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Very interesting comments about the quilt shows.  I used to love going to shows - Houston, Paducah, MQX (went to both New England locations, depending on the years), AQS in Lancaster, Mancuso in Oaks, Hershey (can't remember if AQS or Mancuso) and now rarely go to the shows.  I do try to go to the one in Oaks, although somewhat less exciting each year, but it is local.  No long drive or flight and no hotels.  But, I never seem to like their classes, with the exception of Lisa Calle's class that I took last year.  

 

I don't think APQS has been represented there (in Oaks, PA) in a few years, although I might have the shows mixed up.  I do see Innova's represented "everywhere."  In fact, most of the longarm quilters in my area have switched to Innova's.  Any thoughts on this?


Sandra Darlington

Darlington Quilts

2005 APQS Liberty, Circle Lord Enhanced

sandradarlington@aol.com or

DarlingtonQuilts@Gmail.com

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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,

MQX  has never been to Iowa as far as I know. Their shows have been in Portland, Oregon, Manchester New Hampshire and Springfield Il . I have attended several of the shows in each city.  In my humble opinion, they put on the best machine quilters show.  We were in Manchester this spring and I attended 6 classes.   The owners of the show are always on the show floor making sure everything is going as it should. There is  always a good slate of recognized teachers with  drawing classes ( which I love to take) for a very reasonable amount. Hands on classes are not for me, and too expensive.   They also have very interesting special exhibits.  I think this organization really strives to put on a quality show.  Their shows are Manchester, New Hampshire in the spring and Springfield, Illinois in the fall


FFE992D1FB7A16BDBE9FDE1627DBA781.png ? Chris Landis

2001 APQS Millennium

Quiltizoid

www.facebook.com/pages/Feathercreek Quilting by Chris Landis

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Just a note from a teacher's point of view - at both MQX and MQS the price you pay for classes doesn't all go to the teacher. A hefty chunk goes to the show - a larger percentage at MQX than MQS. As teachers, we say how much we want to get per student then the show tacks on their percentage. Teachers also have to pay their own expenses at both these shows, so unless a decent number of students sign up for the classes, it's just not worth our time to teach classes. We spend a lot of time preparing handouts, samples and coming up with class ideas long before the show starts and then if the teacher also quilts for customers, they loose time away from their business. I held classes one year at HMQS but only had abut 6 students so it just wasn't worth submitting classes again.

I do enjoy going to the shows just to meet up with other quilters and see the quilts. MQS has 2 categories that are great for anyone to enter - edge to edge and Bread and Butter. They have tightened the rules for bread and butter so you won't see over the top quilting there, and if you do, that quilt will not get a ribbon. The edge to edge or overall category quilts must be hand guided - no computer work allowed. There were only 3 quilts in that category this year, which was very disappointing. It should have had lots of entries. Also not one person entered for the rookie prize.


Helen Baczynski
powerquilting.com
I/S and iQ support

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Joan,

MQX  has never been to Iowa as far as I know. Their shows have been in Portland, Oregon, Manchester New Hampshire and Springfield Il . I have attended several of the shows in each city.  In my humble opinion, they put on the best machine quilters show.  We were in Manchester this spring and I attended 6 classes.   The owners of the show are always on the show floor making sure everything is going as it should. There is  always a good slate of recognized teachers with  drawing classes ( which I love to take) for a very reasonable amount. Hands on classes are not for me, and too expensive.   They also have very interesting special exhibits.  I think this organization really strives to put on a quality show.  Their shows are Manchester, New Hampshire in the spring and Springfield, Illinois in the fall

 

I am so sorry, I was talking about MQS, not MQX.  Thank you for correcting me.  OOps


Joan

Houston, TX

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I was a classroom helper for Alex Anderson at the Quilting and Sewing Expo in Des Moines, Ia. I had Alex to myself for about 10 minutes waiting for students to arrive. She told me that she also got paid per student and the show took a part of the student fee for show expenses. A nationally known teacher has to work hard at developing new and exciting things to draw the attention of us quilters!

