Inside the award-winning grounds of Ashton Gardens among the flowers and blue skies, hundreds of quilts hung in one of the largest outdoor quilt shows in the world. A slight breeze caught the beautiful quilts outside while inside, classrooms were abuzz with creativity and learning.
Hosted by Thanksgiving Point and Riley Blake Designs, this annual event will be a draw for quilters, crafters, and makers across the globe. Karen Ashton, Founder of Thanksgiving Point/Ashton Gardens stated, “”If you love gardens, then you would come for that. If you love quilts, you would come for that. But you are going to get here and find that the air is alive with color and beauty.”
Many industry “rock stars” joined for lectures, classes, and demos. With two class sessions during the day, the classrooms were full of excited makers and many classes sold out. Projects ranged from intricate handwork with Sue Daley teaching English Paper Piecing in the Gardens, to Stacy West of Buttermilk Basin showcasing the fine art of appliqué techniques using wool. With a generous sponsorship from Baby Lock, classrooms were stocked with machines to teach curved piecing with Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms or gave participants the opportunity to sew with Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company. In addition, Handi-Quilter sponsored the event with several long-arm quilting machines to allow attendees the opportunity to learn and develop their skills with long-arm quilting.
Each class attendee walked away with finished projects or a new understanding of techniques from their class. For attendees who chose not to take a class this year, there was plenty to see and do in the Gardens. In addition to the galleries of quilts, there were hourly lectures, demos and trunk shows included in the price of the garden ticket.
Several of the scheduled Trunk Shows took place in the amphitheater in front of the largest man-made waterfall in the Western hemisphere – truly no other backdrop could be replicated at any quilting event. Showcasing their newest collections, we were pleased to hear from several designers including; Gerri Robinson of Planted Seed Design, Janet Wecker Frish of Joy Studio, and Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet.
With Riley Blake Designs celebrating their 10 Year Anniversary – this event also played host to an Anniversary Celebration. At the Presentation Tent, Cindy Cloward, owner of Riley Blake Designs, displayed a “quilts through the decade” show. From Riley Blake’s first fabric line to present day. This celebration was capped off with a special sweet treat for those attending.