Quiltcon 2018

Another QuiltCon is over and done, and with it another weekend chock full of inspiration, education, and fun. It has been a skill learning how to attend a convention like this one where I’m participating as an attendee, showing quilts, and teaching, and though there were a few people and opportunities that I missed, I felt like I really made the most of my time in Pasadena.

First, the headline news: Neighbors won a ribbon! It got second place in improvisation, which is an enormous honor, seeing as improv is usually the biggest category in terms of numbers of quilts entered to QuiltCon. It was also a huge boost of validation as I headed into my first teaching experience at QuiltCon.

Student work from Planned and Unplanned

On Friday night, I taught Planned and Unplanned: Find your Improv Groove, which is based on my MQG webinar. It was the first time I was teaching that curriculum, and as any prepared teacher might, I had a lot of contingency plans for any possible situation that might arise with my students. Happily, I didn’t need any of them— my students came ready to play, and they made some really interesting, different, personalized blocks. I was thrilled to see them take the information and translate it for their own experiences and their own work, and I can’t wait to teach this class again, and it’s officially added to my workshop offerings. Check out this fabulous student work!

Student work from Planned and Unplanned

I attended two lectures, one about finding your personal voice with Pamela Wiley, and one about art critique with Chawne Kimber. I heard these messages at the perfect time to receive them and process them, and they helped me to open my overwhelmed mind to inspiration and wonder. Pamela’s lecture came right before my class, and I felt like she was giving me a pep talk. Chawne’s convinced me to make the trek across L.A. to spend time with art at the Getty Center.

Chawne Kimber demonstrate Art Critique with the Obama portraits. (I sat in the front row!)

On Saturday, we had a group photo shoot with the eight Women’s Work collaborators in attendance. Coordinating eight QuiltCon schedules is no small task, and so of course when we met at the quilt the sunlight was streaming in and washing everything out. So we sat on the floor and laughed. Then we tried not to laugh, due to the seriousness of the quilt’s subject matter.

Back row, L-R: Krishma Patel, Anne Sullivan, Ginny Robinson, Karin Jordan, Aleeda Crawley. Front row: Kitty Wilkin, Melanie Tuazon, Michelle Reiter

When the sun wasn’t directly shining on the quilt, it made the sashing shimmer beautifully. It’s also featured in the QuiltCon issue of Modern Patchwork, so check that out in a store near you.

In addition to the wonderful ladies of Women’s Work, my travel buddies, my roommate Ginny, and my fabulous students, I had a chance to talk with so many talented quilters and businesspeople. At the signing party for the MQG’s coffee table book, I got to meet some quilters who truly made me feel starstruck, and I may have gushed a bit. I also met the editors of magazines that my quilts have appeared in and people from Instagram who I have only met through my phone.

The Getty Center sculpture garden

Oh! And the show! The quilts hanging made me feel every feeling, from joy to fascination, anger to heartbreak. I was particularly touched by the AIDS quilt panels and the student works from the Social Justice Sewing Academy. I was particularly inspired by the minimalism and improv categories. Check out the ones that made me feel the click on my Instagram page under featured stories.

panels from the AIDS quilt

I want to publicly thank the MQG for all the hard work that they do to make weekends like this possible, and I’m looking forward to following up with all the new people I connected with.