Some of the nation’s top quilters are blanketing an auditorium in central Iowa with their best works this week. More than one-thousand quilts are featured at the American Quilter’s Society Expo in Des Moines. Society vice president Bonnie Browning says large cash prizes are being offered, including ten-thousand dollars for best-in-show. Browning says the judges consider an array of factors when determining the winners.
The judges will consider things like design, the use of color, the scale of the quilt and the sewing techniques used. The first expo of this sort was held in Des Moines last year and drew 24-thousand spectators and it’s hoped this year’s event will top that. Browning is a former Muscatine resident who now lives in Kentucky and she’s been quilting much of her life. She says the attendees have a lot in common.
She says 99% of the quilters being featured at the show are women, but they do have quite a few very good quilters who are men. Browning says most of the active quilters range in age from 45 to 65. She says quilting has a long tradition that’s been handed down from mothers to daughters to granddaughters.
“For our industry to survive, we have to involve young people and so there are different things that we do that involve school children to get them to sew,” Browning says. “Then the next age range is probably the young mother that’s making quilts and things like that for a new baby.”
There are more than 90 workshops, lectures and special events being offered during the four-day show, highlighting quiltmaking techniques, patterns, tools and entertainment. The expo runs through Saturday at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. For more information, visit: “www.AmericanQuilter.com“.