I am a big fan of MQS and have gone every year since I bought my long arm. I have also won some ribbons at the show. I enjoy entering the fabric challenge. Sometimes I win and sometimes I don't but I still enjoy the challenge! I enter some of my quilts that I know don't stand a chance of winning a ribbon just because I want to see them hanging at a show with other stunning quilts!

I enjoy seeing what Claudia Pfiel makes to enter in the theme category every year. I believe she makes 1 spectacular quilt a year and reveals it at MQS every year. She also travels and teaches classes and sells long-arms in Europe. She is a fun person and talks to her students at the shows during her down time! I love looking at her quilting, piecing, and creativeness. She inspires me to learn more, prefect my technique, and try new things. Can I make a quilt at her skill level? Probably not. It is just beyond me.

I also love to see her quilts and some other national quilt artist at other shows. I would be very disappointed if I went to a national show and only saw beautiful, ordinary quilts. I love the quilts that I make for my grandchildren, but their purpose is to keep them warm. They are not works of art or competition pieces.

I will keep supporting MQS and AQS-Des Moines which are fortunately within driving distance. I can only dream of being able to go to the shows that are famous but far away. I just hope that quilt shows can withstand the financial ups and downs of the economy and quilters opinions.


Jennifer Bernard

My quilted jackets are on a competition journey around the country

gathering pretty ribbons (sometimes)!

Quilting with my Millennium and playing with my Quiltazoid!

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I loved MQS  several years ago, when I first started quilting too. There were rows and rows of vendors and quilts. The teachers were great back then, as they still are. I did not take classes this year. I have taken so many classes, that I can be a little more choosy about what I pay for. It is too bad that the show doesn't let the teachers keep the money. I mean, just the teacher's name should bring the people, the people bring the money. The hands on classes I attended, back in the day, had about 20 or 30 people in attendance. The lectures, a whole lot more. I love teachers like Karen McTavish, Claudia Pfeil, Marilyn Badger, Myrna Ficken, Dawn Cavanaugh, just to name a few. They are all so eager to teach, and everyone in the room was eager to learn. It was electric.  But of all of those, only one was in Des Moines this year. If they don't make money at these shows, how can a teacher that lives here afford to travel to, say, France or Australia to teach? I really think it is more than them not making money. I just think there is a fly in the ointment somewhere.  I went this year mostly for the vendors. It took me a couple of hours to walk through the vendors and the quilts, then back to buy a few rulers and stencils and I was finished. I was so excited to go, thinking it would be like it use to be, and I was blown away at the show. I don't enter quilts, because I know my quilts are not worthy, but I love, love seeing what others enter. I take pictures of designs to practice when I get home. I love being with all the people. I just didn't get that this year.


Mary Beth 

Powered by 2009 Freedom

Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

http://marysnutshell.blogspot.com/




 

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I am teaching at the Australian show this year. I'm combining it with a vacation, which is a good reason to go. The show will simply be a bonus. The first time I taught there, I was honored by being invited, which had benefits. This year I submitted class proposals just like everyone else. When I've taught in England , it's also been combined with vacation and family visits.

I've also noted how many of the teachers I took classes from way back when, no longer teach at shows. I think that has more to do with time passing and people considering retirement rather than anything else. This is my last year teaching because I've decided it's just time. I'll still probably go to MQS because I enjoy being there. I keep trying to encourage others to teach iQ classes - there are many users out there now and I know some are talented enough to teach.

With the rise of online classes, perhaps these big conventions have had their day?


Helen Baczynski
powerquilting.com
I/S and iQ support

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MQS is held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in May. AQS is held in late September in Des Moines along with the annual Des Moines Area Quilters Guild show. I think we are getting the shows confused Some of the long arm teachers are teaching a few classes now at AQS. Some of the classes are on domestic machines and a few are on Handi Quilter long arms. The teachers that can are branching out to be able to reach more quilters.


Jennifer Bernard

My quilted jackets are on a competition journey around the country

gathering pretty ribbons (sometimes)!

Quilting with my Millennium and playing with my Quiltazoid!

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Okay, funny thing happened today. I was in a quilt store in Olathe, KS today and overheard a woman at the counter saying, "I was in Cedar Rapids a few weeks ago, you know, at the pathetic quilt show....."  When she finished I asked if she was at MQS, she rolled her eyes and said yes. She is on the board of The Kansas City Regional Quilt Show. She was very disappointed in MQS too, so not just me.


