Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Quiltcon Recap

I've thought there are many ways to do this post and sort the pictures. I could sort by classes, quilts, and purchases/swag, I could break it up into several blog posts, or I could just throw it at you in the order it happened to me. I decided to go with the last one. It's going to be a long, but hopefully fabulous, post. Because of my munchkins and my hubby's work schedule I was only able to go two days but I'm so happy with it! Excuse the photo quality on some of these. I only had my phone camera to take pictures.


These are my babies. We had a hard time with me leaving because this is the first time I've left them overnight without having another one since March of 2006. It was -1*f feels like -22*f so we went with a photo shoot in the car.

I brought my knitting so I had something to do on the plane and in the airport. It was so fun to work on. For those that haven't been following along with my knitting I just learned in October and this is my first fair isle project. I'm in love! This hat is nearly done and I can't wait to show it off later in the week. I got into Austin around 11pm. Our flight was delayed because the connecting plane in Dallas broke.
Day 1:

My first class was the New Cathedral Windows class with Johanna Masko. It was a fun class but at this point I was wondering how it was going to all turn out. So to get here we made strips, pressed them in half, cut them into smaller sections and sewed on either side. Then we turned them inside-out and matched up the seams to make these little boat things.

So next we pressed the boats flat and they made little squares. We put the seam side down and sewed them to our background piece. It's really quite gray but I couldn't get it to read right.

Here it is with my Lotus Pond squares on top. All I need to do now is fold over the gray squares and hand stitch them down then attach the pillow back. I haven't gotten very far with this yet. Overall I like this class and the technique uses a ton less fabric than the traditional way and a lot more machine sewing. The teacher was abrasive at times but really sweet at others. It was weird and hard to process on very little sleep.

My next class was Drive By Color with Anna Maria Horner. I've just recently started to love her prints but I have always loved her use of color so I was excited but apprehensive to take this class. I found it to be amazingly helpful and it is the class that I keep thinking about over and over and it's so applicable to so many non-quilt things! So, to start out we each got a color bundle of her fabric. If you can't tell from the picture I was green.

We arranged ourselves into I think four or five color wheels and then as assigned traded fabric with those in our specific wheel. We got to pick one print and the rest were swapped with the people to our left and right in the wheel. This is what I ended up with and I'm so happy with it. It's amazing how the addition of these other colors totally changed the feel of the bundle and made it more dynamic for me.

I adore the Color Dive pattern!!! Seriously an awesome project. I've admired this on the internet so many times but it was awesome to see in person. Speaking of person, I just adore Anna Maria Horner. I'd never met her before but she's just one of those people that engages you and makes you laugh. It was a fun few hours with her and I'll happily take any classes I can from her in the future.

After my second class I did a little shopping and checking out some stuff in the vendor hall. I stayed with my sister-in-law who lived in a city nearby and she was sweet enough to drive me around. We went back to her house and I showed off all my goodies. You can see I did make a little progress on my cathedral window project but not much. It's still in this state as the knitting has been calling my name a little louder. I bought some awesome fabric from Cloud9 and I show you later in the week what I did with it. I also got a cute new shirt from Patchwork Threads that I just love! I stopped by the Massdrop booth to pick up my goodie bag and because I can't play "corn hole" very well I won this little zippy pouch from the Moda people. Totally a win as I liked this one the best anyway!

I know this isn't the best picture, silly phone camera, but imagine these in their full color glory. The lovely people of Cotton and Steel had the best booth in the show. They had scraps for us to make different things and these fabric buttons/pins were one of them. I brought one home for each of my kids as a little souvenir from my trip.
 DAY 2:
Day two was an all-day class called Zigzag Quilting Sampler with Krista Withers. We quilted on the HQ Sweet Sixteen sitdown machines and while it was new to me the technique was the same-ish. She made us these quilt sandwiches with the zigzag lines sewn on and we just had to go for it. I was not in love with the hot pink thread. We needed contrast so we could see better and learn from our mistakes but that was a bit much, hehe. She also gave us a piece of wet-erase plastic to draw on to try out quilting designs. LOVE IT! It made me so brave and I've since used it at home to try out designs on my quilts. She also mentions that plexiglass works well too and suggests to tape the edges with high-contrast tape so you don't go over the edge and ruin the quilt. This is what I ended up with at the lunch break. I'm sure you can see where I struggled and what I did well. I loved the triangles, even though I wasn't fabulous at them, and the ovals. I think I'll try the squares some more as it seems useful.

