Saying goodbye to an institution
Indian Summer Quilt Show & Conference
is no more
Kim Baird with Virginia Dambach
The Indian Summer Quilt Show has been in my life longer than my children have.
The QUILT SHOW
In 1980, West Aces Shopping Center wanted to host a quilt show to attract crowds. They got in touch with the infant Quilters’ Guild, just getting organized and on our feet. We agreed to put on a show, and an 11-year relationship was born.
Until 1990, QGND held monthly meetings at the West Acres Community Room, on the lower level. This room was also the staging area for our annual Indian Summer Quilt Show. I think the name was coined by founder Helen Anton.
A quilt show is never a small project, and this one required volunteers in white gloves to patrol the mall 10 or 12 hours each day. Sticky-fingered children with cups of Coke and chain smokers were the least of our worries—too many quilt admirers couldn’t resist touching and feeling the displays.
The original show featured 100+ entries in 17 categories. It included two non-judged categories: Invitational and Heirloom. Ribbons were awarded for first, second and third places in each category and there were $25 cash prizes for Viewer’s Choice, Best of Show, Best Use of Original Designs, Best First Quilt and QGND award. Entry fee was $2 per quilt.
Those years at West Acres were pre-computer. Quilts were brought in with forms, separated into piles, and judged category by category. We didn’t know what was coming ahead of time; we didn’t have a hanging plan. The list of entries, makers and prizes was typed, by category, on an IBM Selectric. We were usually done hanging by midnight. The most coveted award was the Guild Choice Award.
At the center of the mall, near the (now removed) fountain, we had a quilt in the frame to demonstrate, and we sold raffle tickets.
It was glorious and we loved it – all eleven years of it.
In May of 1982, the Dakota Quilters Bonanza was the first convention sponsored by QGND. It was held at the Biltmore Motel on Main Avenue at I29. There was a small quilt display, vendors, classes, a banquet and a style show.
The convention moved to Grand Forks for 1984, then to Bismarck. Back to Fargo, Doreen Speckman headlined our March, 1988 convention at the Kelly Inn downtown.
The final spring convention was held in 1990 at the Moorhead Days Inn. There were 157 registrants, vendors and a banquet.
SHOW & CONFERENCE
In 1991 the quilt show moved to the Holiday Inn, and was combined with our convention to form the Indian Summer Quilt Show & Conference. Barb Bunnell was the chair that year, and in 1992.
Attendance at the 1991 show was 1,041, plus there were 297 registrants and 7 teachers for the conference. 117 quilts were in the show. This was a year of firsts. The first year of our Bodacious Bazaar Booth, the Quilt Scavenger Hunt, informative signs on each quilt, the first year we charged an entry fee and the first year with a catalog. It was glorious and we loved it. And we grew and worked, and grew some more providing 20 years of tradition, quilt education, volunteer and community participation, comradery, and satisfaction with a job well done. It was glorious.
In 2012, the ISQSC was moved to the Fargo Civic Center. Holiday Inn prices had become too steep for us. The Radisson Hotel supplied meals and some classrooms. Although we worried about the transition, keeping our attendance up, and all the details that change entails, we did it. And it was still glorious.
Unfortunately, in 2015, building projects on City Hall and the Civic Center made its use impossible, and we could not find a suitable substitute venue at short notice. For the first time in 35 years there was no Indian Summer Quilt Show. Even though we thought a new venue had been found for 2016, changes beyond our control made the Veteran’s Arena unsuitable. We were beyond bummed.
The Quilt Show is dead. Long live the Quilt Show.
coming soon: Metro Quilt Expo
Indian Summer Quilt Show is cancelled!
ISQSC 2016 Cancelled Due to Homecoming
This past week it was confirmed that West Fargo High School has rescheduled their homecoming game and activities to September 23 and 24, 2016, the same days as the Indian Summer Quilt Show and Conference.
Our venue, Veterans Memorial Arena, shares the parking lot with the high school and football field. The homecoming fans start arriving on Thursday to secure parking, and school buses take over the parking lot on Friday and Saturday. This date change causes major issues with parking, security and getting people to the quilt show and conference.
We pride ourselves on a long history of successful quilt shows and conferences, and wish to keep the integrity of ISQSC intact. With the issues we face, we believe the quality of our show and the experience for our vendors and participants will be compromised.
After much deliberation and with no other suitable venues available, the Indian Summer Quilt Show and Conference Committee and the Quilters’ Guild of North Dakota Board of Directors have made the very difficult decision to cancel the show and conference for 2016.
Although we regret this cancellation, we do plan to continue with classes by the French General. more information here
-Muriel Richardson & the Indian Summer Quilt Show and Conference Committee
Best of Show Small Mariner’s Compass Marilyn Lidstrom Larson
Best of Show Large Blooms of Baltimore Friendship Jacqueline Willms