I’ve been home from Austin for a little less than a week and am still basking in the afterglow of QuiltCon. It was an amazing 5 days. Actually, that’s an understatement. Attending QuiltCon confirmed that the modern quilting community is where I belong. Having been an artist/designer all my life, I’ve been a member of different design communities. While I’ve always sort of fit in to these other communities, QuiltCon felt like home.
I’m still processing everything I experience and learned at QuiltCon, but here are some of the big highlights:
1. Being a SuperVolunteer rocked! Wednesday I spent the day hanging, steaming and labeling the quilt show. Not only was it amazing to get a sneak peak of the show (rule #1 of being a volunteer—no photos until the show officially opens), but I got to meet amazing people. The MQG staff, board and volunteers are fantastic. It was also completely surreal to meet people I’ve only followed online previously. Plus, during my volunteer hours I got to be a classroom assistant for the lovely Lizzy House! Oh, and the day before she found out, I met and volunteered with Kathy York. I was lucky enough to be sitting next to her at the Awards Ceremony the next morning when she won Best in Show for her quilt “I Quilt”. See it here: http://www.quiltersnewsletter.com/blogs/insideqn/2015/02/21/top-winners-at-quiltcon-2015/
2. The workshops were great! I think I took just the right amount of workshops—1 full day and 1 half day. After a crazy morning at the Awards Ceremony (see below), improvisational piecing with my old clothes and the ladies from Gee’s Bend was just what I needed. It was also a happy accident that on the last day (after 4 long days), I was signed up for Carolyn Friendlander’s hand applique class. Very chill ending to the conference and “savoring every stitch” as Carolyn would say.
3. The lectures I attended were awesome. Meg Cox gave simple tips on how to be a better quilt photographer. Angela Walters gave quilting advice (biggest take away was just jump in—”A finished quilt is better than a perfect quilt top. No one snuggles with a quilt top.”) Bill Kerr reinforced that Details do Matter (a topic near and dear to my heart). Carolyn Friendlander talked about her background, formal education training and how both inspire her quilt and fabric patterns (something I can relate to). If that wasn’t enough, the ladies of Gee’s Bend gave an emotional, inspiring and motivating keynote address (yup, my eyes teared up a number of times—good thing modern quilters are super generous and carry tissues).
4. I had three quilts in the show… and one of them won FIRST in the Small Quilts Category. I received an email the night I was flying down to Austin telling me that I won something but it wasn’t until the Awards Ceremony on Thursday morning that I found out what. It was completely surreal and unexpected. To add to the insanity, the same quilt sold the next day. I was heartbroken at first—the quilt now has extreme sentimental value. But… knowing it went to someone that really loves it makes me happy. Hopefully one day I’ll find out who purchased it. In the meantime, it’s even more motivation to make another version of it. I started kicking some ideas even before it made it into the show.
Check out all of the award-winning quilts at: https://themodernquiltguild.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/congratulations-to-our-2015-quiltcon-winners/
5. I was impressed with all of the Charity Quilts from around the world! Check out what local modern quilt guilds designed and produced using the same color palette. The best part—they’re all being donated back in their local communities this Spring.
I can’t wait for QuiltCon 2016 in Pasadena, CA. I’ll still volunteer, take a workshop or two (1-2 were enough!) and attend a few lectures. With the size of the quilt show, demonstrations, networking and everything else going on, I honestly wouldn’t be disappointed if I couldn’t get into any workshops. My favorite parts of QuiltCon was just being around the quilting community, hearing about how different modern quilters got into quilting, meeting new peeps who came from all over the world and being inspired by the work and the City of Austin.
Did you attend QuiltCon 2015? What was your favorite part?