IF YOU GO
• What: AQS QuiltWeek
• When: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, Sept. 10-12, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13
• Where: Chattanooga Convention Center, 1 Carter Plaza.
• Admission: $14 per day at door, $12.60 online through 11:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8; two-day and multiday passes also available online
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Website: www.quiltweek.com
THINGS TO KNOW
• Appraisals: Certified quilt appraisers will evaluate new or antique quilts for insurance replacement or fair market value. Appointments are not necessary, but you can set a time by calling appraisal coordinator Misty Rowland at 270-898-7903, ext. 132. Walk-in appraisals will be in Room 11 of the Chattanooga Convention Center 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Cost is $50 per quilt, payable at check-in.
• Classes: For classes listing basic sewing supplies, bring the following: notebook, pen, pencil, paper, scissors, fabric scissors, needles, thread to match fabrics, straight pins, fabric marker (light and dark), thimble and paper bag for trash. Do not bring sewing machines or irons; they will be provided if class requires their use. Kit fees are to be paid to the instructor in class. No wheeled carts/bags/luggage are allowed in the vendor/exhibit areas.
• Parking: Parking is available in CARTA parking lots and garages and Republic Parking lots. CARTA's free electric shuttles hit their downtown stops (signs are posted) about every 7 minutes. Hours are 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Sunday. Parking will be available at Finley Stadium for $5 with a free shuttle to the convention center Wednesday-Saturday.
• Mobility rentals: Scooters, power wheelchairs and manual wheelchairs may be reserved by calling 1-877-245-6417. You may pay in advance or on-site. Rates vary from $30 to $50 per day to $80 to $150 for the week.
An estimated 12,000 quilting enthusiasts are expected to blanket the city next week as Chattanooga hosts its first AQS QuiltWeek.
The American Quilter's Society event, the first of three to be held in the Scenic City, will run Wednesday through Saturday, Sept. 10-13, at the Chattanooga Convention Center. The Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates the show's economic impact at $3 million in revenue.
Hundreds of quilts will be on display, including 200 submitted as entries in the Modern Quilt Challenge, says AQS marketing director Katherine Rupp. Unless Grandma was ahead of her time, you probably haven't seen quilts quite like these.
According to the QuiltWeek website, the Modern Quilt Challenge looks for quilts that break traditional rules with new approaches to fabric combinations, piecing, construction methods and motif quilting.
"It's always an impressive array of talent," says Rupp. The designs show "not just skill," she says, "but a part of people's creativity."
Many of the displays travel to the various QuiltWeek cities, but at least two of the other 10 exhibits will be unique to Chattanooga: "Cow Stampede," featuring creative and comical takes on bovine, and the sassy, fearless designs of the locally based BadAss Quilters Society.
Here's what to expect from the rest.
• Caohagan Exhibit 22 - Quilts made by women on Caohagan Island in the Philippines. They were taught to quilt by a Japanese couple, and their quilts now account for one-third of the remote island's income, Rupp says.
• SAQA Masters II exhibit - A fiber art show from Studio Art Quilt Associates. The 37 quilters included in the exhibition are considered masters of the art form, and their works encompass a broad range of fiber art techniques and styles, from realistic to abstract. They hail from all over the globe.
• Stitch Like an Egyptian - Appliqué art by two tentmakers from Cairo who fly in just for the show. Rupp says quilters accustomed to exacting patterns and precise measurements will be amazed by the artists' skill level, bold use of color and speed.
• New Quilts From an Old Favorite - Contest entries on loan from the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Ky. This year's pattern request was Carolina Lily.
• Pilgrim/Roy Challenge - Traveling exhibit featuring works in an invitational contest honoring two key figures in the development of the National Quilt Museum (Paul Pilgrim and Gerald E. Roy). The selected quiltmakers create wall quilts based on a designated set of fabrics.
• Quilted in Honor - Quilts made by celebrity designers in honor of America's military.
• Melody Johnson - Eye-popping art quilts by a prolific award winner who moved from the Illinois suburbs to rural Tennessee in 2007.
• AQS Authors Exhibit - Quilts by the people who literally write the books on quilting. Watch them at work, preview their newest books and get autographs.
Hobbyists also can attend dozens of workshops in every quilting style taught by world-renowned instructors and track down the latest patterns, fabrics, tools and technology from hundreds of vendors in the Merchant Mall. Walk-ups are welcome for the workshops, but online registration is recommended as class space is limited.
Contact Lisa Denton at email@example.com or 423-757-6281.
