If you are a quilter, you have likely heard of the AQS Quilt Week in Paducah, KY. Some of my quilting friends have asked me to tell them about my trip so that they can scout out what to do when they visit Paducah for Quilt Week. If you are not a quilter, then you probably wonder what drove me to take a vacation to Paducah, KY…
What is the history of quilt week? How did it begin?
A bit of research might lead you to the American Quilter’s Society website. This is what I learned. AQS was established by Meredith and Bill Schroeder in 1983. The first Paducah, KY quilt show was held in 1985! It boasted 5000 visitors. Since then it has grown to around 37,000 visitors. This quilt show has been running for 32 years!
Now, do the math. If each visitor is there for 2 days minimum, spending $100 or more a day, then the economic impact is 7.4 million dollars. Other sites have indicated that is is more like an economic impact of about 25 million for quilt week. WOW!
During that time, AQS has expanded to other states as well. Every show boasts a plethora of gorgeous fiber workmanship from all over the world!
My friend Kayla Walker and I decided to meet in Paducah this year for a week of bucket filling exploration of the legacy quilting show. We were “all in” for the week and stayed at the lovely Paducah Inn bed & Breakfast. It was only about 1 mile from the historic downtown area. Since we booked less than a year out, ALL of the hotels were already 100% booked. The B&B had a couple of openings, but only if you were willing to book for the entire week! We figure a week might be a stretch, but we would give it our best!
This is the home that we stayed in. Our room was upstairs in the “Presidential” suite.
It tickled me how the home was set up, for I grew up in a house that must have been from the same time period. Take a look at my childhood home (courtesy Google Earth).
The biggest difference?
The ceilings are a lot lower in Kansas!
It was more than just shopping and quilt eye candy for us. We took the week one step further, and set up our machines at the B&B! This allowed us to spend some great sewing time together in the evenings and to spend some time planning our retreat we are hosting later this year.
Next up? The Awards Ceremony. The Best of the Best…