Mary Beth 

Powered by 2009 Freedom

Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

http://marysnutshell.blogspot.com/




 

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I heard very similar comments at the biggest quilt shop in the KC area about the show when it was in Wichita. You would think somebody would send out surveys or something to try to determine what the problem is. I know I am not going again.


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Okay, funny thing happened today. I was in a quilt store in Olathe, KS today and overheard a woman at the counter saying, "I was in Cedar Rapids a few weeks ago, you know, at the pathetic quilt show....."  When she finished I asked if she was at MQS, she rolled her eyes and said yes. She is on the board of The Kansas City Regional Quilt Show. She was very disappointed in MQS too, so not just me.

 

I live just a couple hours from Cedar Rapids and was all excited thinking I might go...........but things happened and I didn't.............glad now that my plans were interrupted.   Haven't decided if  will go back to the AQS Des Moines show in the Fall either.  Other than going with friends and having a fun day with them, it was really disappointing last year.


Linda B.       :rolleyes: 

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When MQS was in Wichita it was so much worse. Cedar Rapids has been much better than Wichita but still not like it used to be. Remember when all the APQS dealers all dressed up to match the theme? And there used to be many booths that had Gammill machines. Has the fact that some of the major machine companies have changed their owners had anything to do with the changes in the shows? Bernina was a big sponsor and had their new longarms in some of the hands on classes. I was pleased to see Dave Hudson, The Pattern Man, had a booth selling pantos and there was a stencil booth, which was well stocked. I went to the awards ceremony and it was disappointing to see so few ribbon winners there.


Helen Baczynski
powerquilting.com
I/S and iQ support

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I think internet sells, and Youtube videos of hands on techniques have probably caused some of the vendors to stop coming. Personally, the Youtube videos are very helpful when you pay $40 for a ruler and get it home and not know how to use it :) As far as classes, I am not sure. I would still take some classes if they were what I wanted. Since I have been away, I am very rusty. But I know what to do. I know there are new techniques to learn, and there are really great teachers at the shows. I am not saying the teachers were not good, and I don't mean to offend anyone. It is the vendor mall, and the quilt show that I am stunned by. I hope they do something to perk it up.


Mary Beth 

Powered by 2009 Freedom

Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

http://marysnutshell.blogspot.com/




 

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I, too, used to go to MQS every year and looked forward to it every time until it moved to Wichita.  I attend the first year at Wichita and have never gone back.  I was so disappointed.  Of course the last few years it was at Kansas City, it had been dwindling down with not as many vendors and didn't seem like nearly as many quilts.  MQS was where I got to see new long arm gadgets and accessories and got to purchase my long arm thread in bulk at great prices.  Now I just order online and pay extra shipping charges.  There used to be excitement in the air and you definitely spent more than a day going through the whole thing.  At Wichita I found myself saying, "Is this it?"  I do miss seeing the people that I've met at these big shows, but there's always forums or FB that seems just easier (and cheaper) to be able to keep in contact.

 

To be honest, my friend and I just attended a "local" quilt show (an hour and a half away) and was disappointed this year (which we never were in the past).  In the past, it was elbow to elbow trying to get down the aisles of the vendors and you were always in competition with someone else trying to get a closeup view of the quilts on display.  This year was nothing like that.  Of course they had also raised the price of the admission to get in.  Three ladies behind me went up to pay and threw a fit of the admission price and turned around and walked away without going in.  There were other disappointing factors to me/us that I just won't mention.  

 

I'm just wondering if it's all due to the cost of everything nowadays.


Cindy Thompson

(My perfect quilting combo...Milli and Quiltazoid)

Chrome Top Quilts

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I, too, used to go to MQS every year and looked forward to it every time until it moved to Wichita.  I attend the first year at Wichita and have never gone back.  I was so disappointed.  Of course the last few years it was at Kansas City, it had been dwindling down with not as many vendors and didn't seem like nearly as many quilts.  MQS was where I got to see new long arm gadgets and accessories and got to purchase my long arm thread in bulk at great prices.  Now I just order online and pay extra shipping charges.  There used to be excitement in the air and you definitely spent more than a day going through the whole thing.  At Wichita I found myself saying, "Is this it?"  I do miss seeing the people that I've met at these big shows, but there's always forums or FB that seems just easier (and cheaper) to be able to keep in contact.

