NEWFANE -- Jan Beckert has a few UFOs sitting around her house.

But not the spotted-in-the-sky, abduction kind. In her case, UFO is quilter lingo for "unfinished object."

Beckert said her quilting is often slow-paced and casual. She'll pick up the fabric in her free time and start sewing.

"I've always been a lot more slapdash about it," Beckert said.

One particular quilt, made of bright purple, magenta, orange and yellow hand-dyed Indonesian fabrics, has earned her a spot in one of the largest quilt shows in the country -- the 23rd Annual American Quilter's Society Quilt Show and Contest. She'll head down to Paducah, Ky., from April 25-28 to take part in the contest.

She entered by submitting photos of the quilt to judges. Now selected, further judging will take place at the show and Beckert is hopeful that she'll do well.

"It's exciting just to be in the big show," she said.

The quilt that earned her the spot in the show Beckert started in 2002 and completed late last year, she said.

According to a press release from the American Quilter's Society, Beckert will join 412 others in their annual contest. Her's was chosen from a field of 742 quilts. The top prize, the Best of Show award, earns the winner a $20,000 cash prize. In addition, the winning quilt is entered into the society's museum.

Beckert entered the quilt in another contest, The $100,000 Quilting Challenge, and made it to the semi-finals but did not earn Beckert a prize.

But Beckert said her quilting is by no means a business for her, since she has never sold a quilt she's completed. Mostly the finished products end up going to relatives, and because she's got a lot of relatives to cover, she's still got some work to do.

The quilts that don't go to family members like her children and her father, go to newborns or even charity.

Since she started quilting seriously around 2000, she's completed somewhere around 20 quilts, by her estimate.

Much of the thrill, she said, is the process of purchasing the fabric from which the quilts are made. These days, she said, there are thousands of places on the Internet where fabric of all kinds can be bought.

But that's not as fun as going to a store and feeling the fabric before you buy it, she said.

Now, Beckert said she's got enough fabric to last her a lifetime. Quilters have a term for this as well, they call it "SBLE" -- stashed beyond life expectancy.

Another resource, she said, is quilting groups. Since moving to Newfane from California in 2005, she hasn't been able to find a "quilters' guild" like the one in Santa Barbara, Calif., but she still can get together with a few other women in a church basement to quilt and chat -- the "Sew Whats" meet in a Newfane church once a week.

Beckert, who grew up in Reading, Mass., took her first quilting class in 1990. She slowly got more involved before becoming more of a serious quilter 10 years later.

Beckert said the world of quilting is often overlooked. Despite that, there are a few national and international quilt shows that attract hundreds of quilters.

Along with the American Quilter's show, there are also large contests in Houston and Chicago every year.

"It's something you wouldn't even know about if you're not into quilting," she said.

The fabric of the quilting community is woven throughout the globe, she said.

"It's a big scene," she said. The shows are held in anything from large expo centers in huge cities to state fairs, libraries and church basements.

"There are an awful lot of people doing quilting out there," Beckert said.