Whew. I had no idea QuiltCon (or Austin) would be so fabulous. I thought it would be fun, of course. But I wasn’t expecting the way my comfort level was pushed in class (in a good way!) or how inspired I’d be by the exhibits at the show. On the plane home mom & I frantically recorded the things we learned–we’d been so invigorated about the current state of the quilting world. That became a presentation we gave in the shop the next day, we felt like we needed to share that experience. I sound so cheesy, and I am–I actually got a little verklempt talking about the quilts in the Roderick Kiracofe exhibit.
I mean, those ladies had no idea when they made their quilts decades ago that they’d be teaching us that it’s ok to break the rules. The exhibit was of some unconventional quilts made in the last half of the 20th century, some by anonymous makers, that were featured in Kiracofe’s book “Quilts.”
So what’d we actually do at QuiltCon?…
Started architecture inspired quilts in class with Jacquie Gering. (Mine on L, Kathy’s on R.) Maybe we’ll share photos of our architectural inspiration once we make more progress on them.
Learned new techniques & designs on the longarm with the amazing Angela Walters.
While Kathy got to take a class with Yoshiko Jinzenji, I was in Denyse Schmidt‘s class learning that her improv method is not nearly what we all want to make improv quilting into. She is a true artist, and I’ve been thinking about what I learned in her keynote and in her class. At all times of the day, not just when quilting, I’ll find myself doing something a different way as I remember… stop trying to control perfect outcomes, and be true to yourself.
QuiltCon was especially exciting because it was a totally new experience to see a quilt show full of quilts that I would have liked to make, instead of searching through a show for the very few quilts that truly call to my aesthetic.
This clamshell quilt, “Neutral & Neon” by Latifah Saafir, was one of my, & Kathy’s, favorite quilts of the show. Apparently we have similar taste! (I guess that’s how we so easily agree on what fabric to stock.)
And of course we ooh’d over the Denyse Schmidt exhibit, including some quilts we’d never seen before.
While the Modern Quilt Guild has been a huge force in making a new age of quilting more visible, we’re reluctant to always label everything as either “modern” or “traditional”. The modern quilters seem to be becoming more traditional, and the traditional quilters are getting more modern, and we have a lot to learn from each other. As Jacquie Gering says, we should all just make what we love.
Of course, we can’t talk about QuiltCon without mentioning all the amazing food in Austin. Hello, food trucks galore! We love to shop & eat when we travel and Austin certainly didn’t disappoint. I overheard some ladies at the convention center talking about having spent an expensive cab ride finding some donuts they’d seen on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. So I had to butt in and ask them what it was. (Gourdough’s on 1st Street.) Thank goodness I did because these were the best donuts of all eternity. We just had to go back again before heading to the airport, and I’d go back to Texas just for that Airstream full of yummy. Ok, I’ll stop about the donuts. I guess the actual people in Austin were pretty great too
There are tons more photos of quilts from the show in our QuiltCon Flickr set. And to have us visit your guild for a presentation on what this whole “modern” thing is all about and what we can learn from it, email me. Here’s to seeing you all at QuiltCon 2015!