Travel and Adventures

#QuiltCon2017

Best in Show 2017: "Bling" by Kat Jones

Best in Show 2017: "Bling" by Kat Jones

Hi Friends! 

As you probably already know, I went to Quilt Con this weekend! It was a basically a big, quilt-loving party. A lot of big names in the industry were there, and they were every bit as lovely and generous in person as they are online. I'm new enough to this world that I was neutral on the Modern Quilt Guild (MQG) until last weekend, but I am a big fan now. But I should back up and simply tell y'all about the weekend. I think I could write for days, but I'll try not to get too carried away!

Me, Frances, and Jen

Me, Frances, and Jen

I left Atlanta for Savannah on Friday afternoon and arrived late that night at a sweet little house my friends Frances and Jen had rented. We talked for a couple hours then called it a night. The next morning, we had a cup of coffee then hit the ground running. I knew I only had one day on the show floor, so it had to count. 

I met a lot of people:  Kathy Miller (far left in photo) and Kait Witte at Michael Miller Fabrics, Jacquie Gering, Bradley Mitchell and Alex Veronelli at Aurifil, Christa Watson, Angela WaltersMelissa Averinos, Alison Glass, Mathew BoudreauxVictoria Findlay Wolfe, Jenny Doan, Tula Pink, and, of course, Pam and Lynn from The Stitch TV Show (who I already knew, but should have a shout-out because all of you need to go watch their show immediately)! 

In addition to hobnobbing with the famous and fabulous, I saw some pretty magnificent quilts. First of all, there is the show-stopping "Bling: (shown at top). Even a few days later, I don't really have words. I could stand speechless for a long time. "Bling" is the kind of quilt I thought might be possible, but only have the vaguest ideas about how to possibly start. What Kat has done is nothing short of astounding genius. 

I'm going to post a few of the quilts from the show with their info and maybe a few comments in the captions. Forgive me if this gets lengthy...

First up: Modern Birds in the Air and Bauhaus Birds in the Air by my friend Frances Dowell. If you don't already listen to Frances wax philosophical on The Off Kilter Quilt, then you should. 

"I Love Lobstah" by Shelley Brooks. I saw this quilt in Chattanooga, but my phone was dead. I did a straight up happy dance when I saw it Saturday! It was every bit as fabulous as I remembered!

"I Love Lobstah" by Shelley Brooks. I saw this quilt in Chattanooga, but my phone was dead. I did a straight up happy dance when I saw it Saturday! It was every bit as fabulous as I remembered!

"In Carrboro" by Chawne Kimber. I love anything surprising and improvisational. The movement of this piece is so exciting!

"In Carrboro" by Chawne Kimber. I love anything surprising and improvisational. The movement of this piece is so exciting!

"Sunday Best" by Michelle Wilkie. Speaking of Improv-- just look at this! 

"Sunday Best" by Michelle Wilkie. Speaking of Improv-- just look at this! 

"Alberta Sky Quilt" by the Calgary Modern Quilt Guild. I saw this quilt first on Instagram when it was completed. It captured my awe then and now!

"Alberta Sky Quilt" by the Calgary Modern Quilt Guild. I saw this quilt first on Instagram when it was completed. It captured my awe then and now!

"Gotham Transit Authority" by Catherine Jarett. Maps are another theme I've been thinking about, and I was excited to see that others have been playing with the idea, too!

"Gotham Transit Authority" by Catherine Jarett. Maps are another theme I've been thinking about, and I was excited to see that others have been playing with the idea, too!

"Whatever" by Katie Larson. This quilt won first place in the small quilts division, and you should go look Katie up on Instagram @katie.craftshell immediately. Her work is STUNNING. 

"Whatever" by Katie Larson. This quilt won first place in the small quilts division, and you should go look Katie up on Instagram @katie.craftshell immediately. Her work is STUNNING. 

"Mountain Baby" also by Katie Larson. I don't know if you can see, but Katie quilted clouds, animals, trees, and plants into the landscape. 

"Mountain Baby" also by Katie Larson. I don't know if you can see, but Katie quilted clouds, animals, trees, and plants into the landscape. 

"My Cat is A Jerk" by Monica Solorio-Snow. I think Monica must know my cat Monte, because this is spot on. Monica used Melissa Averinos's making faces raw edge appliqué technique. 

"My Cat is A Jerk" by Monica Solorio-Snow. I think Monica must know my cat Monte, because this is spot on. Monica used Melissa Averinos's making faces raw edge appliqué technique. 

"Moonie McMoonface" by Melissa Averinos. Even if I hadn't talked to Melissa on the phone for an interview a few weeks ago, I think the name of this quilt would have tipped me off that we would get along splendidly. Though Melissa is best known for her raw-edge appliqué, this quilt is pieced. Also, if I were filthy rich, I would fly Melissa to my house for a week to give me private lessons of all three of her classes (the two on making faces and one on color). 

