All quilter's know Paducah, or have at least heard of it. Our mecca for quilting. At one time it was it-not much in the "really big show" description of a quilt show. Now, there are several Quilt Festivals, put on by Karey Bresenhan. A lovely woman from Houston, that started a revolution, of sorts for us quilters to enjoy our craft even more.
I've been to several Houston Quilt Festival shows, as I lived in Houston for 11 of my growing/wonder years for quilting. I took lots of classes from some of the biggest names in quilting, and cherish those techniques and inspiration I picked up from them. Not to much has changed with quilting, you still stitch and you still combine colors the same as before. Today, it's the notions and the machines that impress and pretend to make our lives easier, but, they don't always.
To contrast the 2 quilt events, Paducah is a town in Kentucky, that puts on a quilt show. When I say a town puts on a quilt show, I mean just that. The whole town trots itself out in the Spring for quilt related activities. Everyone gets in on the act. The Rotary Club has it's quilt show, the AQS puts on the show at the Executive Inn, the Mall has it's own quilt show. There is a veritable plethora of quilt shows around this gorgeous town by the river.
The Quilt Festival shows, Houston, Chicago, and elsewhere, are all self contained in a huge, I mean huge convention center, and it doesn't matter how big the venue, it still feels like you are crowded!. But, the vendors have got to be the winners in these events, cause there appears to be many happy quilters feathering their fabric/notion nests. If you are in the market for a sewing machine, this is where you want to be, because, almost every representative from every company will be here and your walking time is greatly reduced, compared to Paducah.
The Paducah quilt show, will have the same things the Quilt Festival shows have, they are just more spread out and finding your way around the event can be confusing-by the pool, upstairs, downstairs-it's a maze of quilty goodness.
In the end both are not to be missed and if you are going to either, book early for the nearest hotels to the event