What I Learned from QuiltCon 2013

My head is still reeling from all of the QuiltCon awesomeness over the weekend. I hope you are not tired of me blogging about it yet! You can read about many the awesome quilts here.

When I arrived at the Austin Airport, I knew I was for a treat. In fact, I met a couple of gals on the plane headed to QuiltCon who were so friendly, even though we had just met. This was just the beginning of a weekend full of fun and friendship. Most everyone who attended was meeting people for the first time, and I felt like we all finally found an excuse in this world to be nice to each other. If all the world quilted, it would be a peaceful world indeed!

Austin, Texas Airport

Austin, Texas Airport

The first day there, I started running into people that I had only met online before. Here are Faith from Fresh Lemons and Katie from Swim, Bike, Quilt. They were so sweet and fun to hang out with. In turn, they introduced me to several of their other blogger friends and we all had a wonderful dinner together Thursday night. When I asked how they all knew each other, they all responded the same, “from blogging, of course!” I knew right then and there that these were my peeps!

Faith and Katie

The next day I took a machine quilting class with Angela Walters. Angela is probably the most fun and enthusiastic quilting teacher I’ve ever met. I took lots of notes, not only on how to be a better machine quilter, but how to be a better quilt teacher, too! I asked her if she’d be my BFF and she said, yes!! (I think she says yes to everyone – but hey, I don’t care. I quilt-around, and I am not ashamed to admit it!)

Angela Walters

Here’s Lee (from Freshly Pieced) and I next to the long-arm machines. While I prefer to quilt on my Bernina, the class was wonderful because Angela taught us techniques and design ideas that we could apply to any quilt. She gave me permission to share some of the designs in my quilts – so watch for that in my next quilt-along!

Christa and Lee

Friday night, I met up with a bunch of gals from Pile O’Fabric’s Skillbuilder Block of the Month. We talked quilting, discussed our BOM progress and had a pincushion swap. This is the one I received from Deirdre – isn’t it the cutest?? Thanks to Alyssa for putting this on!

Christa and Deirdre

In between socializing and viewing all of the lovely Quilts, I attended several of the informative lectures. I learned more about how to get my work published into books and magazines (keep doing what I’m doing, but save a few original ideas to debut professionally in print, not on the blog – sorry gals!)

Magazine Editors

Bill Gardner, Editor-in-Chief of Quilters Newsletter
Vicki Anderson, CEO & Publisher, Modern Quilts Unlimited

I also learned more about the history of modern quilting, and that we women are emotional and can cry at the drop of the hat when overcome by quilting awesomeness!

I learned what “alternate grid” design means. Instead of laying things out neatly in columns and rows, an alternate grid structure is used to create more randomness and I think, a more interesting aesthetic appeal.

Regular Grid Quilt

Regular Grid Quilt

Alternate Grid Quilt

Alternate Grid Quilt

Modern quilting is definitely not art quilting; yet it is not constrained by traditional design.

It’s somewhere in between. In her lecture, Heather Grant said, “Art quilting is to fine art, as Modern quilting is to graphic art.” I also learned that making a quilt from “modern” fabric does not make it modern! (Well, I already thought that, but now it was confirmed.)

Ellen Rushman

Ellen Rushman, Lecture on Modern Quilting Research

Some new areas of modern quilting that I would like to explore are making a low volume quilt (think lots of neutrals), and making quilts on an exaggerated scale (think pixelization but with clearer images). I also want to teach my own modern version of applique.

How will this all of this new knowledge influence me in the future? I now feel a little more focused in the direction that I want to take with my quilting, both personally and professionally. While my next quilt-along is set to launch tomorrow, the one after that will definitely be more modern!

Free Bag from Kaufman

Free Bag from Kaufman

Michael Miller Fabric Reps

Michael Miller Fabric Reps

I also have a better understanding for  the kinds of modern fabrics I want to add to my store. I will definitely be adding more Kona Cotton Solids, and I will constantly be on the lookout for more cool collections (from Michael Miller and others!)

Watch for my next post on Celebrity Quilter encounters at QuiltCon, later in the week!

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14 Responses to What I Learned from QuiltCon 2013

  1. Nicky says:

    Ah if only I could take a course with Angela! And be her BFF haha!

  2. Christa, this is a great post. You’re in the L.A. area right? We need to meet up sometime! And I have lots of questions for you so maybe we can email about that. Thanks for linking up again this week!

  3. Emily says:

    Great re-cap! Did you stick around for Ellen Rushman’s lecture? I am so sad that I missed that one – I met her at a sewing expo recently and I love her work with quilt research! :) Also, I’m pretty sure Angela said she’d be my best friend too.

  4. my studioQ says:

    Thanks sooo much Christa for making me feel that I was at QuiltCon, even if it was just a few minutes!

  5. Marsha Kestner says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience at quilt con. Everybodys blog shows such great pictures. I may have to add that to my bucket list. I’m signed up for flicker and ready to go!

  6. mlwilkie says:

    very nice write up, gives a lot of information…thank you :-)

  7. quiltfairy33 says:

    I couldn’t make it to QuiltCon but really enjoyed your posts about it. You captured the excitement and fun…thanks for sharing!

  8. msannie says:

    I LOVE your reports from QuiltCon! Wish you had MORE pictures! mama

    > Christa Quilts! > Tuesday, February 26, 2013 5:01 AM > Christa posted: “My head is still reeling from all of the QuiltCon > awesomeness over the weekend. I hope you are not tired of me blogging > about it yet! You can read about many the awesome quilts here. When I > arrived at the Austin Airport, I knew I was for a treat. In fa” >

  9. ellie says:

    Thank you for all the great pictures and for including pictures of you too. Made me feel like I was there with you. Can’t wait to see what you come up with in your online store and on your blog.

  10. Ann says:

    Besides missing out on all the fun, when I only live 4 hours from Austin, I am not super jealous… no… really disappointed that I did not attend. Thank you for sharing what you learned. I look forward to future posts about it!

  11. dezertsuz says:

    It sounds as if your quilting is going to turn a corner into a new direction. Best of luck with all the ideas swirling in your head!

  12. You have done a good job reporting.. loved seeing faces of folks we talk to, maybe next year me and you will meet…One yr I want to go.

  13. Betty Lou says:

    Thank you, Christa, for sharing you QuiltCon experience with us, sounds like you all had a wonderful and informative time. Look forward to tomorrow’s post.

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