Have you been following #tenyearsofquiltcon on Instagram?
QuiltCon is such a staple of the Modern Quilting Community it’s hard to believe that it has only been around for ten years! My experiences at this show as an attendee, contest entrant, and teacher have helped shape the type of work I do today. Here are some highlights:
2016: Pasadena, California
Woohoo! This was my first time attending QuiltCon, and I also had my first quilt in the show, The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts. I took a longarm quilting class with Angela Walters and fell in love with quilting swirls.
2017: Savannah, Georgia
When I signed up for the mini quilt swap for the first time, I had no idea that the person I was making for would be my roommate at the show. Swap partners were secret for this swap, so I had to stealthfully wrap the mini quilt before we headed to the swap exchange venue.
Three quilts were juried into the show in 2017, and Infused Plaid won 1st place in the Negative Space Category! This quilt was the beginning of a series that I have worked on for years, and I’m not sure it is finished. The quilt was included in the book put out by the MQG and is now in the permanent collection of the National Quilt Museum.
2018: Pasadena, California
I couldn’t attend the show, but four of my quilts did! Lateral Ascension even received third place in the minimalism category!
2019: Nashville, Tennessee
Since I could stay with family during the Nashville show, I volunteered before, during, and after the show. I helped with many different areas during set up and took down quilts at the show’s end. I particularly enjoyed checking badges at the entry to the show- I got to meet so many people I had only known through Instagram before!
Three of my quilts were in the show, and Complementary Convergence (one of my all-time favorite quilts) even received 1st place in the negative space category!
2020: Austin, Texas
Four of my quilts went to Austin, but I skipped attending with plans to go the next year. Well, we all know how that turned out!
2021: QuiltCon Together
I received my first national teaching contract at QuiltCon 2021, which changed drastically when the world shut down, and QuiltCon was wisely shifted to a virtual format. I learned a lot about shooting videos!
The best part of the virtual show was listening to the recordings entrants were invited to add to their quilts. I loved hearing the story behind each quilt in the entrant’s voice. Two of my quilts were included in the show, and one of my big accomplishments for the year was getting used to hearing my voice on recordings both for the quilt audio and the class videos!
2022: Phoenix, Arizona
Teaching in person (at this level) for the first time was awesome! My schedule was so packed that I saw the show in less than two hours over four days, but I had a terrific time. (The weather was also delightful- I tend to enjoy the desert)
Four quilts were juried into the show this time, and my local guild, the Central Ohio MQG, used my design for the community outreach quilt.
2023: Atlanta, Georgia
The day before the show, I helped set up the Quilt Pattern Mart vendor booth, and I had a meet-the-maker session with my Zoo Family Portrait Quilt yesterday. Sunday Lovingly, Lissa and I will have a meet-the-maker for our Quilt Concert Series.
I’m teaching full-time again this year, and I love sharing these classes- My schedule is somehow more full than last year, but it is worth it!
Two quilts were juried into the show, although not necessarily those I expected to be accepted. Imagine my surprise when my Appliqué entry received third place!
What I’ve Learned…
Every QuiltCon (or any quilt show, for that matter) is different. Each show has its type of flow, and that is especially true when the host cities change. I’ve had the opportunity to participate in the show in several ways throughout the years- attendee, student, volunteer, teacher, and now vendor’s assistant- and the experiences vary wildly. But the experience is always good overall. The key is all of the amazing people you come across. So please talk with the people in your classes or others walking the show aisles. It may be a brief chat, but you may end up sharing a meal, planning a meet-up for next year, or having a quilty BFF!