Paducah prepares for a Quilt Week takeover


Reporter - Briana Conner
Photographer - Randall Barnes

PADUCAH, Ky. - This year's quilt week officially kicks off Wednesday, but quilters and vendors are already in Paducah setting up for the frenzy. The showroom floor at The Julian Carroll Convention Center has entries from 44 states and eight different countries. On Monday, they were getting everything ready to go.

Between the fastening, quilt hanging, and table clearing, Quilt Week vendors like Cheri Meineke-Johnson have their work cut out for them. "It's something that you plan for all year long to come to this show," she said. 

A Texas native, Meineke-Johnson is one of thousands coming from all over the world  to find out what Paducah has to offer. Executive Show Director Bonnie Browning said this year's show will more than meet their expectations.  "The quilters love coming to Paducah. The southern hospitality. There is nothing like this in any other show," she said.

That's why Meineke-Johnson is working overtime to make sure something about her booth stands out. She likes bling, and there's enough on her quilts and around her booth to blind you. She said it's a modern technique she loves sharing with other quilters. "As a vendor, I love visiting with the people and talking with the people. I love it. It's so exciting and so fun," she said.

That's the whole point of Quilt Week, and according to Browning, it's also what keeps quilters coming back. "The quilters consider Paducah to be Mecca. There is no other atmosphere like we have here in Paducah," she said.

This year, there are two new, international exhibits. One is from Egypt, and the other showcases techniques from four different countries.

The contest quilt winners will be announced Tuesday night at 5:30 at The Carson Center. They'll be displayed on the showroom floor at The Convention Center.