Both winning quilts I was a part of - 1st and 3rd place in the group/bee category! So proud and excited! More below about them.
Yes, it was a relief to escape the frigid Northeast (if only for a moment), visit a stupendous show of stunning (modern!!!!) quilts multiple times, shop for fabric and notions in person, and meet some of the quilting all-stars, but the best part of the convention for me, hands down, was meeting many of my beloved internet quilty friends for the first time. When the Internet was just a fledgling little bird (and I was in middle school, LOL), I remember thinking, "I'm sure I'll NEVER befriend someone just from being online. That's crazy."
But, guess what? - this quilty community thrives on blogs, Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram. I feel infinitely grateful that I've befriended these amazing people. It was so fun to reminisce about how we'd gotten to know each other, and talk about quilty things IN PERSON. Like, what? Was that even real life? It felt like a dream. Also, walking around Austin in the 70 degree weather without a jacket and eating dinners outside was nothing short of heavenly.
From the left: me, Jess, and Renee at the Moda Party. Two of my very favorite lovely ladies of quilting.
Let's just take a moment to admire how brilliant this quilt is. It was hanging at the C&T Publishing booth. Perfect to a T.
Not pictured: Liz (we missed you!)
Christa and I
It was a thrill to make new friends, like Jo! I loved having lunch with the lovely Heather, who I met last year at Mid-Atlantic Mod.
From left: Jo, Karin, me, Renee. We had some kick butt barbecue!
From left: Lori, Sonia, Jessica L., me, Laura, Krishma (not pictured: Meg)
It feels like my friendship with all of these people have been enhanced so much more just with the simple joy of meeting face-to-face. Take that, 21st century technology! :)
Some major highlights:
-The Moda party on Thursday night. It was a bit hard to find people but there were so many friends there! It was a great way to start the whole weekend. Great job, MQG!
-White-gloving the quilt show as an MQG volunteer (showing the backs to attendees, helping them find quilts, explaining the exhibit, etc.). I was there for 3.5 hours and still didn't see the whole show. That's how many quilts were there!
-Giving a 3 minute talk about our 3rd place winning group/bee quilt, the CJMQG Banner, for the Quilt Alliance.
-Jess Levitt and I were also a part of the 1st place winning group/bee quilt, Playing with Little Bits, which was pieced entirely at the inaugural 2014 Mid-Atlantic Mod. Congrats to Rose Daley, who beautifully quilted and finished the quilt. By the way, you can see ALL the quilt show winners here.
-Only at QuiltCon do you see people all around a city wearing handmade clothes and bags in recognizable fabrics! I wore all four of my handmade outfits and it was worth all the work to be recognized as a sewist but also to be comfortable!
-Taking Anna Maria Horner's Mod Corsage class on Saturday with several friends (Denyse Schmidt took the class, too!). It was a blast. That will have to be a totally separate post. I'm itching to work on that quilt now... like I need another WIP! Anna Maria was so wonderful. It was such an inspiring class. I know, I'm just gushing.
-Seeing our charity quilt, Modern Bracelets, hanging in Ballroom B with about 60 other charity quilts from around the world! I owe you a blog post about this one - I designed it and pieced the top together (blocks were made by many guild members). The quilting was done by the ever-wonderful Jessica Levitt.
-Meeting the ladies of Cotton and Steel and making a headband at their booth.
-Listening to the dynamic women of Gee's Bend at the keynote lecture. Next time, I want to attend more lectures.
Kristy (who I also had the pleasure of finally meeting!).
Finally, huge props to the Modern Quilt Guild. As we learned at the MQG General Session on Sunday, membership has exploded since 2013 to 139 local guilds and 8161 members. Clearly, with around 4000+ attendees this weekend (according to the Austin Convention Center website), they succeeded in pulling off an amazing, multi-faceted event and international quilt show. Yes, there are things that might be changed (which I'll be suggesting - have you filled out your surveys yet, positive feedback included?), but it was a success. Thank you, MQG board and fellow volunteers, for an outstanding and forever memorable event.
I don't know when I'll be able to attend QuiltCon again (MAYBE 2017 in Savannah because it's drivable, though I'm not counting on it yet) but I'm so grateful for the memories and the experience of attending this downright fabulous party of all kinds of quilters. Returning to real life after a trip has never been so difficult!
Part 2 of this series will be more on AMH's class, and Part 3 will be some of my favorite quilts from the show! Phew, this was a lengthy post. Thanks for sticking with me if you read this far! I didn't want to skip over anything. :)