Fall is in the air, the leaves are spectacular, and fairs, festivals and quilt shows abound. Today we’re taking a quilters’ road trip through the Ozarks!
Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Show
For a destination quilt show, head to Springfield and enjoy one of the larger shows in the United States September 27–29 at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds. The Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Show will have more than 600 quilts on display along with “The Cherrywood Challenge Van Gogh Dutch Exhibit.” This traveling exhibit includes 80 quilts inspired by the life and works of Vincent Van Gogh.
In addition to lectures by Shelly Burge and Dawn Heese, guild members will tell the story of quilts they own that are more than 50 years old at a daily antique bed turning. Enjoy shopping at a large vendors mall and the guild’s boutique and enter to win the opportunity quilt Patches of Blue, which more than 45 guild members created.
Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium
Before you leave Springfield, allow plenty of time to visit the new Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium. Named “USA TODAY’s 2017 Best New Attraction,” the sprawling venue is a monument to conservation. Visitors can view incredible wildlife displays, hand-painted murals, and aquariums housing fresh and saltwater creatures. The two-story Shipwreck room even has a display where you can touch stingrays.
For a fun family adventure and impressive foliage viewing, head south to Branson, best known for lavish country music concerts and shows. Kids of all ages will love the different theme parks, such as Silver Dollar City, and the family-owned Promised Land Zoo. The World’s Largest Toy Museum—yes, that’s its name—has a collection of more than one million toys that date as far back as the colonial days. The Titanic Museum, whose owner co-led the second expedition to the wreck, houses artifacts valued at more than $4 million.
38th Annual Quartz, Quiltz, and Craftz Festival
Continue further south into Arkansas and check out the 38th Annual Quartz, Quiltz, and Craftz Festival October 12–14 in Mount Ida. Rock hounds will love the extensive gem and mineral show and have a chance to find buried treasures at the World Championship Quartz Crystal Dig and the K–6 Kidz’ Dig.
“Bring your mountain bikes,” says Gail Pitts-Holloway, the Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce Manager. “We have three trails that are rated ‘epic’ by the International Mountain Bicycling Association and only a handful of locations enjoy that rating. Nearby Lake Ouachita is a wonderful place to explore by bike.”
History buffs won’t mind the 30-minute drive to Hot Springs, which is known for great antique shopping and preserved Victorian buildings. The entire downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Regardless of your interests, this is the time of year to get outside and explore. Hit the road and combine your love of quilts with the fall foliage. It just may surprise you where you end up.
ZJ Humbach has been a professional longarm quilter for more than 14 years and has been quilting over 20 years. She’s the owner of Dream Stitcher Quilt Studio in Colorado.
Discover more fall quilting inspiration from McCall’s Quilting!