Wednesday, February 25, 2015

QuiltCon 2015: Post One

QuiltCon 2015 was in Austin, Texas, at the convention center, from Thursday, February 19 through Sunday, February 22. I attended three of those four days, getting to commute downtown on Thursday and Friday with our son.

I'm still on such a QuiltCon high that I don't know when reality might set in again! Of all the national quilt shows I've ever attended, and there have been many:
  • American Quilter's Society, Paducah and Des Moines
  • International Quilt Festival, Houston and Chicago
  • Original Sewing and Quilt Expo, Lakeland, Florida and Overland Park, Kansas
  • Home Machine Quilter's Showcase, Kansas
  • European Patchwork Meeting, France
...none compares to QuiltCon, Austin! 
Whether it was the abundance of modern quilts or the quilters I finally had the pleasure of meeting, QuiltCon was the most quilting-related fun I've ever had!

Because there's so much to say about the show itself, the experience of it, and the people I met, I'll have to write several posts! However, with 400 quilts on display (I'm pretty sure that number includes the 1970's quilts shown by Bill Volkening, and some Gee's Bend quilts) I'm unable to show everything.

That's why I recommend that you visit Houzz to see the QuiltCon overview, with links to all the ribbon winners (ribbons awarded for first, second and third places; no honorable mentions were given). This Houzz write-up about QuiltCon is a good place to start because the photos are excellent.  And as you're looking, note the design and style of the quilting. Do you see all the straight line quilted quilts that won ribbons?

First, let me show the winners in the same category as Lora and I found our "Ad Libbing" quilt - "Negative Space." QuiltCon determined the category in which to place Ad Libbing, and negative space is a good choice. Here we are with our quilt. We were wearing the right colors, weren't we?!

These are the winning quilts in our category.
1st place, negative space
2nd place, negative space
3rd place, negative space
I'm sorry to say that my photos are too blurry to read who each winner is, nor was there a show catalog to refer to, so please be sure to visit the link above for the names and locations of winners.

Lora and I sat together during the poorly orchestrated awards ceremony. Beside the fact that the awards presentation computer and microphone equipment weren't working so no quilts winning quilts were shown on the big screen, and MC Jacquie Gering had to yell to be heard - the whole thing ran an hour behind schedule - we didn't win a ribbon. Even the judges' comments were less than helpful. There was no score sheet or rating system. Just these platitudes.

While elaborate quilting wasn't rewarded at QuiltCon, that isn't deterring Lora and me from entering Ad Libbing in other shows. Even now, we're waiting to hear if it's been accepted into MQX.

A happy surprise was seeing "Ad Libbing," and a bit of myself on Austin's Saturday morning FOX News show "Good Day Austin." Here's the link to that news segment where you'll briefly see the quilt, and me in my aqua volunteer shirt and selvages skirt talking to a quilter.
As for my entry in the Panasonic Bias Tape Appliqué Challenge... You may remember, "Shapes," the quilt that gave me all the problems with the smeared grease on white Kona. Shapes didn't win anything either.

Here are the winners in the Panasonic Bias Tape Appliqué Challenge.
1st place, bias tape challenge "CPU" by Katherine Jones
2nd place, bias tape challenge 
3rd place, bias tape challenge
 And one other bias tape non-ribbon winner I particularly liked because of all the color.

Just to give you a sense of the show, and in no particular order, these are some of the other non-ribbon-winning modern quilts.


It seems that the more elaborate the quilting, the less chance there was of winning a ribbon.

Love this one by Lee Heinrichs (FreshlyPieced) of Wisconsin.

"Diamond Chains" by Charlotte Noll, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The entry below is by blogger/IG friend Anne Deister, SpringLeafStudios of Colorado. She quilted straight lines and feathers.

Isn't this an eye-catching quilt? It's by Sheri Lyn Woods, and appears to be made of old bed sheets. 

Her "big stitch" hand quilting, in black, was very effective.

I have lots more quilt pictures. In fact, I shared so many of them on Instagram that I had to leave the show hall a couple times to plug-in and recharge!

The evening of the first day, I met-up with Mid-Century Modern Bee friends, six of whom I met for the first time! We swapped pins and a few gifts. They're the dearest quilters you'd ever want to meet. Our evening together was much too short.
L-R: Cindy of LiveAColorfulLife; Elizabeth of PiecefulLife; Debbie of AQuiltersTable; me; Leisa, friend of Elizabeth E.; René of ReneCreates; Elizabeth E. of OccasionalPiece; Anne of SpringLeafStudios; and Michele of Frustrated Quilter.

The pin swap was fun too, but wish I'd swapped more! My favorite is the QuiltCon pin in the lower left - "My quilt is in the show." I wore it proudly. More pictures tomorrow. Linda


  1. Very interesting report on the event, Linda. So many wonderful quilts, and the Big Stitch on Sheri Lynn's quilt really enhances that bold design. Such fun to see it through your eyes. Sounds like 'pinnacle" experience for you. I can see the straight line vs. more elaborate quilting at play- interesting. Surely the MQX show will be an excellent venue for Ad Libbing.

