Friday, 27 February 2015

QuiltCon Report!

Yes that is me and Anna Maria Horner!!
I am back from QuiltCon and I had the BEST TIME!! I feel kind of bad bragging about it as I know I was so lucky to be able to go, but I have to be honest, it really was a wonderful experience!

I can't possible capture the whole thing here, but let's take a look at the few photos I managed to take and I will tell you a little about it on a day by day basis.
I arrived in Austin on the Wednesday evening with enough time to register at the conference centre (really pleased I did as there were big queues the next morning!).

Then I met up with these guys! From left to right Krista, Lorena, Danielle, Donna and me. I met loads of amazing inspirational lovely people, in fact this was the best bit about the whole thing - so many new friends! I've just had my first margarita of the trip here, hence the big smile.

Next morning it was straight in to class - The New Cathedral Windows with Johanna Masko. This was a really interesting version of CW, I don't think I could ever have worked out how this was done without the class. I got this much done in the 3 hour morning class, I'm sure I will finish this and turn it in to something.

At lunchtime I went to the quilt show to find my quilt. Wow the quilts were just astonishing! I was wondering around in a daze until I bumped into Charlotte and she pointed me in the right direction, and took a photo of me next to my quilt. I do look ridiculously happy here. I felt incredibly honoured to have my work hanging along side so many masterpieces.

The afternoon was spent screen printing with the adorable Celina Mancurti. We used Celina's own screens to practice with, producing all these lovely fabrics below.

Then some of us had a go at making our own design. I produced this leaf.

I'm quite pleased with how this came out and how easy it was. I hope to try it again at some stage and also find a use for the lovely printed fabric I have brought back with me.

I'm going to draw a veil over Thursday night. Thursday night was the Moda Party, and what happens at Moda Party stays at Moda Party. Let's just say there was a free bar and they made great margaritas.

I spent a lot of time on Friday afternoon looking at all the quilts and the vendor hall. Here is my sea urchin quilt hanging in the Pinwheels booth to hopefully help them sell Oakshott fabric.

This is our EMQG charity challenge quilt. Somehow I managed to get this back in my suitcase to bring home!

I took photos of so many quilts in the exhibition, I will hopefully post these on a special QuiltCon blogpost on our EMQG blog soon. I will also be using some of them for a talk I will be giving about modern quilting to a local quilt group next month.
But in the meantime I am going to show you just one quilt, my favourite in the whole show...

This is Face#1 by Melissa Alverinos. This was a huge king size bed quilt which I never tired of looking at. Here is a close up

You can see how simple the construction is, which made it even more astonishing that she got that overall effect. I think the MQG will be putting all the quilts on their website soon, in the meantime here is a good article about some of the winning quilts.

Saturday was the day I had been looking forward to the most. This was the full day Mod Corsage workshop with Anna Maria Horner. If that wasn't exciting enough Denyse Schmidt herself was attending the class with us!!
Here I am discussing my piece with Anna, like this is the sort of thing that happens every day!

Here is my Mod Corsage finished piece. I absolutely loved doing this, it was total playtime for me, just mucking around with fabric making improv flowers with a little needle turn applique at the end of the day - heaven!
We all took our work over to Anna at the end of the class and her and Denyse gave a sort of masterclass of advice together for every piece. Then we all gave Denyse advice about her piece!! Anna said she was the 'most improved student'! They are clearly old and good friends and their interaction made the class even more special. Both were lovely and inspiring, but Anna was also so warm and funny (surprisingly dirty funny!). I will treasure the memories of that day forever.

Another very funny and inspiring teacher was Angela Walters. I took a long arm class with her on Sunday morning. This was the first time I had used one and it was both easier and more difficult than I expected! But I liked it! I didn't bring one home on the plane though... that day will be a LONG way off!

On Sunday afternoon I attended a lecture with Heather Ross about fabric design. I had just finished her excellent autobiographical book 'How To Catch a Frog' (recommended to me by Kerry), and it was so good and made me feel like I already knew her. She was a total delight too, another gorgeous, fun, genuine person - I absolutely loved her! And her talk was very informative and honest.
I really didn't go in for all the fan-girl selfies during QuiltCon as I think they are a bit cringey, but Heather was signing books and was so sweet that I couldn't help myself!
I don't think I have seen so many photos of myself for years, it's a bit unnerving!

After one more night of partying with all the fun quilty peeps it was almost time to go home. But I did get to attend most of the leadership conference on Monday before heading to the airport.
And I brought a lot of 'swag' back with me! This was just some of it, some bought at the show but most of it free in the goody bag or from vendor stands. I know other people will be hosting giveaways with some of their free stuff, but I will be giving mine away to my guild members and my loyal shop helpers Jane and Barbara, plus raffling a few things at Craft Club next month. Just so you know I am not keeping it all for myself!

And remember the pins I had printed for the pin swap? Well here are all the pins (badges) I collected in return! Nearly filled up my bag!
I am just about recovered from the jet lag and general exhaustion of going non-stop for 5 days, and anyway all that was so worth it.
I feel like I learnt so much from my teachers that will help improve my workshops, I have come back energised and inspired to make more quilts, and I got to hang out with the most awesome people and made so many new friends! I'm really hoping this isn't my one and only trip to QuiltCon.
Pasadena anyone??!!


  1. It sounds (and looks!) like you had a blast! Did you see that your quilt was on the Moda blog as part of Carrie Nelson's QuiltCon post?

  2. Oh my goodness I am green with envy, it sounds absolutely wonderful!! I'm so pleased you loved every minute of it!! Perhaps I should start saving now for next time...!!!

  3. It was such a treat to meet you, finally! I had a great time, too, and Pasedena is seriously on my list for next year!

  4. Glad to hear you had such a fab time. How lucky to meet all those fabulous designers! It would be so lovely to have that many awesome designers in one place in the UK! We can dream...

  5. this post was a delight - so glad you had such a good time

  6. Wonderful to read of your time at QuiltCon and to have a feel for all the exciting things which you were able to participate in.

  7. It was so nice to see you at QuiltCon and I am hoping to see you in Pasadena for sure.

  8. It looks like you had a great time. It's funny, you traveled halfway around the world and got to meet Anna Maria Horner - I live 30 minutes away from her and I've never had that opportunity! I'm hopeful that I can make it Quiltcon when it's in .... Savannah? That's a drive able trip, and it gives me time to start saving my pennies. :-)

  9. Great post Jo, you captured everything so well! I love the Mod Corsage block you made in Anna Maria's class, it's so bright and happy. What a fabulous time it was, we are all so lucky to have been able to go. I'm so happy I met you. Enjoy your weekend. Cat x

  10. Thank you so much for sharing! I'm on a bit of a CW kick myself at the moment - going to have a go at working out your version!

  11. Oh that sounds like the best time everrr!

  12. Sounds like you had a great time - now you need to pop up to Beechwood Quilting to hire their long arm so you can keep playing :oD

  13. It all sounds absolutely wonderful, especially going to a sewing class with sewing royalty. x

  14. Fab post the "after Moda party" photo!:) it a date?:)

  15. I have enjoyed reading your post and seeing all your IG photos. Thanks for sharing with the 'I'm not going to quilt con" crowd. :). Di x

  16. Thanks for sharing this, you can tell that the enthusiasm you had as it comes through in your descriptions.

  17. Thanks for sharing, wow Heather Ross is TALL! Great going through everyone's pictures and stories, it doesn't get boring.

    Thinking about Pasadena, thinking of going to Savannah though as I'll be living on the right side of the ocean by then hopefully.