I won’t lie…I have been putting off writing this post for too long. Almost immediately after QuiltCon people were putting up their recaps about what they liked, what they did in Austin, who they met, and even a little of what they didn’t like. I guess I needed to wait and process all the information and experiences I had before I could put together a coherent post. I am not really sure if it will be coherent, but I need to get this out at some point.
QuiltCon in a word – awesome! It was a big step for me in many ways. One – I traveled without my family which I don’t do often. It’s funny that without my children around I was actually able to concentrate more on the lectures, look more closely at the vendors, and in general have conversations that don’t involve me screaming “knock it off…get down from there…don’t touch that….1…2….” Two – I was able to concentrate not only on the technical aspects of quilting, but the creative and philosophical aspects as well. I am learning the concept of why quilts matter and how I as a quilt maker matter which will result in a better quality quilts that I make. Three – This was a big learning experience as far as networking. I learned a lot from other bloggers about how they network and find success. I even met a few people who read this blog (shout out to Nicci in Bakersfield!!!) All in all, it was a great trip and I could go on for hours, but I won’t. Instead, I will condense this post to my top 3 experiences at QuiltCon (I am leaving out a lot, but some experiences may be just for me;)
1. I just discovered Thomas Knauer!!!!
Seriously, he blew my mind and I am stalking his Facebook page for any and all wisdom he has to share. He had two talks about modern quilting. The first was modern vs Modern and the message was simple – Don’t worry about being modern, just make good quilts. The talk gave me my first quiltgasm of the convention (one of many)!! The next talk was about the history of modern and Thomas started with the first photograph and how that image helped create the modern art movement. Yeah…blew my mind…another quiltgasm. Recently he wrote a post titled “Product/Producer” that included this wonderful statement:
“My investment in modern quilting is not a matter of style, but of substance; it is predicated on the notion that modern quilting comes not from aesthetic markers but from an active and thoughtful engagement in the complexities of life at this moment. It is my belief that modern work comes from genuine reflection upon one’s place in the world, from the realities on one’s life, not through the mimicry of stylistic tropes.”
Yeah…I could listen to this for hours.
2. Turns out, I don’t want a long arm!!!
I took a class with Angela Walters, Quilting Negative Space, and while I enjoyed the designs and I really enjoyed Angela (she is quite entertaining) – I do not like quilting on long arm machines.
I will let that sink in.
It’s true. While I always thought I wanted one, the reality is I felt too far away from the fabric. I couldn’t feel what I was doing. This was an invaluable lesson and one that saved me thousands of dollars!!! My husband is thrilled:)
The next day was Elizabeth Hartman’s “Free Motion on the Home Machine” where I learned that I not only prefer a home machine, I really love using a home machine…I feel closer to the fabric…like feeling the road in a car…deep stuff…I know. (I had a few quiltgasms during the class…I tried to keep it on the DL). Seriously, I have been a free motion freak since I got home AND I even took my BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) off the machine…it feels so good!!!!
3. The Quilts
I will leave you with this…the quilts that struck my fancy…not all of them…some of them are on my phone, but I am being lazy…enjoy!!!