Saturday, March 2, 2013

quiltcon 2013 - a recap

at the moda bakeshop booth
As soon as we got back I wrote as much down as I could tolerate and looking at it now, this is probably my longest post ever by a long shot! I'm just going to randomly dump in some photos and post it already cause it's been almost a week! 

we jammed to this song on repeat
We left Friday morning and arrived in Austin just in time to hit the 6th street bar district or whatever it's called. Talk about wild. We stopped in a few places that didn't have a cover charge and enjoyed some locally brewed IPA. There was also a really neat pizza joint (actually there were several) so we grabbed a couple slices, leaned against a wall for a minute and people watched. Austin is a trip.

6th street - i desperately wanted to ride on one of these
photo blurred to protect the innocent.
totally rad building
The next morning we were fully immersed in quilt culture. It took me a minute to adjust, I was so totally nervous. This was my first time at any sort of quilt show, and there were SO many people that I felt overwhelmed. I don't do well in crowds, I hate feeling "herded" and I wanted to properly read the labels and absorb each quilt's awesomeness. So many people were photographing and I kept feeling in the way, so we switched gears and went to check out the booths. I didn't know what to do first, I was worried I'd run out of time to enjoy everything since we'd only be there for a day! I stopped to point out a neat quilt hanging in the Andover booth, one made with that new constellations line by Lizzie House, and instantly was scolded for line jumping. There was a line? A line for what? OH, free fabric. Don't get between quilters and free fabric! You might lose an arm.

my quiltcon haul
We repositioned ourselves at the end of the line and filled out the required info to get a free charm pack. Everyone else was grabbing the one with pearl bracelets, so in a rush decision I went with the other one just because I felt bad for it, hehe. But it turned out to be Thomas Knauer's new line, Asbury, which I later looked at in detail in a fabric shop booth (I can't remember which one) and LOVED it. His egg/jellybean prints are probably at the top of my list of favorites, and there's several new colors included in this line, and apparently even more are in the works. Smart man! I also really dig the bowling pins.

After all that excitement, I walked up to the Robert Kaufman booth and sat down to make a memory hexie while Jon harassed the people at Craftsy and Threadbias. I chit chatted with a couple of the women next to me and quickly discovered not to mention the long drive to ANYONE else because it warranted looks I wasn't prepared for, lol. The kind of look that reads "are you out of your mind?" I guess we are! But more on that later...

my memory hexie
pinned up on the wall with all the others
After I finished my hexie I joined Jon for a chat with the Threadbias guy, who was super cool and nice and kind of inspiring... so after this post I'm gonna go sign up for a free account. I love the idea of having a virtual stash, though it would take FOREVER to input everything I already have. Looks like that new design tool could be quite useful, too! I also chatted in depth with the Craftsy people. I'd heard mentions of Craftsy here and there, but haven't ever actually checked it out. They were giving away a free class, add that to my to-do list! Anyone have suggestions on a good one to take?

The Spoonflower booth was neat, I've ordered fabric from them a couple times, but they actually have vinyl decals and wallpaper now too. I saw someone on Instagram this morning (a few days ago, now) posting pictures of vinyl decals up along the ceiling of her kitchen, Melody Miller designs, it was so awesome. Just looked it up again, it was Rae Hoekstra of Made by Rae, maybe she'll be posting photos on her blog or something too.

So at some point during this craziness, I met up with Kristan of Doodle Do Designs. She's in my stitch that stash! bee and is super fun. She went with her mom and sister, who were both awesome, too. We met back up later and ate lunch at a bbq place close to the convention center. My phone died slightly after lunch, so I wasn't able to coordinate meetups with anyone else, what a drag! Kristan and I bumped elbows a third time later in the afternoon and spent a little time geeking out over fabric. We dropped the ball on getting a photo together, though. Oops!

talk about bad timing
Speaking of photos, right before we got to Austin my iphone let me know it was out of space and couldn't take any more. I spent the next thirty minutes frantically going through the last six months trying to find blurred shots and duplicates and junk to delete since I had no computer to "dump" my photos to. Am I the only one who stores 3,700 photos on they're iphone? No music or videos, very little apps... just photos! I managed to rid myself of 500 of them and wondered if that would be enough space for one day at Quiltcon. HA! I snapped less than 50 pics at the show, and maybe another 50 during the whole trip, and a lot of those were on Jon's phone because mine was dead. Go figure.