  2. Great post! I can't wait to hear more! It looks like you had a really fun time.

  3. It's so fun to read about from your perspective!

  4. Linda, we discussed, at lunch, how pictures don't do quilts justice. When my daughter and I saw your two quilt entries at the show, we were astounded. And I remain astounded that neither took a ribbon, esp. when I saw, in person, the quilts that did. I'm glad that you enjoyed yourself and you aren't discouraged from entering more shows.

  5. I can see in the photos of winning quilts but don't understand why more advanced quilting was not rewarded. Makes me wonder of this show will be a "celebrate the middle" type of show. They'll have to strategize about the future to keep the show fresh and challenging. I think that it's a challenge that this show has that all the others don't. The other shows are much more generic so they can move with the trends. This one is a trend but I hope they can keep it fresh and be around for a long time.

  6. It was great to see the show through your eyes, Linda, and to confirm the impressions I had gained from reading between the lines of many IG posts last weekend. It must have been disappointing not to have Ad Libbing recognised after all your and Laura's hours of creative dedication, but it will be a winner elsewhere I'm sure. It's a fabulous quilt! After seeing the winners I'm not at all surprised that my Australia Flair quilt wasn't chosen to hang at Quiltcon. (A catch-up email will be heading your way soon xx)

  7. I'm glad you had a great time! What it well attended? I was shocked to see very few people in any photos on IG in anything other than in the classrooms. Including the news clip you were in. I thought it would be packed!

    Looking at the definition of modern quilting on their MQG site, I'd agree with you that intricate quilting isn't something they're looking for. It's not functional or minimalistic. It's this definition that has kept me from joining our MQG.

  8. I LOVED meeting you Linda. Wish we could have spent more time together to just talk about the show. Your quilting is so amazing to me. I'm positive you will find much success in future shows. Thanks for including my quilt in your post. I'm still trying to process the whole thing.

  9. Linda, thanks so much for the first installment on your QuiltCon experience. It sounds like there were highs and lows, but overall a VERY good experience. Quilt shows, competitions and such are very new to me. The first and only "big" show I've attended was the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA. And that was three years ago. So, hearing the perspective a "seasoned" quilt show attender is insightful. Thanks!

  10. Enjoyed your take on QuiltCon very much. There were some great looking quilts, and I'm disappointed yours did not receive a ribbon. Very interesting to hear your perspective as to the type of quilting being rewarded. Maybe they are trying to make a statement that "modern" means simplistic, minimalist type of quilting and lots and lots of open space? Glad you had such a good time.

  11. It seems you had a fab time at QuiltCon even though your quilts didn't win anything. The problem with winning once or more often is that one has very high expectations, isn't it? I've looked at the quilt which won and it was nice, but nothing like yours, especially your quilting. I'm sure that luck also plays a part; is the quilt along the lines of what they expect and is it to the taste of the judges. Glad to know that you are not giving up entering your wonderful quilt into shows.

  12. Thanks for the QuiltCon post. I've been stalking IG, FB and blogs since I didn't get to go. I've also been stalking you for awhile on IG and loved watching you make Shapes - it's way beyond lovely. I'm a 'Show Off' and love to enter shows for the joy of knowing people all over the country could be looking at my quilts and my heart sores when I see posts with my quilts pictured like in your blog - mine is the yellow Diamond Chains above - thanks bunches! You can make yourself crazy wondering about why you didn't get a ribbon (and they are pretty cool ribbons) but know that you are in good company (my 2 quilts didn't win either :-) I've been happy dancing for months that out of @1500 entries my quilts were chosen to be in this wonderful show - woo hoo!!! Hoping that they include one of those cool 'My Quilt was in the Show' buttons when my quilts are returned :-)
    A Florida neighbor in Fort Lauderdale
    Charlotte Noll

  13. Oh I'm so glad that you had a good time. I really want to go, hopefully when it comes east. And I can't wait to see your quilt hanging at MQX.

  14. Great recap of the show Linda!! It was SO nice meeting you and the other MCM Bee-ers that attended QuiltCon!

  15. Loving all these posts, a great Saturday AM with coffee and quilts. And I live all the pins, in fact I am thinking that's what I covet the most...

  16. Well, I'm finally getting around to ready blogs about the QuiltCon. I can see that there are so amazing quilt sorry that you didn't get a ribbon because your quilts are dynamite!. I think you are correct in your thinking that the actual elaborate quilting is not what the judges were looking for in this show and I agree that there should be a numbering system to the judging or it remains mystical! I'm looking forward to reading more.....

  17. Hi I am in catch up today so really enjoying reading your posts. Be proud of your Shapes quilt as it is very worthy of a prize. Fabulous quilting on it.

  18. Another fine post--fun to relive that experience, but now I have to go to bed. (And yes, I still love your quilts--so glad I got to see them!)



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