I'm back! What a two weeks. I went from Austin to Naples to Orlando and then back to Chicago. I'm sorry things have been so quiet here on the blog for the last couple of weeks. I started my time away at QuiltCon and I thought it'd be fun to share some pictures and thoughts! (If you aren't tired of reading them on everyone else's blogs.)
Let's be honest, it was no hardship to trade subzero temperatures for 60's and blue skies. This was my second time visiting Austin and it is just a fun town - very easy to get around for a convention. I think I mentioned in my pre-QuiltCon post that I was only there for half the convention due to a family wedding...but I do feel like I squeezed a lot in during that time.
First things first, once again QuiltCon was super well done. I know absolutely nothing about planning a convention, but I am so impressed with how everything played out. I checked in on Thursday morning. There was a CRAZY and I mean CRAZY long line, but once the kiosks opened it moved really quickly and I was up in my first class of the day with plenty of time to spare.
My first (and only) class was embroidery with Alison Glass. Alison set up this giant frame and showed us embroidery stitches super sized so everyone could see. SO SMART!
Then we all got to work on our projects while we chatted. It was sort of like sewing social time and I loved every minute of it. Very relaxing.
I spent some time in lectures, and the rest of the time on the floor. I really focused my attention on the quilts. And there were so many awesome quilts to see. It was pretty overwhelming (in the best way possible).
Best in Show: i Quilt by Kathy York
Most of the quilts I saw did not use a standard grid layout. I think if your goal is to have a quilt in this show next year, that should be a strong hint as to what you might want to consider submitting.
Deconstructed Lonestar by Amy Struckmeyer
I noticed a ton of matchstick quilting. Another hint, hint I think.
The Rabbit Hole by Nydia Kennley
I'm a huge fan of Nydia Kennley's quilts. Above you'll see her with her award winning improvisational quilt, The Rabbit Hole. I watched this one come together on Instagram - you must follow her if you have an Instagram account! The quilting alone. Wow. It's matchstick quilting, a mix of different colored thread, with some hand quilted straight lines mixed in as well.
Tessellation 3 by Nydia Kennley
Lots of solids (yay!). That's probably a surprise to no one. :)
Emergent by Kari Vojtechovsky
Far Left: Spiced Chai by Katie Clark Blakesley
Third Quilt from Left: Freeflow by Lee Heinrich
Fourth Quilt from Left: Star Bright by Faith Jones
A personal all time favorite of mine, Improv Double Wedding Ring by Natalie Sabik, was on display. What a treat to see this one in person.
Improv Double Wedding Ring by Natalie Sabik
Overall, I loved the show - it was inspiring, informative, and well run. There was even a QuiltCon app with schedule information, a floor layout map, directory, etc. The only one thing I would change for next time...I'd love to see some row numbers hanging from the ceiling. Because let's be honest. I can't read a map to save my life. And most booths didn't display their booth number anywhere, so I never knew where I was or how to get to my goal. I also am pretty sure I missed half the quilts because I spent a lot of time lost. :)
After Austin I flew to Florida for a few days. Part of this time was spent relaxing poolside with my one and only purchase from QuiltCon - The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously by Sherri Lynn Wood. This book is beautiful. Just trust me and go buy it. I'm sure I'll be doing a more in depth review of it soon on the blog.
QuiltCon will now be an annual show. 2016 will be held in Pasadena, California and 2017 in Savannah, Georgia. Maybe we can beg our way into a future year in the middle of the country? Although who am I kidding? No one wants to visit Chicago in February! :)