Thursday, February 26, 2015

QuiltCon Hangover

The dust is settling around here and I finished all my obligatory sewing when I returned.  Now I can finally post about QuiltCon this past weekend.  I asked some friends "What do you want to see from QuiltCon.  I don't want to bore you."  

The responses were mainly three things. 
 "We want to see more quilts." 
"What did I take away from QuiltCon?"
"What do you want to go home and do right away"

I'm going to scatter the quilts throughout this post that struck a chord with me.  They are interspersed, no rhyme, no reason. I put my thoughts into categories that have been on my mind during and since returning home.  Please excuse the less than stellar phone pictures.  My bag was too heavy with tools and supplies for me to lug my nicer camera.

1) Fear.  I don't give myself enough credit. I need to be more brave about sharing all the patterns in my head. Submitting quilts to shows.

Edited: Deconstructed Star by Amy Struckmeyer.

  The very "well known" quilters are not the only ones in the show. And most importantly to not feel shackled in the thought of "if I did that technique it wouldn't be good enough".  You don't know until you try. 

Ack. Did not take a pic of the name.  Embarrased.

A secondary portion of fear? My loss.  I had quilted for years but with no real passion.  Since the loss of my daughter, I dove in head first and found solace and happiness on my grief journey.  Its often hard to explain. 

Self Portrait, Year Two (Beneath the Surface) by Penny Gold

When I saw this quilt, I thought.....some people quilt because they like the process and art.  I like it for both of those things, but it is sooo much more for me too. 

2) Frustration. I get wrapped up in finding my style and I don't open my mind to new possibilities.

Under the Sea by Barbara Cline

  I need to make quilts that are more "me" and less for the person I'm making them for. I appreciate a traditional quilt and can make one now and then, but I sure would prefer making more modern ones or traditional blocks with modern twists. 

Forgot the name, but pretty sure by Lee Heinrich

3) I'm Important.  I shouldn't always put myself in the backseat.  My husband was VERY supportive of this trip once it was all booked and planned.  It happened to land during a very important time of his new job, his first week.  However, he made sure to let the new company know...this week was for me and there was nothing he would do to alter my trip. name in my photo library.  I thought I was more careful than this!

I almost headed home early Sunday because I was tired and I was feeling guilty I was gone for so long. The kids were missing me and I had a three hour drive ahead of me. I almost skipped my lecture I was registered for. My roommate reminded me I paid for it and it was the only one I was most interest in. I am so glad I went.

Elizabeth Dackson "Don't Call Me Betsy" Modern Traditionalism lecture

 After attending Elizabeth Dackson's Modern Traditional lecture I feel more confirmed in the idea that that modern traditionalism appeals to me the most. I need to embrace.

Colorado 4x4

4.) Let it Go.  Ahaha moments can occur when I let it all go.  Great things can happen if I open my mind to that. This feeds off the lecture I took that last day and followed me home on my drive.  My home is traditionally decorated because that is where my husband I meet in the middle, but I am going to be more and more bold with my quilts.

This is by Nicole from Mama Love Quilts.  I didn't take a pic of her quilt name because there was a demonstration just to the side of me and I was trying to take a pic FAST ;)

My husband doesn't love the more modern ones, but they don't have to live in my home.

Spiced Chai Quilt by Kate Blakesly

 Make them and donate or sell them if they don't "fit" our home. Or?  Maybe start pushing my home decorations to fit them!!!  

Long Island Modern Sampler by Kim Saper

5).  NAMES.  Learn quilters names.  Not their usernames on social media.  But their actual names. 
I'm going to make a concerted effort to get to know all my followers names and those of the designers. 

6). Classes. If ever I have a chance to take a class locally or at a conference, I will be sure I attend something I've never done before. 

Triangles and Ombre Classes with Vanessa Christenson and Advanced Paper Piecing with Lee Heinrich

It was amazing to attend classes with people I really have admired for awhile.  It was also nice to learn new tips in some of the classes I took.

  Next time? I think I need to be more open to things that I have never tried.  Go outside my box and see what happens.  The ombre class was my "out of my comfort zone" class and I gained SO much from it.

7).  Lectures. Attend more lectures. I had an open Saturday morning/afternoon and wandered aimlessly around vendors and the show. 

I imagine I missed some things I could have taken away with me.  I have read that lectures are sometimes more informative than classes. I am certainly going to take that approach that if ever I make it back to Quiltcon. 

8). I am an introvert. I always thought I was a mix of an extrovert and an introvert because I can be outgoing and fun in a group, but what I didn't realize until this weekend is that it takes some major effort and energy. 

