Quilters won't be the only the artists bringing their work to Paducah this week. To commemorate the American Quilter's Society's 35th anniversary, the organization has commissioned Mauro Castano, a baker featured on TLC's "Cake Boss," to make the world's largest quilt cake.
"I think it's going to be exciting for our quilters and just for fans of 'Cake Boss,'" said AQS Show Director Bonnie Browning. "Mauro is funny and fun and he's a real talent. This'll be huge.
"It weighs a couple thousand pounds so you can't be moving it once it's assembled. We had to get a specially-built table to be able to support the thing."
The cake will be a massive 4-by-8 foot cake with elements atop the cake -- including a faux sewing machine and other quilting and sponsor-related items -- bringing it to a towering 6 feet tall. The size will be the most challenging part of the bake for Castano, who said he's done cakes a little bit bigger on the show before -- but not many.
"We're doing a big, big cake and we've got to get all of this stuff on top of it. It's a tough one, but that's what we're going to do," the baker told the Sun in July. "We're very excited to have the opportunity to bake for this event and we're looking forward to finishing the cake when we get down there."
The cake will largely be created at Carlo's Bake Shop in Hoboken, New Jersey, where Castano is based, but it will need to be assembled in Paducah on Thursday morning after an 11-hour ride in a refrigerated van.
Castano has been to Kentucky a couple times but never Paducah and he's looking forward to seeing the quilters in action.
"It's a cool convention and the people are really into what they're doing. I mean, holy moly, look how many people are into this stuff," he said. "I don't really like big towns, so I'm expecting to have a good time down there."
Quilters and members of the public alike will be able to view Castano's creation Thursday in the atrium of the Julian Carroll Convention Center. From 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., those interested can participate in a meet-and-greet with the baker with a program of speakers, including local elected officials and sponsors of the convention, to follow from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
Members of the public will also be able to view the show inside the convention center for free between 1:30 p.m. and the close of the center at 5 p.m. that day.