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QuiltCon 2024

I have been wanting to share this experience with you all ever since I got home, but I took some time to process it all! I had a very rough arrival to North Carolina, including but not limited to drama at the hotel where they couldn't find my booking. I had reserved through their own site. Thankfully after several moments of panic they were able to find a room for me and I was able to get a good rest. I will spare you day-by-day details and just cover general, note-worthy moments.


THE SHOW

Having a sample of my very first quilt pattern hang among the many stunning quilts at QuiltCon was surreal. It was in the Modern Traditionalism category. I have attended a few quilt shows and had a quilt in the County Fair, but this was nothing like that! It's a much bigger show and being a modern quilt show it had a very different feel than one where traditional quilts are included. I was so honored that the Modern Quilt Guild chose my quilt to be a part in the show. One of my favorite quilts was Joy by Coles Quilts.



THE VENDORS

Oh wow! I've been to several sewing conventions and they are fantastic! But I will say some of the vendors went above and beyond with their booths, the make-and-takes and scheduled events, booth themes and decor. There was fabulous stuff there to discover. I didn't buy a ton since I was flying home, but I did manage to find a few good deals on items and met some really nice vendors too.


THE CLASSES

I attended two lectures and was thoroughly impressed by them both. I chose one on Mental Health in Quilting, the other on Involving the Next Generation in Quilting. Both were super informational, well rounded lectures from experienced instructors. My friends all had rave reviews about their hands on classes too.




THE PEOPLE

Of course there were celebrities to meet and the sheer number of people I met and talked to was astounding. Then there were the people that I have known behind accounts for a LONG time and become friends with. Meeting them is what made me most emotional. I was able to meet my Technical Editor, Elisabeth of Elisabeth Quilt Co. in person as well as fellow pattern designers and pattern testers. It was absolutely incredible to hug them and talk to them. They are incredible people!



Me & Elizabeth, my amazing tech editor.

A DINNER

One night I attended an Icebreaker Dinner hosted by Lindsey from Pear Tree Market, Kaitlyn from Knot and Thread, Laurel from Snowberry Street and Laura from The Gathering Quilt. It was a fantastic event with delicious southern BBQ. I would do it again in a heartbeat.


MY TIPS

Don't miss the show! I know some people went more for the classes or the vendors but honestly, it is an emotional, moving experience to walk those isles and take it all in! Some of the quilts are incredible because of the piecing, some because of their stories, others because of their message. All of them were amazing. I don't regret missing a booth, but I do regret missing one section of the show I didn't realize I missed until I was leaving.


Wear good shoes. I know people say this all the time, but it's so true! I took an uber back and forth to my hotel since it was not nearby and I did not walk as much as others I'm sure. I took about 6,000 extra steps each day or more. My Dr. Scholl's shoes got me through really well. I'm so glad I had them and broke them in before the show.


Have a good bag. I prefer using a backpack to a purse at events like this. That way I have something to carry everything in and leave my hands free! I also like to use a messenger bag, but even those can get heavy. When I purchased a clapper and other goods from Modern American Vintage, I was so glad I had a backpack on hand.


THE JUDGING

Finally, I wanted to share my quick thoughts on the judging of my Launch Status Check. Why? So other's know what to expect. Unlike the Dutch judging I experienced at my county fair, where every detail is gone over and evaluated, this felt much more generalized. For those of you who have are familiar with the one style, this might feel very different.



Now that you've had a chance to read it over, let me share my initial feelings. Initially, having experienced a different judging style first I kind of felt a little surprised by it all. First of all the "YES" just denotes noteworthy or well-executed elements, not that they weren't done well or you missed the mark if you didn't get a yes. It's just what stood out. It's kind of is like getting a report card where you're graded 1-4 on a subject, but the only number they're noting here is 4.


Finally, I've had a few people question the very last comment about why it would say the quilting doesn't support the overall design. Initially that surprised me too and I thought perhaps they completely missed that the quilting was in reference to the millions of tech parts of a rocket. But then I realized that wasn't it. Why did I realize that? Perhaps because I have a perfect example of this same pattern with custom quilting that does support the overall design. Let me show you.



You see, edge-to-edge design just doesn't do what custom quilting does. It is an over-all pattern and can't enhance and detail and make each unique element in a quilt stand out. So while it might coordinate, look amazing or even go perfectly with the quilt, it doesn't enhance those rockets the same way custom quilting would have. Imagine if each colored row of rockets or each rocket had been uniquely custom quilted! It would be a very different quilt. This is what I think the judges were referring to with their note. So, while initially I wondered about it, I'm not surprised at all to have that feedback. Would I make this quilt any differently? Perhaps, especially now that I have a longarm machine of my own to play with. Do I regret my decisions? NOT AT ALL.


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