Monday, March 2, 2015

QuiltCon in Review

It's been a week since QuiltCon and I'm sure most of you are sick of seeing the photos and reading the posts (or at least that is how I end up feeling after Market!).  But for those of you interested in my experience, read on!

I arrived in Austin on Thursday, and waited in the airport to meet Jess from Quilt Habit for the first time!  We shared a shuttle to the hotel and a hotel room for the weekend.  It was so fun having a buddy from the very beginning!

Photo from Jess--taken in the Mod Corsage class, see Anna Maria Horner in the background??

After the hotel my first stop was the Massdrop booth to drop off my quilts.  It was so nice to finally put some faces to the people at Massdrop!  They gave me a swag bag and other goodies, and were generally really friendly and enthusiastic!

Standing with my quilts Flying North and Crystal City in the Massdrop booth at Quiltcon!

I only had one lecture on Thursday--Becoming a Better Quilter by Angela Walters. She is so charismatic and her stories were so relatable!   I thought it was a very good lecture, and followed the description from the catalog pretty well.

After the lecture I had dinner with the Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts group (minus Liz, who was unable to attend)!  It was so fun meeting the group and getting to know them in person.  Everyone's online personalities are so different than in person, and it was really interesting to get to know them on a different level.

After dinner we went to the Moda Party--which was at a private bar/club a mile from the hotel.  I like walking, but I have never been interested in clubs, so the dark and loud environment was completely out of my comfort zone.  And it was fairly unexpected, as the description for the Moda party was extremely brief.  But I did get to hang out and chat with Yvonne from Quilting Jet Girl, wear our silly costumes with Sarah from Smiles Too Loudly and Kitty from Night Quilter, and finally meet Gemma from Pretty Bobbins and Jess from Elven Garden:

Posing with Gemma and Jess in the convention center!  What lovely ladies, with such charming accents :-)

On Friday I had an all day class with Ashley from Wasn't Quilt in a Day--we took Angela Walters' class on Dot to Dot quilting.  I was so excited to spend the day quilting on a long arm machine and learning new quilting techniques!  Also in the class was Janet from Simply Pieced--so glad to get to spend some time with her!

With Ashley in the Dot to Dot Quilting class, and I'm wearing my newest washi dress!

I kind of expected to be bored in this class because straight line quilting isn't my thing, but Angela's class format was really engaging and kept everyone active and interested--even during the afternoon slump!  We sat while she described and demonstrated a technique for a while, then got up to practice it on a long arm we shared with someone (Ashley and I shared, we didn't even have to elbow each other for our turn to quilt!).  

Quilting action shot of Ashley on the longarm!

Practicing making straight lines with a ruler.
Angela was also very encouraging of quilting what you like, so once I felt happy with the pattern or technique she'd shown us I'd add in some FMQ to make them feel a little more "me":

Dot to Dot quilting, with some of my regular patterns thrown in.

Dot to Dot quilting, with some of my regular patterns thrown in.

The class ended up being really interesting, fun and engaging, and I learned a lot about long arm quilting and the new techniques (which I'm already using!).  But within 20 minutes of the class starting I wanted to know if there was an accelerated class--maybe a 4 hour class for people already well versed in quilting, that need short instructions followed by lots of quilting time.  I would have loved to spend more time just playing with the designs on the long arm!  

Another photo with Ashley, this time with an Angela photobomb!  She was such a fun teacher!

I got to have dinner, dessert and drinks with Amanda from What the Bobbin, Yvonne, Sandi from Crafty Planner, Katy from TeamKaty and Laura from Little and Lots.  I didn't get any photos from the evening, but it was so fun to have a casual dinner with lots of interesting conversations!

With Laura!

On Saturday I took the Mod Corsage class by Anna Maria Horner--with Jess (quiltyhabit) and Ashley.  They are huge AMH fans, and were so stoked to be in that class!  Admittedly I took the class just to be with them and create with them, making something and taking the class were a bonus, haha.  The class was visually stimulating from the very beginning though, and there was a lot of inspiration and creativity going on.