During the lunch break I check out the quilts. Benedict Cumberbatch swoon!! It so funny because when I found this there were several ladies all gathered around sighing at the quilt. I had one of them take my picture. My hubby alternately laughs and groans at my love for him.

I think this was my favorite quilt of the show. I love the colors and the idea. I love the piecing and the quilting. I adore the newspaper boat. It's all just amazing!

Check this one out! I love all the circles and the colors were pretty awesome too.

However, this put it over-the-top into amazing for me. Check out that curved pieced binding!! Seriously, this is awesome and also why I can't do shows. I'd never be that cool to come up with that kind of thing or pull it off that well.

I liked this one because of the colors and the Texas-ness of it all. It seemed fitting for Quiltcon in Austin, TX. I know my SILs would love this.

The pattern and colors both on this one spoke to me. I love the way they create a secondary pattern too. The low volume grays for the background added a layer of interest for me too.

This one stopped me in my tracks. I adore blues and greens and I love the gradation of it all.

This quilt in general was kind of blah for me but I do adore the quilting. I've been into dense and slightly complex but also organic quilting lately.

I've loved this pattern for a while now. The interesting blocks with all the negative space so it doesn't get overwhelming.

It was made even more awesome by the quilting!! Check it out how it extends from the points and has the cool other fill. LOVE! Complex yet not overwhelming and added interest with the change in pattern/texture.

Between quilt photos I made the time to do a little fabric shopping. I was so impressed by my AMH class and how awesome her fabrics looked when combined in cool ways that I went and grabbed some more fat quarters. These are mostly Folk Song with a few Honor Roll mixed in, I think. I used to think this much color and print were overwhelming but seeing them in person and in a few different quilts I was amazed at how I loved it and how different it was from what I've been doing. I decided to run with it before I changed my mind.

So, I adore Elizabeth Hartman patterns. I just finished a Fancy Fox top and cut into a Hazel Hedgehog quilt. I also have all the stuff for an Aviatrix and a Preppy the Whale mini. As it happens her class this day was right across from mine so I was able to meet her and snag these buttons. Woohoo!

Back in the class Krista had us all gather around with our samples and talk about what we did and didn't like about them. With her little plastic and pen she showed us some fixes for what we had problems with and it was super helpful! This was one of my favorite bits of the whole class.

She also showed us cool ways to use feathers and how to make them look more modern. So fun!

So here's what I tried in the afternoon. We switched thread so it wasn't so in your face but that makes it harder to show here. I love the cool diamonds with the tiny fill to make them pop but that was so hard! The stripe is only 1" from top to bottom. I think it would be a little easier slightly bigger but loved the look. This was also my first attempt at circles. I love how they turned out and am already planning on putting them into a quilt this week. So fun!

This super-blurry picture is me with Vanessa of V. and Co. I seriously adore her work but I love her even more as a person. We hung out during our breaks and had a nice lunch together. She lives so close to me in my new house so hopefully we'll get to hang out more. Vanessa has some awesome things coming up like the color books that are just coming out. She's made one for each color in the rainbow and they are quite impressive. The red is out now and orange is coming soon.

I woke up at 4:30am on Saturday to come home to my people in snowy Iowa and had a nice pair of flights. I even got the exit row which was nice for my super-long legs and complex knitting. The baby was especially excited to see me home.
Well there you have it. A crazy long post on my lovely time at Quiltcon. I don't know when I'll be able to go again but I'd love to every year! I'm so grateful to my wonderful hubby for taking the five kids and for all the people involved in my Quiltcon experience.


  1. It looks like you had a fantastic time. I am glad you were able to go, I like a lot of the fabric that you picked up. Love you hat that you made on the way there also.

  2. Great pictures! The best one is the picture in the car with your lovely, happy family!

  3. That's so cool you got to actually hang out with Vanessa! :) Did you already know her prior to Quilt Con??

  4. Thank you for sharing your experience! Anna Maria Horner is so sweet! I met her once through a trunk show. Her stuff is amazing and she is so inspiring! Your quilting looks amazing! I need to practice more! I am loving the more dense looks too!!


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