Jon and I also had a really lovely conversation with a lady in the Bernina booth. She let me play with their top machine, and even set it up with a stitch regulating FMQ foot, which blew my mind completely. Apparently this lady had once been a dealer, with a shop and all. Jon was really interested in that part, so we talked for a while about what it took to be a dealer, just for funsies. We learned a lot of useful information this weekend, for sure. I wish I'd gotten her name, though. She was delightful!

this dog is happy, despite the sad eyes!
You might be wondering what we did with the dog during all of this. Truth be told, she's pretty content in her little travel kennel, and we kept her in the car with the windows cracked while we were at the show. Jon escaped a few times to take her on walks around the convention center, and we spent thirty minutes or so with her after lunch, loving on her and letting her know we'd make it up to her somehow. Hopefully this doesn't make us targets for red paint from PETA activists... I promise we love Lucy to death and she's more than spoiled! She rode on my lap the whole way home from Austin :D

see? like a bug in a rug!
Back to Quiltcon. Since we went on a whim all last minute like, I wasn't in on all those classes with rock star instructors, so I have no recap on those. Based on what I saw via instagram, though, I think everyone had pretty incredible experiences and I look forward to reading what they have to say about them! I thought maybe I'd drop in on a lecture, but there wasn't a "per lecture" price and there were two of us, plus we weren't going to be there for long so we opted not to. I would have loved to see Denyse Schmidt's keynote speech, though. I think I heard Craftsy will be having lectures available for viewing online, so I'll have to look into that.

Speaking of Denyse's speech, at about 5pm the whole quilt show/vendor area really cleared out because most people went to see it. The atmosphere was much more mellow, so we revisited the show quilts, one by one. We discussed them, admired them, read about them. We really enjoyed the vintage quilt display, and spent a great deal of time focusing on the section devoted to Denyse Schmidt's work. Seeing quilts on the internet is one thing. Seeing them is person is a whole new bag.

The scale of a quilt is hard to judge from a photograph. Some of them were so much bigger than I was expecting, others were so much smaller. It was really a neat experience and I'm so glad we went, even if only for a day. I do think our one day was more than enough time to really enjoy everything there was to see in the quilt show/vendor area. It wasn't nearly as big I had imagined it would be, but I wasn't disappointed because we got to see it ALL. I heard there won't be another Quiltcon until 2015, and I wonder if it will be a lot bigger then. I suppose I'll probably plan a longer trip next time, so I can get in on the whole experience.

One of the last things we did before leaving was play with the long arm sewing machines that you couldn't get anywhere near earlier in the day. Jon picked the brain of the Handi Quilter lady and she tried hard to get us to leave with one. Tempting. I think she thought since he seemed on board for buying one, it was a done deal! But let's be real, here. They cost a LOT of money and take up a LOT of space. We have neither of those things! I also don't think I generate near enough quilt tops to justify needing one. But they are fun to play with, I will say that. While I was in the middle of some random loopy stuff, it seemed the 7 year old girl working a foot away was putting me to shame.

the 7 year old's
We hit up a cool restaurant after the show, although I can't remember what it was called. We stopped in for a beer at a super trendy pub near our hotel and were really tempted to hit up 6th street again and just go totally wild, but we ended up hanging out with the dog, instead. The drive home seemed to go so much quicker than the drive down, the roads were clear and we hit very little traffic. We stopped at a few neat places along the way. And then, just like that, we were back amongst the snow again.

and it just. keeps. snowing.
Oh, and back to that bit about being out of our minds? Here's the thing. I grew up on road trips. Often times the car ride itself was as much of the fun as the actual destination. Jon and I are sick to death of winter weather and needed a change of scenery. Plus, whenever others tell you something is ridiculous and not worth doing, it kind of makes you want to do it even more! So yeah. We did it. We drove a total of 24 hours and 1500 miles for one day at Quiltcon. It was an absolute blast and I'm so lucky to have Jon as my partner in crime.

That's all for now! Sorry I didn't actually post any quilts... I'm hoping you've seen enough of them by now!


  1. It looks like you had a blast! Maybe in 2015 you can go and see a quilt of your own in the show. :)

  2. So bummed we didn't get to meet up! Hard to walk out on Amy Butler thought. ;) Glad you had fun, although I don't think we'll be road trip buddies. About 6 hours in the car is my max. After that I feel like screaming. lol What a great guy you have though! Let me know when you open up a shop. ;)


  3. Omg 24 hours?! What an adventure! Why not? Sounds like you had a blast. My brother lives there. I do love Austin. No tattoos?

  4. Sounds amazing! Glad to hear that you had a good time, and lucky to see all the quilty lovelies!

  5. That was a really great recap! I like that it was more personal and not all pics of quilts you saw. Which state do you live in? Further north with the snow I'm guessing. In Australia everywhere is a long road trip too! I agree, you get used to it. My husband loves to drive, I love to be chaufferred around, but now we have little kids it's more tedious!

  6. Lucky you! Sounds like fun times. I hope to go in 2015 for a few days.

  7. Still bummed we didn't get a pic!

  8. It looks like an awesome time! Also - what is all this about Jon caring about sewing machines and whatnot. Are you guys opening up a store or something?!

  9. Looks like you had a fabulous time. Impromptu road trips are the best ones!


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