 

To be honest, my friend and I just attended a "local" quilt show (an hour and a half away) and was disappointed this year (which we never were in the past).  In the past, it was elbow to elbow trying to get down the aisles of the vendors and you were always in competition with someone else trying to get a closeup view of the quilts on display.  This year was nothing like that.  Of course they had also raised the price of the admission to get in.  Three ladies behind me went up to pay and threw a fit of the admission price and turned around and walked away without going in.  There were other disappointing factors to me/us that I just won't mention.  

 

I'm just wondering if it's all due to the cost of everything nowadays.

 

 

I can imagine the cost for Vendors is the biggest issue............Price for their space is probably going up and up.........hotels, food, gas............all very costly............they would have to sell an enormous amount of product to come out ahead...........AND the price to get in the door keeps going up too...........just like everything else...........we pay more and more for less and less.......... :(


Linda B.       :rolleyes: 

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I am sure cost is a factor, but a slight raise in admission fees would not keep me from going to a show. Throwing a fit and leaving over admission fees is pretty childish, I think. How much had the admission increased?? Lack of vendors is a problem for me. Even when I went to Houston, I went with a shopping list and booth locations of my "must haves." Then there was the "might be nice" list and the "investigate and evaluate" list. I did the same at MQS in Overland Park. Since my main interest is the quilting, I don't attend a lot of small guild shows. Travel to the big shows is expensive. I just don't want to spend that money when classes are available on line and I am unlikely to find the newest gadgets there anyhow.


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Just a note from a teacher's point of view - at both MQX and MQS the price you pay for classes doesn't all go to the teacher. A hefty chunk goes to the show - a larger percentage at MQX than MQS. As teachers, we say how much we want to get per student then the show tacks on their percentage. Teachers also have to pay their own expenses at both these shows, so unless a decent number of students sign up for the classes, it's just not worth our time to teach classes. We spend a lot of time preparing handouts, samples and coming up with class ideas long before the show starts and then if the teacher also quilts for customers, they loose time away from their business. I held classes one year at HMQS but only had abut 6 students so it just wasn't worth submitting classes again.

I do enjoy going to the shows just to meet up with other quilters and see the quilts. MQS has 2 categories that are great for anyone to enter - edge to edge and Bread and Butter. They have tightened the rules for bread and butter so you won't see over the top quilting there, and if you do, that quilt will not get a ribbon. The edge to edge or overall category quilts must be hand guided - no computer work allowed. There were only 3 quilts in that category this year, which was very disappointing. It should have had lots of entries. Also not one person entered for the rookie prize.

 

 

