifically went to be able to get into some classes as I was a brand new Millie owner and wanted to learn from a few of the teachers there.  I was shocked at how during class the teachers would have friends come in and talk with them, the same people seemed to get all of the attention  as they were "groupies" or something of the teacher.  I will not go back.  

 

Also, my friend, a very good quilter, entered a quilt in the "bread and butter" category.  It was to be exactly that, quilters bread and butter, what you do quickly to earn money etc.  The quilts were so crazy over the top quilted that she was not  even a contender.  I stood at that area a long time and listened to peoples comments and 99% would say "wow, that's their bread and butter quilting"  It saddens me to see these things happening.  

 

Anyway, just my experience.  If you find yourself in the Houston area late October, I hope you go to International Quilt Festival!


Joan

Houston, TX

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I agree 100% Connie!  I know small business owners and they struggle just to recover the booth fee.  There is so much work that goes into vending at a show.  I had no idea until I saw a picture of a good friends of mine, that showed everything she shipped to the show!  I was amazed.  So add on their travel, shipping and booth fees and they really need to sell a lot to make it worth the effort.  Sometimes it is because they just have the same stuff as others but other times that isn't the problem.  I think buyers have gotten pickier as well or go home and order online.  It is expensive to go to a show even if you keep your costs to a minimum.  I love seeing the quilts up close and personal but I don't want to go to show after show only to see the same quilts up close and personal.  I limit myself to usually only 1 or 2 shows a year and only one that requires hotel and lots of driving.  It seems to me that there also hasn't been a lot new on the market, don't know if that is good or bad.  I tend to be a more frugal shopper now and only get  those things I know that I will use and not be in the moment where it looks really cool and maybe something I will use.  As far as class fees I think the internet is competing with that as well.  You can "buy" a online class and watch it over and over and over.  I don't have much of a problem paying $40 for a 2 hour lecture but I don't tend to go for the hands on classes that are in the hundreds now.  It isn't that they aren/t worth it but you don't know for sure what you will get, how the teacher will teach and I don't prefer to quilt on the spot.  I'd rather go to the lectures, doodle and then come home and play on my own in my own time but there have been times where the class was horrible and I felt like I wasted my $40.  The only exception to that for me was Deloa's Camp Mowanna!  Oh how I wish that would come back.  I loved that because the machines were available 24 hours a day and you could go practice any time you wanted.  The teachers were there 24/7 as well and oh it was an extra special treat!  I spent a lot of dollars going to those camps but I find that I learned the most there and got a lot of bang out of my buck.  It was 3 - 4 days of nothing but quilting, food was served, lodging was right there and you could really get to know the other quilters.  It was a no frills place, nothing fancy, no tv's in the rooms even but I could have cared less.  The food was usually good and I didn't have to cook it :-) and you could just enjoy quilting.  I would like to see some of the other teachers come up with this type of event.  I know it was a ton of work to put together and bring all the machines and set them up.  The teachers go through so much to come teach and I sure hope that doesn't go away!  I try to support the industry because I remember when you couldn't even find anything on how to longarm!  I just think right now the market is a little saturated.  

Oh Heidi!  Yes, Camp Mowanna was the BEST!!!!  Learned allot there and met you and Jamie and Deloa and others!!!  I took my machine there for them to use.  They had the frame, just had to take my head.  (that helped me with my cost for the camp)  That really was a great time!  And I have to say, that I LOVE the quilts that I see winning at the shows and the ladies doing them seem very nice.... but they are at allot of the shows and I have to say that it does make me stop and think...there's no WAY I can compete with those!  So why spend over $100 to get mine entered and shipped and such! 


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Linda Gibbons

Cabin Creek Quilting

APQS Freddie (aka, Gracie ll)

Hand guided

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