This past weekend was QuiltCon, a first-of-it's-kind, Modern Quilting show put on by The Modern Quilt Guild in Austin, Texas. It was so.much.fun. I sit down and think about all the work and planning that went into creating a show like this from scratch. Organizing vendors, sponsors, quilts, teachers, speakers, registration, ticket sales, parties, set up, break down. Just imagining the logistics makes my head spin! The organizers did such a professional job - I just want to start off with a little shout out to them and offer them a huge THANK YOU for giving us all a wonderful weekend.
I left from Chicago on Thursday morning. This was my third time in Texas but my first time in Austin. I was really appreciating the 60 and 70 degree temperatures! It's amazing how quickly you can adapt back to warm weather in the middle of winter.
I feel very fortunate to have friends in the modern quilting community that I've met in person, from my last two years attending The Sewing Summit. This was like a huge reunion for many of us, including my roommates Lee and Katie who I adore. And even better, I was able to meet a lot of "online" friends that I have been in bees and swaps with and many, many readers of my space here!
After arriving Thursday afternoon, I spent some time over at the show checking out all the quilts. I'm not sure I can adequately express how exciting it is to be at a show where all the quilts represent a style that speaks to me. I took a LOT of pictures.
I know I'm going to leave names out, but I'm going to do my best - please forgive me! I'm hoping there will be a listing of all the quilts and the artists on a site soon and I will update if so. (There is a winner list here.) There were quilts by Lee Heinrich, Katie Blakesley, Krista Fleckenstein, Kati Spencer, Rossie, Carolyn Friedlander, Elizabeth Hartman, Thomas Knauer, Shea Henderson, Jacquie Gering, Katie Pedersen, Katie Scairrino, Monica Solario-Snow, Victoria Findlay Wolfe (Best in Show!), Angela Walters, Catherine Redford, Rachel Hauser, Angela Pingel, Liz Harvatine, Cinzia Allocca, Brigitte Heitland, Alison, Jodi, Karen Anderson Abraham, Elizabeth Dackson and little ol' me.
The QuiltCon Challenge Quilt, made by several members of Modern Quilt Guilds across the country.
There was also a huge display of quilts by Denyse Schmidt.
Friday I was lucky enough to take the class Composing a Quilt by Anna Maria Horner. Just hearing her speak about her techniques and inspiration was a dream come true for me. She was funny, sweet, inspiring...everything that she appears to be on her blog. It was really a huge honor to be in her class.
Friday night was the Baby Lock 80's Party. Pretty sure these pictures say it all.
Saturday I took two classes. Free Motion Quilting on a Long Arm Machine with Angela Walters, and Textile Printing with Lotta Jansdotter. Angela was wonderful - great sense of humor and she just has a way of explaining her techniques that makes them seem possible for even us newbies. It was fun to try the machines...um, I was definitely a first timer!
Lotta was also very sweet and a great teacher. I loved hearing about her background, how she got started printing in a little storage unit. Definitely proof that talent and hard work can make you a success. I also got to sit with my former online friends, now real life friends, Violet and Krista in that class, which was the icing on the cake for me.
I didn't do a ton of shopping, but I did pick up some Liberty of London quilting cottons, a couple patterns from Anna Maria Horner's class (one is the Art Student Tote that I suddenly MUST make after seeing Holly's), and Liberty Love,Alexia Abegg's new book. I'll be doing a whole separate post on that one, it is so awesome.
Saturday night after dinner, Kim, Lee and I went exploring and stumbled on a facial hair party/competition and the infamous 6th Street which I can only compare to the atmosphere of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. I'm going to let Kim share about what occurred THAT evening!
Sunday I wandered down to the South Congress area before heading to the airport. Lots of cool shops and great food. The weather was in the 70's and sunny. My feet hurt by the end but it was a perfect afternoon.
Some final thoughts...
Exciting Moment - Finding out people from Martha Stewart Living were there taking pictures. I hope there is a magazine feature in the future!
Biggest Regret - I didn't get to take one of Penny's paper piecing classes. Really kicking myself after seeing the adorable projects coming out of them. Plus Penny is the sweetest person you will meet.
Thoughts on Austin - Fun city, great weather in the winter, lots of facial hair, lots of food trucks, somehow convinces everyone to get a tattoo? (not me!)
The next QuiltCon will be in two years. I'm not sure what city, but I hope to be part of it again in 2015. xox to everyone I met!