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Pacific International Quilt Festival: Celebrating Teamwork…and Flying Solo

The buzz is building and the crowds are gathering…

 It’s almost time for…

The Santa Clara (CA) Convention Center will be buzzing when PIQF opens its doors on October 13.

This year, the Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF), one of the most popular quilt shows organized by Mancuso Show Management, celebrates its 20th anniversary! Running from Thursday, October 13, through Sunday, October 16, PIQF XX promises to be nothing short of spectacular. Over 800 quilts and works of wearable and textile art (many of them award winners) from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and North America, will be on display, and 300 merchant booths will be waiting to tempt you with the best in fabrics, notions, machines, wearable art–in short, everything for the quilter, artist, and home sewer. A busy and varied teaching schedule offers over 60 workshops and lectures, presented by an international roster of renowned instructors, including Jennie Rayment, John Flynn, Gloria Loughman, and Laura Wasilowski. Once again, the Santa Clara Convention Center (greater San Francisco Bay Area) is hub of the action.

Diana McClun and our own Laura Nownes

Psst! Christie, Jennifer, and Darra here: We are especially excited about one particular feature of this year’s show. Among its 17 special exhibits will be Side Kicks: The Grand Finale, celebrating the beloved team of Diana McClun and (our very own) Laura Nownes and their 30-year collaboration as teachers, authors, pattern designers, seminar facilitators, and friends. The exhibit follows their journey from their first collaborative effort, and features important quilts they’ve made through the years.

The Big Tumble, one of the first quilts from Diana and Laura's pattern line, From Me to You. Pattern available through Laura's website or etsy site.

If, by some unlikely chance, neither the names nor the faces are familiar, you may recognize one of the best-selling quilt books of all times: Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! Many who teach beginning quiltmakers use this book–authored by Diana and Laura in the 1980s and still in print–as a class text. For many of us, it was our very first quilt book.

Until Diana’s retirement earlier this year, Diana and Laura met every Monday to fuel and foster their collaboration on quilts, patterns, books, and other creative ventures. While the professional partnership has ended, the friendship continues. Not long ago, the pair resumed meeting each week, not as business partners, but for “just for fun.”

Blue Bamboo, another Diana and Laura collaboration. Pattern available through Laura's website or etsy site.

 Although Diana has retired, Laura remains as busy as ever. In addition to blogging with us at See How We Sew, teaching classes, making instructional videos, and running online web and etsy sites, she continues to design and market patterns under the From Me to You name. She will have a booth (#634) at the PIQF merchant’s mall offering patterns (including three new ones), kits, favorite notions, and demos. Be sure to stop by and say hello!

For more information about PIQF, including show hours; admission to show floor/merchant’s mall; special exhibits; descriptions and fees for lectures and workshops; and directions to the show site, visit their website here.

‘Til next time, happy stitching.

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