Sunday 1 March 2015

So I went to Quiltcon - part 1 -

Yes, I went to Quilt Con and after having had a few days back at home, I think it is about time to gather my thoughts and write about my experience. I took lots and lots of photos of the excellent quilts on exhibition but haven't noted down most of the owners and at the moment am not sure if I can show these here without proper credit (let me think about it a while) but I thought it might be useful to people to read my account of the conference. Please all bear in mind that this ONLY reflects my personal opinion and nobody else's and other opinions are obviously available.

The reason why I wanted to go was primarily the attraction of the Gee's Bend quilts on show and the Gee's Bend Ladies giving the key note speech and workshops. I managed to get into one of the workshops and had a ticket for the key note speech. So from that perspective I already had a win before I got on the plance but I also wanted to meet a few people and spend as much time as possible with all the quilt on exhibition while at the same time trying not to get sensual overload. On the overload goal I tried my best to space out the visits to the exhibition hall but still felt totally overloaded in the end by the wealth of amazing quilts on show.

3rd Place in Modern Traditional Category by Anna Boenish and my personal favourite of the entire show.
 But let me tell you about my schedule. I had booked several lectures in addition to the one workshop and also went to many more lectures spontaneously as they were only US 15 and could be booked right there and then with cash on the door which I thought was pretty cool and practical. All lectures were 45 min long which is an ideal time to keep people's attention and left enough time for a quick washroom visit and to go to the next lecture. The lectures were alternating between two lecture rooms which made the whole process very easy.

So here is my list of lectures I attended:
          Sherri was at the show to give lectures and workshops on improvisational piecing and of       
          course to promote her new book that will be out in the UK at the end of March.  She has been 
          influenced by African-American quilts and has been a quilter for 25 years. I found her lecture
          interesting and it gave me a few new ideas of looking at improvisational piecing. Her central
          point in the lecture was that you have to be present; i.e. concentrating fully on the Improv
          process and let not anything else get in the way while you are doing it, even if you only have
          30 min time. I agree with this given that Improv has little rules, no pattern and just requires the
          quilter to let go and go for it. I had a look at her book which is divided into scores (as in
          music) and encourages the quilter to work along these which I think is pretty interesting. I  
          found Sherri a very engaging lecturer and teacher and it was a pleasure to listen to her.
          Message to take home from it: Be the ruler instead of depending on one
          Jacquie is the chairwoman of the Modern Quilt Guild and has been a teacher for a long time.
          She has to be the most engaging speaker I have heard in a while. She delivered a very structure           lectures, engaged the audience from the go and still made us all feel relaxed. She is pro. As I
          am a (quilt) teacher myself I was interested to hear her take on it. Her key point was to  
          concentrate on the what, how and who. The what is to make sure the students get what they
          want, make handouts that are well defined for example. The how concentrates on the teaching
          method and I found it good advise to always look for teachable moments and to capitalise on
          these. And lastly who; who are of course the students and they are adults and one must not
          forget that they are self-directed and quite frankly want to get their moneys worth ( I could not
          agree more).
          Messages to take home: Be your student's couch and we can always do better

                           Coolest quilt ever: 3rd Place Typewriter No 5 by Jessica Toye
          I attended two of Angela's excellent lectures although I am not a free motion quilter. But I
          thought and in particular the first lecture on 'How to be a better quilter' would be interesting for
          me. And they were, both in fact. Angela is a great speaker and incredibly funny too. If she ever
          tires of quilting she could go on the stand-up circuit for sure. Regular readers will know that I
          am firmly set in the straight line quilting world and that there really is only one free-motion
         design I love and would like to learn and that is the continuous eight. It sometimes frustrates
         me that I am not interested in anything else and I often think I should practise all sort of 
         designs Along comes Angela and tells me: Only practise designs that you want to do. Thank
         you Angela ! The second lecture was a little less relevant to me as I am never gonna quilt a
         quilt in multiple free-motion designs but still I took a lot home from it and enjoyed 
        both very much.
        Messages to take home: 1. A finished quilt is better than a perfect quilt top (actually a message
                                                   not  for me as I always finish my quilts but I guess relevant for
                                                   others maybe...)
                                                2. Don't compare your worst to everybodys' best

The next part of my personal Quiltcon report will include Alissa Height Carlton's lecture on negative space, the panel discussion on 'Maker to making a living' and much more.

Have any of you been to Quiltcon and if not, reading this are you intersted to go ?


  1. I enjoyed going to the lectures as well.....I agree, Jacquies's was really good. So wonderful to meet you, I enjoyed spending some time with you.

  2. I really really want to go to QuiltCon one year! I loved seeing all the photos on Instagram posted by the lucky folks who got to go. I am surprised that I didn't see your favourite quilt on any of the IG feeds as it truly is a knockout quilt. The 'drop in' workshops sound like a great idea. Thanks for sharing your experience of QuiltCon - sounds like you had a great time x

  3. thanks. so happy you came away with something from my lecture. sounds like you had a good experience. that makes me really happy!

  4. thanks. so happy you came away with something from my lecture. sounds like you had a good experience. that makes me really happy!

  5. I enjoyed reading your account Judith, and look forward to reading your next post! I met you in one of the lectures - it must have been Maker to Making a Living, I think - since I didn't go to any of the other lectures you mentioned. I wish I had gone to Jacquie Gering's lecture, I have heard it was excellent. I love Angela Walters' take home messages - we need to finish our quilts and not compare our worst to others' best - so very true! Cat


Thank you for your comments! I love reading them and will answer every question you have on my projects. But I have a very busy daytime job and am therefore not able to thank each and every comment. Please don't be offended if I won't reply.