"Moonie McMoonface" by Melissa Averinos. Even if I hadn't talked to Melissa on the phone for an interview a few weeks ago, I think the name of this quilt would have tipped me off that we would get along splendidly. Though Melissa is best known for her raw-edge appliqué, this quilt is pieced. Also, if I were filthy rich, I would fly Melissa to my house for a week to give me private lessons of all three of her classes (the two on making faces and one on color). 

"Folksy Fish" by Sarah Sharp. Fish will get me every time, y'all, but these are just extra charming! This makes me want to spend a day at the Tennessee Aquarium or swimming at Blue Hole. 

"Folksy Fish" by Sarah Sharp. Fish will get me every time, y'all, but these are just extra charming! This makes me want to spend a day at the Tennessee Aquarium or swimming at Blue Hole. 

"Calculator Quilt" by Samarra Khaja. I haven't taken a look at her book Sew Adorkable yet, but I think Samarra hit the nail on the head with this one. I laughed out loud when I came around the corner because I was instantly back in Mrs. Zike's 4th grade class, and Jared Melendez was causing all kinds of trouble with his calculator! 

"Calculator Quilt" by Samarra Khaja. I haven't taken a look at her book Sew Adorkable yet, but I think Samarra hit the nail on the head with this one. I laughed out loud when I came around the corner because I was instantly back in Mrs. Zike's 4th grade class, and Jared Melendez was causing all kinds of trouble with his calculator! 

"Good Morning, Tulsa" by the Tulsa Modern Quilt Guild for the QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge. First off, I'm obsessed with the colors of the challenge this year, but I love that a guild not only conceived of this idea to capture their iconic skyline, but found a way to do it so cleanly and excellently. And the quilting is stunning, too-- I hope you can see it in the picture!

"Good Morning, Tulsa" by the Tulsa Modern Quilt Guild for the QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge. First off, I'm obsessed with the colors of the challenge this year, but I love that a guild not only conceived of this idea to capture their iconic skyline, but found a way to do it so cleanly and excellently. And the quilting is stunning, too-- I hope you can see it in the picture!

"Rails" by Michelle Wilkie. This is an interpretation of a train junction. Again, that theme of maps and place which I love!

"Rails" by Michelle Wilkie. This is an interpretation of a train junction. Again, that theme of maps and place which I love!

"Warp and Weft" by Cheryl Brickey. This quilt won 1st place in the 9-patch challenge, and it's easy to see why. I think this quilt is an excellent example of why we should exercise our creativity and seek inspiration beyond the specifics of our chosen field or craft. 

"Warp and Weft" by Cheryl Brickey. This quilt won 1st place in the 9-patch challenge, and it's easy to see why. I think this quilt is an excellent example of why we should exercise our creativity and seek inspiration beyond the specifics of our chosen field or craft. 

"Quilt One Half" by Sarah Lowry. The colors. The improv. LOVE. Plus, this quilt is a powerful message about women's right to equality.

"Quilt One Half" by Sarah Lowry. The colors. The improv. LOVE. Plus, this quilt is a powerful message about women's right to equality.

Above: "Madonna," Pieced by Brittany Bowen and Quilted by Natalia Bonner; Best Machine Quilting, framed. More gorgeous improv and colors. 

I had a wonderful time at QuiltCon. I suppose I just have a few final thoughts on recurring themes I saw:

1) COLOR: aqua, orange (from coral to tangerine to true orange), yellow (from bright to mustard), royal blue. Also, negative space is not strictly so much white or gray anymore. 

2) STYLE: The improv game is STRONG in the MQG and I LOVE it.

3) SUBJECT: Birds, fish, and place. I think place was the most common theme, and it's one I've been thinking a lot about as well. It was represented in maps, skylines, and nature-scapes. I think place is very important to our identity, so I hope it stays a theme for a while. Along with the idea of "place" was the idea of "directionality." I think both of these themes are closely tied to the recent political climate in the US as many citizens feel dis-placed (at odds with spaces and people they consider home or emotionally upside down) even though they may not be literally displaced. Speaking of which, all manner of political themes were well represented as well. 

(To read more about the themes of QuiltCon, check out my friend Quiltin' Jenny's excellent post!)

I spent about an hour in the QuiltAlliance booth on Saturday making recordings about three quilts that are part of my work with Quilts for Cure. I'll share more about that on the Quilts for Cure Blog as soon as I can, and I'd love for you to check it out. Which, side note, Quilts for Cure is now accepting completed quilts for donations. Visit the Donate Quilts page for criteria and instructions! 

Okay, That's a wrap! I have more photos, but I must call it somewhere. I hope y'all enjoyed this overview. If you haven't seen it already, you can also rewatch the Facebook Live I did walking through part of the show. Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram @stringandstory!

See you tomorrow night for WIP Wednesday! I have to go sew so that I have some WIPs! haha!

Love,

HollyAnne