Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Quilt Con 2013 Wrap-up

Hello Readers!! 

As those of you who follow me on FB know, I spent the last week in February in Austin, TX for the Modern Quilt Guild's QuiltCon where it was a balmy 75 degrees almost the whole time! It was an awesome time and I have already posted a bunch of pics here on the HVMQG site, so check 'em out. 

Just so's ya know, this is not your grandma's Quilt Show. There is a whole group on instagram #tattoosofquiltcon.  You can see one here. And I have recently discovered a new FB group: the Bad Ass Quilters Society. In my house, where we listen to Quiet Riot at breakfast, there is only one word for this: Awesome. 

For my personal experience of QuiltCon, here are a few more snapshots:

A very fun printing class with textile designer Lotta Jansdotter

The stencil I made for Miss Honeybee, who turned two (no, not ONE---you are TWO!) the day after I returned.  I think these will become pockets on a dress.  What do you think?

I saw a bunch of people with these excellent sewing kits.  Must make!
This is how much SWAG I came home with! Dear god.

All in all, it was a fantastic time.  We saw amazing quilts, met other quilters from all over the country, heard inspiring lectures from designers and quilters, took very helpful classes and just basked in the glow of a totally kick-ass community.  

And just a vignette, for which there are no photos:

Rounding a corner in the exhibition hall during set-up clad in my blue Volunteer shirt, I found a woman struggling to put up her booth display.  As I offered help, she (like many of us small business owners) tried to put me off---insisting she could do it on her own and anyway her assistant would be here soon.  Needless to say, I insisted and we ended up getting the panels put up together.  At one point as my new friend struggled to bend over, she admitted to me that she had a medical device due to a certain kind of cancer---in fact the very same cancer my mother is struggling with right now.  She stood up, raised her arms and said, "You were meant to help me---because I am here to tell you---it can all be OK!" As the tears streamed down my face, she gathered me up in a big hug and said, "It's going to be ok. I am living proof."  

It is often hard for me to put into words why I feel so drawn to quilting and the modern quilting movement.  But in that moment, supported and connected to someone I had just met, being seen and being real, it was all clear.  This kind of connection is what it is ALL about. Quilting just happens to be the one little corner of the world where I am finding that right now.  It could be anything though, right? As long as we are REAL and CLEAR.   That is the ultimate challenge.  

Anyway, my favorite take-away from the show:

 Made by the Austin MQG for one of its members. It was designed by Bobbi Brekke and Heather Scrimsher. This my bad iPhone photo.  Better photo here.

Great discussions of pushing the boundaries of what quilting is here and here. More on this later, but for now, suffice it to say, I am excited to see where the tide takes us. BAD ASS QUILTERS UNITE. 

A few inspiring favorites:

Don't Blink by Caro Sheridan

Bang! You're Dead by Jacquie Gehring

Just One More Slice by Patty Simmons

You Rule by Brigitte Heitland

Untitled by Lindsey Stead

Both Ways by Lauren Hawley

Rhythm and Blues by Anne Deister

I cannot wait to process all that I saw, heard and felt while at QuiltCon and work on adding my own unique voice to the mix. 

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