AQS QuiltWeek won't happen just downtown. Here are how other attractions and organizations will be celebrating quilts and quilters. Admission fees are required for some events. For more information, visit the Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau's website, www.ChattanoogaFun.com, or call the numbers provided.
• AVA Gallery (30 Frazier Ave.): "Needle & Thread" exhibition focuses on artists working with materials and processes often present in quiltmaking, paying homage not only to the beauty of a completed quilt but the thought put into the making of one, Sept. 6-Oct. 31. Opening coincides with Gallery Hop, 2-8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6. 423-265-4282, www.avarts.org.
• Bessie Smith Cultural Center (200 E. M.L. King Blvd.): Members of the Zuri Quilting Guild give a quilters talk at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11. Their quilts will be on display in the galleries Sept. 5-Dec. 5. 423-266-8658.
• Chattanooga Theatre Centre (400 River St.): "Gee's Bend" is a production based on actual quilters from Gee's Bend, Ala., who initially turned to quilting for comfort and creative expression but whose patchwork creations manifested as inventive abstract designs and modern works of art. Accompanied by traditional music, the play offers glimpses of family life in 1939, 1965 and 2002. Evening and matinee showtimes Sept. 10-21. 423-267-8534.
• Chattanooga WorkSpace (302 W. Sixth St.): "Quilts of Chattanooga" trunk show and exhibition showcases the piecing and quilting work of women living in the Chattanooga area, 3-8 p.m. Sept. 10-12. Meet the artists at Open Studio Night, 5-8 p.m. Sept. 12. 423-822-5750.
• Creative Discovery Museum (321 Chestnut St.): Grateful Threads quilting guild has assembled quilt squares sewn and decorated by children this past spring and worked them into two quilts that will hang at the museum through September, alongside other works by area quilters. Reception, 6-7:30 p.m. Sept. 11. 423-756-2738.
• Hamilton Place (2100 Hamilton Place Blvd.): Fifty quilts on display by area quilters with chance to vote on "Chattanooga Favorite." Plus VIP Shopping Night for AQS registrants, 6-9 p.m. Sept. 11. 423-894-7177.
• Houston Museum of Decorative Arts (201 High St.): Special exhibit by internationally known quilter Kaffe Fassett on view noon-4 p.m. Sept. 11-14 and other hours by appointment. 423-267-7176.
• Rock City Gardens (1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mountain): Quilts crafted by Rock City employees and families on view, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 10-14. 706-820-2531.
• Ruby Falls (1720 S. Scenic Highway): Variety of quilts on display in the lobby and other areas, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Sept. 10-14. 423-821-2544.
• Southern Belle riverboat (Pier 2, 201 Riverfront Parkway): Quilts made by local residents may be viewed in the gift shop at no charge Sept. 10-14. 423-266-4488.
• Tennessee Aquarium (1 Broad St.): Special quilt exhibition in River Journey building, with quilted pieces along the tour path demonstrating how nature has inspired artists from the Chattanooga Modern Quilt Guild. AQS attendees may present show badge or hand stamp for 10 percent off admission Sept. 10-14. Plus, after-hours event exclusively for QuiltWeek attendees and guests, 5-9 p.m. Sept. 12. 1-800-262-0695.
• Tennessee Temple University's Lee Roberson Student Union (Orchard Knob and Kirby avenues): A "Keeper of the Fire" exhibit from the Underground Railroad Secret Quilt Code Museum in Atlanta includes more than 35 quilts (eight from the 1800s), an 1863 Kentucky Military Institute blanket, West African textiles, dolls and artifacts. Open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekends, Sept. 6-17. $10 donation.
ALSO TAKING PLACE
• Chattanooga Market: (1829 Reggie White Blvd.) The midweek market, 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10, features a selection of arts, crafts, fresh foods and produce, plus cooking demonstrations by local chefs. The Sunday market, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, will showcase chefs in the Cast Iron Cook-Off. 423-648-2496.
• Chattanooga Symphony & Opera: (Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.) Beethoven's 9th Symphony opens the CSO's Masterworks season, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11. 423-267-8583.
• CSO String Quartet (Main Terrain Park, 1201 Broad St.): Outdoor performance 4-6 p.m. Sept. 12. 423-267-8583.
• Hunter Museum of American Art (10 Bluff View): A patchwork of music, yoga and art is stitched together 1:30-3 p.m. Sept. 13, with yoga instructor and conductor Kayola Dan and musicians from the CSO.