I don't regret exerting that little bit of energy. It was so worth it to finally meet people that I've been "chatting" with online for a few years. 

9.)  Roommates are awesome.  Who else can you talk to for hours on end!!  

I will admit. My anxious self was planning to find a cheap hotel or stay at a friend's house out of the way and drive into town each day.  However, I got an email from another quilter I had met in Hawaii while meeting Jennifer from Knotted Threads two summers ago.  

My roommate was Jen (Newbie Jen on blogger) from Quilter in the Closet and we would talk non-stop about quilting.  Our classes.  Our lectures.  What we learned.  What we were disappointed about.  It was amazing.  If I did that at home?  The boys would start rolling their eyes and put their Beats on their ears and turn up their itunes music!  My only regret?  We NEVER TOOK A PICTURE together.  So silly!

10). Conferences aren't the only places to learn.   Can't afford the tickets?  The airfare/gas/parking?  The hotel room?  I have to admit.  I "knew" the final total bill would be a bit high.  But I imagine it could be extravagant for other people.  And to do it every year?  I would definitely have to justify the cost.  Are you in the "I only have enough for fabric boat"?   Most of the ladies leading the classes and lectures have books, blogs, and classes on Craftsy.  Go to your guild meetings. Check out their schedule. Someone might be coming your way and you don't even know it! Take advantage. I'm signing up for another Craftsy class with Angela Walters this week!  

So what was I in a rush to go home and do?  
Finish all my UFOs and WIPS.  Clear them out of my closet and plastic containers.  I don't want to completely scrub them.  However, I DO want to start fresh.  Start new.  Start letting my inner self be expressed more.  I think it will be so empowering!


  1. Thanks Heidi! For all your thoughts and pictures. I'm totally an introvert, too. Besides the cost (which is out of the question just now) the thought of putting myself out there at a Quilt Con show is overwhelming, but I sure wish I could manage it! Maybe if I save now, Savannah in 2017????
    And, if your kiddo is heading to WI for college, and you have extra time, let me know and I'll shoot up to Milwaukee (at worst with a couple kids in tow). Introverts, unite!

  2. Great post, Heidi!!! Ditto to everything and Hi, I'm Melissa! 😉

  3. Thanks for your post - I loved reading things from your perspective & I'm so glad we met!

  4. Loved this--and loved meeting you for lunch! (and in class and over and over again around the hall). The top quilt is called Deconstructed Lonestar by Amy Struckmeyer, if you want to know, but given the nature of your post, I don't think it is critical. Did you know that ChristaQuilts also had a similar epiphany after QuiltCon 2013? I can't wait to see how it rolls in your life. You are a rock star! (And I, too, love the quilt about the mourning mother. . .)

  5. Hi Heidi. Thank you so much for doing this. It's a very honest report on QuiltCon. Lots of people will just say "it was great", but you've gone into details of the good bits and the challenging bits. I imagine rooming with a stranger could be scary at first, but I'm pleased it worked out well for you both.

    I plucked up courage and joined my local guild last year. I didn't know anyone, but had been reading Adrienne Reid's blog (On the Windy Side) so went and introduced myself to her. I'm so glad I joined because they have great guest speakers, show and tells, block of the months, classes, etc. I'm getting to know more people each month. I guess it's a bit like taking the leap to go to QuiltCon, but not as expensive and not as far. I"m so glad I joined because I'm learning so much and trying new things.

    I hope you can spend a few weeks/months finishing your WIPs and then feel free to start some totally new things. My husband and sons are slowly coming round to me displaying more of my work in our home. At first they said "a quilt hanging in the hall? No thanks", but now they don't even notice it. I do though, and it tells visitors more about who I am.

    Thank you again for doing this report.

  6. Ahhhh, a fellow introvert and you were at QuiltCon, too! The world of quilt blogging is so huge. I wish I'd known you then. It was totally out of the box for me to attend QuiltCon, but I was only an hour away. I couldn't muster up the nerve to take any classes, but I certainly had a fun day roaming through the quilts and booths and meeting a few fellow bloggers. Am enjoying my little scroll through your archived posts this morning and am glad to have found you (in a round about way after visiting Rachel Hauser's most recent post). Thank you for donating your time, love, and materials for their quilt, Flowers for Eleni's. I'd love to be able to contribute a little $ toward the cost to help in my own little way since I didn't know about it until today and don't have a flower in the quilt. Please email me! Thanks!


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