I can speculate all I want, and still won't ever hear the answers. But it's possible that the judges had a strategy. Perhaps they meant to:
- Reward quilts that adhere to the modern quilt aesthetic, focusing on simple and minimal quilt design elements, and those included simple and minimal quilting patterns. These quilt characteristics are in keeping with the definition of a modern quilt.
- Encourage new quilters to stretch themselves. A new quilter who has straight-line quilted her own a quilt (rather than send it out to be long arm quilted by someone else) has put herself into her creation. Then, entering that quilt in a show is another way to try something they've not done before.
It was disappointing to see few quilts with interest quilting. I'm not the only one who noticed. I've read many comments about it on Instagram, and KathleenQuilts posted about it from her longarm quilter perspective.
Suffice it to say, the judging criterion (and judges' comments) for QuiltCon were definitely not those of a typical national quilt show.
And, in other randomness...
In the minimalist design category was this beauty called "Modern Mojo 2" by Linda Thielfoldt, of Troy, Michigan. She's a DAM girl! Ha, ha. A member of the Detroit Area MQG.
Linda did a super quilting job of this one. I couldn't help but admire the detail.
Fabulous, isn't it? No surprise... when I Googled Linda's name, her longarm quilting business came up. A study of that quilting, and I just knew it was longarm quilted. Still, it's similar to the "elaborate" quilting I strive for, though I have never quilted as densely as this.
Another Instagram point of discussion has been about the predominance of quilts using solids. Again, quilts with solids, or mostly solids, received the awards. Makes one wonder how it is that so many print fabrics are being sold, and presumably used in quilts, and those quilts weren't juried into QuiltCon. An exception is our "Ad Libbing" quilt with it's print improv blocks.
On Sunday afternoon, another mostly solids and low volume quilt was awarded $1000 as the People's Choice winner. "Quilt for our Bed" was made by Laura Hartrich. The back of the quilt is as graphic as the front.
Throughout the four days of QuiltCon, ongoing demonstrations were offered at one of two locations in the hall. In this demo by Latifah Saafir (she's one of the two founders of the MQG), she first demonstrated how to piece both small and large curves to make half circles, and then how to sew a complete circle! You know... a circle inside a circle. It was interesting to see how easy she made it look. Good information here, and all of it free!
A few interesting stats that were presented during the Sunday afternoon MQG general meeting:
- membership grew 600 percent from 2013 to 2014
- 8161 members worldwide as of December 31, 2014
- 95 percent of all pre-structure MQG chapters have now affiliated with national
- 139 local chapters (Our Central Florida MQG chapter became official in late January, 2015.)
- 2785 individual members
- membership represents 50 states; 32 countries; and 6 continents
On Saturday and Sunday of the show, my Riley Blake Challenge quilt, "Dandelion Clock" was displayed in the MassDrop booth. For bringing my quilt in, and picking it up, MassDrop thanked me with a bundle of a dozen Birch fabric (organic) fat quarters. Nice!
I couldn't leave Austin without getting barbecue one time. The fam went to dinner at Salt Lick in Driftwood, and after a two hour wait (no kidding!) for a table I got my one pound of pulled pork. I'd like to brag and say I ate it all, but I couldn't manage it. But at least three-fourths disappeared!
Have you ever seen such a thing as this? It's called a Pub Crawler, and is powered by people sitting on bar stools pedaling while they drink! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it - traffic was heavy in downtown Austin too!
And speaking of pedaling... these were just outside the convention center doors. Demand for quick (or not-so-quick) bicycle transportation must be such that someone decided it was worthwhile to offer them for rent.
Over two days, we drove back home in cool temps and rain most of the way. An overnight in Pensacola was the perfect opportunity for one more meet up with long-time blog friend, Karen of NanaGirlQuilts. She's a domestic machine quilter too, and we've been following each other for several years, thanks to an introduction by Lollyquiltz. Karen and I have FaceTimed on several occasions, consulting about our quilts, but meeting in person over dinner at Cheddar's was the best. We shared quilty talk - happily, she's gradually inching her way toward more modern quiltmaking - and other mutual interests that make for lively conversation. Quilty friends already know I have no problem "keeping it lively!"
So to wrap-up, QuiltCon was a fabulous show that I would recommend to all quilters. I know and appreciate that a lot of people worked hard to make it happen, and that without the dozens of volunteers, it wouldn't have been such a nice show. While parts of it weren't what I expected or hoped for, I'm still grateful that I had the chance to attend and participate.
QuiltCon 2016 is in Pasadena, California; and, QuiltCon 2017 is in Savannah, Georgia. I'm aiming to attend in Savannah. Let's plan to meet-up! Linda