Helen, it's so nice to hear your perspective, as a sort-of insider. I proudly received YOUR teacher's ribbon, which basically saved my experience. I attended MQS this year, and it was my first time to a quilt show. I just got my longarm last August, and I cherry-picked THIS quilt show, because I read that they have a rookie category and it fit my schedule. I emailed the show organizers before registering, to confirm that I qualified as a rookie (I had been quilting on my domestic machine for a couple years previously), and Laura Wertwign assured me, via email, that I was indeed a qualified rookie. This was the actual factor that convinced my husband to agree that I should go this year (even though the expense of airfare from Canada, etc. wasn't in our budget). It would have been smart for me to save my pennies and go some future year, but then I would lose my rookie status. So I registered online, checked all the necessary boxes, booked myself solid with classes, purchased airfare, lined up childcare for my two toddlers, and shipped in my quilt! I made sure to plan my travel so that I could arrive in time for the awards ceremony on Wednesday evening, because I was anxious to see the winning rookie, to see the work of my contemporaries. To my disappointment, they did NOT award a rookie prize. I emailed Laura that evening and asked why they skipped that prize, and she told me that they didn't have a single rookie entry. And I pointed out to her that I MYSELF was rookie entrant! I checked my online profile, and I indeed was listed as a longarmer for less than a year. I reminded her that I had received her confirmation of my rookie status through email ahead of time. I even referenced being a new longarmer in my little paragraph description of my quilt. And her response was "we have had issues with the entry program". (What a shame that I should be penalized for it!) She then told me that she would be returning my quilt through Postal Service, rather than FedEx, after the show, because FedEx is more expensive to Canada. And I replied to her that I had also checked the box during my online registration process to indicate that I would be picking up my quilt in person. Apparently the registry system messed that up, too! I assured her that I had arranged my travel plans to keep me in Cedar Rapids through Saturday evening, so that I could pick it up in person. But when I arrived on Saturday I had to wait quilt a while and got a few exasperated looks from the gals staffing the quilt-pick-up, because they had to go dig my quilt out of the pile of to-ship quilts. A third gripe, I had an overlap in class scheduling. On Thursday evening of MQS, I pulled out my class list to remind myself what I had signed up for the next couple days, and only then did I realize that I had accidentally forgotten to remove a Krista Withers class I had temporarily considered and scheduled it right on top of a Sue Patten class. I was scheduled for two classes at the same time. I took the opportunity to say hi to Laura Wertwign in person after the banquet Friday evening and told her about this. I admitted that it was my fault for forgetting to remove the unwanted class, but that, gee, it would have been nice if the online registry system would have stopped me from doing this. It seems like this would be one of the important benefits to HAVE online registration. Laura said that the registration system was supposed to have caught that and again told me that there had been lots of screw ups with it, but that was it. No offer to refund my $53, not actually even an apology. I've been an event manager before for organizations I belong to, and I didn't want to make waves and cause a big stink, because I know those ladies had lots on their plates. But all these technical glitches were a real spoiler to this event for me. Particularly the Rookie category. I remember seeing some of my heroes' photos of themselves with rookie ribbons. I would have been so jazzed to show it to my family and friends, and especially my husband. And the seeming lack of concern by organizers added insult to injury. I'll save up for a couple years and try an MQX next time.

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Carrie:

 

After reading your experience at MQS, I wonder why anyone would attend their events in the future.  Just as I am sure you could protest a winner in the rookie class for someone who had been longarm quilting for years, MQS should have re-evaluated their quilts after being notified that you had indeed entered as a rookie.  You can only be a rookie once.  

 

MQS should have also refunded your class registration fee as MQS was the one that allowed you to double schedule a block of time.  Having never been to a MQS event, I will carefully consider ever listing one or taking classes at one in the future.  I do not see myself joining the IMQA either because of your comments.  I am sorry that MQS took advantage of you in more ways than one.  Thank your for sharing you experience.  As the old adage goes; "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on you."  Thus we should all be careful with MQS and their classes, regardless of the instructors involved.  I am sure I can find the same instructors at other venues.  

 

Have a great day.

 

Cagey


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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You had a terrible experience, Carrie and there are no excuses for it. Even though you spoke to several people, I would write a letter or e-mail to MQS repeating what you've said here. They need to be reminded and they will be grateful for the feedback.

I've had problems with their quilt entry forms in the past - had to use a different browser in order for them to get through, but they seem to have that sorted out now. However, the problem still hasn't been solved for everyone it seems.


Helen Baczynski
powerquilting.com
I/S and iQ support

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I saw on the MQX page for the upcoming Springfield IL show that the MQS and IMQA (not related to MQX) were being dissolved. Someone had a screen shot of an email they received. Lots of quilters were pondering the reasons, and I think a lot of them have been mentioned in this thread. Quilters are like everyone else - it seems our disposable income is shrinking, so we have to be sure to spend our money on things we REALLY want. In the 1990's, a new gadget might cost $15.00, so it wasn't a big deal if it only had one use. Now I see gadgets going for $60, and there is only one design you can make with many, so I will not buy them. The vendors at the quilt shows are not making the money they used to earn, so there are fewer at most shows. I can't afford to travel halfway across the country three or four times a year for a show, so I usually only pick the ones I am positive will not disappoint me. I'm sure the vendors feel the same way. 

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Glad I got to go this past May, it was my first show, and I guess might be the last now.  Well I sure hate to see it go by the wayside - if only because I had free lodging with an Aunt & Uncle there in Cedar Rapids ;)


kat in indiana

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