As an introduction, I’ll remind everyone that “your mileage may vary” when it comes to any creative activity, and Quiltcon is no exception. I have heard small grumblings, hot debates, and some seriously bad attitude concerning and during Quiltcon 2013. As with most of life, if you approached QuiltCon and Austin with a critical and snobbish eye, you might not have gotten what you wanted out of it!!!! You probably didn’t have much fun, either. Just sayin’. Through my blue eyes, Austin was interesting, and Quiltcon was uber-inspiring. I flew Wednesday with the attitude that I could probably learn a great deal from the work of others, the words of lecturers, and actual sewing while there. Our first day was relaxed and fun, with a little getting lost by car, some great TexMex, and Quiltcon freebies. We flew in early enough to just play on our pre-Quiltcon day! I’d highly recommend that if you can get the time to do it!
Actual Day One of Quiltcon was Free Motion Quilting on a Home Machine with Elizabeth Hartman. I’ve had some experience with FMQ, and this workshop built on that. Now, Ms. Hartman has a boxy meander I’ve long admired, and I went to her workshop with the intention of learning, if possible, that box stitch. I have no intentions of giving “the cloud” her material, but I was thoroughly impressed with her teaching style and my finished work as a direct result. I completed a FMQ sampler that I will definitely reference repeatedly!
Day Two of Quiltcon 2013 was a workshop with THE Denyse Schmidt, called Improvisational Patchwork. Her method of teaching has been described elsewhere, so the best thing I think I can add to that dialogue is my take away from her class. Not only did I have some amazing (mostly finished) work to bring home, I learned a great deal of design, color, and trust for the process. The whole process of the workshop was out of my comfort zone, but refering back to the “mileage” concept, I decided there would be no complaining and I’d just enjoy whatever happened. Boy, did I. If you are EVER able to take a class from Ms. Schmidt, be there with bells on and a smile. Respect her, because she’s amazing. I feel so fortunate to have had her workshop, and to know, without a doubt, that my work has changed.
My third day of Quiltcon 2013 was a lecture day/day off. I used this day to get goodies for my little people, to wander around some, and to eat at weird times because there were lectures through lunch and dinner. I feel like the information I got on that day was thrown at me fast. I took notes as quickly as possible for most of them. And it was amazing what these quilters had to say! More than one lecturer began their time with their parents. Yes, I shed a few tears, because this is also my story. So……Momma and Daddy, thank you for being makers, and for teaching me to make things at a very young age. I came away from my day of lectures with a ton of cool information on many different levels.
Day Four of Quiltcon 2013 was all about design and color with Bill Kerr. The class was called Transparency Quilts, but as we introduced ourselves, we all asked to learn more and different. The design, artistry, and coloring of quilts became our focus that day, and I got the distinct impression that it was a lot like going to art school. The class certainly wasn’t the sewing class I expected, it was SOOO much better. I have homework now about artists to study, documentaries to watch and a quilt palette to use. I enjoyed this class thoroughly, even though I felt I wasn’t listening fast enough! I took copious notes! =}
The TWO QUilt shows at Quiltcon 2013. If you went to Quiltcon and never saw the lecture hall, there was a second and just as awesome quilt show in the lecture hall! These were charity quilts made from donated blocks, and they were fab!
How will this impact me, you ask? Maybe you didn’t ask, but I’m gonna tell ya. =} I feel as though Quiltcon 2013 will be a seminal event in my quilting life. I feel like scrapping everything I’ve got half done and starting new. I probably won’t toss all that work out on its ear. But it will be BQ (before Quiltcon), and PQ (post-Quiltcon) for me. I see that, even now, my work will be forever changed and catapulted into something completely different. Looking forward to it!