Thursday, March 7, 2024

February Recap: Part 4 - Quilt Con!!!

 If you saw the icon on my side bar these last few months, you know what was the special event I came down to North Carolina for:  I attended Quilt Con for the first time!  

When we learned last year that it would be coming to my MIL's neck of the woods, she and I immediately made plans to go.  Since my DH and I usually go visit my MIL this time of the year, it was a perfect fit!

If you have ever been to Quilt Con or any of the other big national shows, you know how phenomenal yet overwhelming attending can be.  We had four days of viewing quilts, attending lectures and watching a few live vendor demonstrations, admiring the "attendee fashion show" that flowed past us daily,  shopping the vendor booths and having more than a few "sew-lebrity" sightings!  Click the links for better reports of some of those than I can provide here.

All the "hands on" workshops were sold out by the time we registered so we were were only able to attend lectures including Jacqui Gering's keynote address.  

All of them were great!  David Owen Hastings lecture on Quilt Labels and Christa Watson's lecture on planning your quilt stitching gave me some ideas I hope to try on projects I already have going at home.  The lectures on working "improv" and exploring color had me itching to want to try to structure some time for trying some truly creative (aka no pattern) work.  Although, the reason I rarely do that was also addressed in the lectures: some times it takes a lot of time for inspiration to hit!  However, I also realize that these are projects or sessions I have to approach with no deadlines in order to give myself time to see where whatever I decide to do takes me.  I also learned about a new-to me sashiko-style hand stitching technique from Diana Fitzgerald that I'd like to try as well.  

Even better, we met great people and had great quilty conversations while standing in line waiting for the lecture hall to open for each session.  So if you are afraid of going to these big shows because you have to go by yourself, I say don't be.  We're all there because we love quilting so just turn to the person next to you and strike up a conversation!  You will be surprised to find that you either have a lot in common (happened often) or that you are kindred spirits in the things you've discovered about quilting or about yourself as a quilter.

I had mentioned to DH that I should have brought a notebook down with me to take notes at the lectures.  While making a trip to the local Walmart, he bought us both some, bless his "good quilt husband" heart!  So the other pre-show quilting project that I did was to make a quick Quilt-As-You-Go Note Pad cover the night before our first day at the show.  

Good thing one of the projects I brought down with me was one using scrappy strings!  

Needless to say in a show with aisles and aisles of vendor booths, ya' know there will be haul!  I did come to the show with a list of specific things I was hoping to stock up on.

In the picture above, the Kaffe Fassette and Marsha Derse fabrics on the left that I got from the Villa Rosa Designs booth were just the inspiration I was hoping to find for Pat Sloan's "March Block A Day" project starting this month.  The low volume fabrics on the lower right were pieces I had hoped to pick up for a "Lozenges" project that will be teamed with leftover red and black fabrics from other projects and were purchased from the Web Fabrics booth.  The other bundle of low volume prints (also picked up from Villa Rosa) I am hoping to use as backgrounds for the "Stronger Together" quilt project I spoke about back in Part 1.  

At the top, the denim backed cork is from Sallie Tomato, a vendor I hadn't heard of before and will go towards a "Barbados Bag" project I've long wanted to make from recycled denim.  Ironically, I had been directed to check out their booth after a conversation with a nice saleslady at the Handi Quilter booth who liked the bag of the same style that I was wearing and that I had purchased on Etsy a few years back.  

The Quilt Con pin was one of four show swag items I purchased.  I also picked up a project bag (good for quilting or cross stitch!) and two pairs of MQG socks.  Unfortunately I missed out on the show t-shirt as they sold out and MQG did not get enough additional orders to do another print run.  So if you go to the show and want a shirt, buy that first!!

I picked up Cindy Grisdela's "Adventures in Improv Quilts" book from the C&T Publishing booth.  It is one that had been on my wish list for a long time and with 20% off I decided to go for it since it might add to the lecture concepts I was learning.  But it got better:  I purchased it on Thursday and was told by the woman manning the booth that Cindy herself was going to be in the booth on Saturday so I could have it signed.  Cool!  Well, on Friday we were scheduled to go to the "Evolution of Quilts and Color" lecture to be given by Sarah Bond.  It turned out Ms. Bond couldn't make it and guess who subbed for her that day?  None other than Ms. Grisdela!!  So I not only was able to get the book signed right after the lecture but I got the bonus of getting to hear her speak on the topic of color as she uses it in her improv work as well!

The Quilt Alliance also had a booth at the show as they are based in North Carolina.  Speaking of those lecture hall waiting line conversations:  I had one with a woman who had quilts made by her grandmother.  As I am a big proponent of using labels, we had a long discussion about how she might document the quilts for her family's future generations.  I only wish I had remembered about the QA booth in that moment and could have directed her to visit it for more ideas.  For myself, I picked up one of the label cards they were giving out...

...and this time I didn't wait to get a t-shirt!  

Another thing we learned at the show is that next year's event will be going back to Phoenix, Arizona and they have already decided to return to Raleigh, NC for 2026!  I'm already looking forward to it!! 

Once the four days of the show were done, it was finally time to tackle some of the projects that I brought down with me.  While I didn't get to work on many, I did get some significant work done on two of them --- but that is a story for tomorrow!

1 comment:

Vireya said...

It sounds like you and your MIL had a fantastic time! You have a nice pile of goodies to remember the show by.