Anna Maria Horner (left) holding up the quilt she bought from Denyse Schmidt (right, who also took the class).  This quilt was gorgeous in person!

Unfortunately my lack of sleep from traveling, stay up too late, and getting up too early (to go to the daily yoga class which I very much enjoyed) caught up to me during this class and by lunch I felt awful and had some pretty bad back pain.  Here's as far as I got in class (several elements were "borrowed" from Jess and Ashley--they have beautiful collections of AMH fabrics!):

Mod Corsage progress.

During the lunch break I went to the Nancy Zieman lecture on Creating a Business--it was nothing like I had hoped and focused almost entirely on the history of her business.  I was pretty disappointed as I had gone to it expecting information or tips for my own creative business.  Back in the Mod Corsage class I continued to feel worse and worse and my brain felt like mush and I felt so bad I left class early to wonder the vendors and quilt show alone--I should have just laid down with my feet up!

Since being home I've worked on my block from the class some more and have really been enjoying the layering process and free-piecing to create it at my own speed (though I do miss the company and enthusiasm from Jess and Ashley!):

Current state of my Mod Corsage block--thinking it needs more LV background and then more flowers!

Saturday evening was the keynote, which I found interesting, but again off topic from the description.  Also it was during dinner time and I was starving through the whole thing!  Afterwards I had a fun dinner with Jess, Karin from Leigh Laurel Studios and Jo from My Bear Paw (she was my IG mini swap partner last year--it was so fun to visit with her!).

Sunday was another crazy day of meeting friends, quilts, and travel--the highlight being lunch with Jess from Elven Garden and giving her the swap quilt I'd made for her.  It all went by too fast and there were so many times things felt rushed!  Next time I hope I can go out a day early and stay a day longer--more time for recuperating from travel, meeting and visiting with old and new friends, and more time for classes, lectures, quilt viewing, vendor shopping, etc!

The best part of QuiltCon was meeting SO many quilty friends that I had only previously known through their blogs and/or instagram!  But there were so many that I missed, or saw across a room, or didn't work up the courage to introduce myself to--hopefully the next QuiltCon I attend will be a chance to meet those people though!  :-)


  1. Well we had lots of similar thoughts! I definitely feel like I need another day next time I go - especially with the travel recovery, it was too much at once. Put those pink roses back into your piece! I love how they look in your original! ;) Awww, I didn't know you took the class to be with us. It was fun to work next to you. I definitely felt the afternoon slump as we went on though (once you left especially). It was so great spending an entire weekend in your company! Here's to another QuiltCon in the future with you! <3

  2. <3 I love all the photos of you with quilting friends, Renee! :) Just reading how jam packed the days were made me anxious; there has to be a way to find some calm in the sea of awesome. You know, M & I are 2-3 hours away from Pasadena (depending on traffic), so perhaps a quilty retreat at my house before / after with a small group might be a great option for next year...

  3. Quite an experience - I like that you gave an honest review about the workshops/lectures you attended - thanks. I guess you'll continue to draw on the lessons, experience and friendship for many years.

  4. I'm not sure if I'm more jealous of the opportunity to meet quilty friends or of the chance to take a quilting class with Angela Walters! It was a lot of fun to watch everyone enjoy the Quiltcon experience, and made me hope even more to be able to attend one sometime in the future.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your QuiltCon experiences! I couldn't be there, but I really love hearing about it from you and others who were able to attend!

  6. Looks like you were a busy bee! it was so nice to meet ya! Hopefully we'll get to catch up again at a retreat or the next Quiltcon :)

  7. sounds like a wonderful time :-)

  8. Sounds like you had a lot of fun - and I love the linen dress!

  9. What a great wrap up post, and it looks like you had a fun time! I'm curious to hear more of your thoughts on the keynote. :) So glad you got to meet up with so many web friends. I hope your back is better! What did you think of using a long arm? It looks like you're already a pro!

  10. Great recap! You got it all in one post! I am so late in writing you to say how nice it was to meet you-- and thank so much for the jam! It was a hit at our house!