QuiltCon 2019 Recap

As always, QuiltCon was an amazing, overwhelming experience. Join me for a little stroll through a few of the quilts and some reflections from the show.

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QuiltCon 2019 Recap with HollyAnne Knight of String & Story (Showing the Best in Show Quilt- Smile by Leanne Chahley)

Welcome to Nashville, Rockstars! What a fun place to have QuiltCon 2019! (Though, admittedly, it would have been more fun without the rain) As always, The Modern Quilt Guild put on an amazing show. Over 550 quilts were hanging (over 350 were juried, best I can find), there was a large selections of amazing vendors, and according to rumors, attendance was nothing short of amazing. As you can imagine, it’s beautiful and overwhelming. Thus, this post will only be a tiny snapshot of the whole thing. A sample of quilts that caught my eye and some of my observations.


Some Quilts

Arranged by category, roughly as the categories were laid out on the show floor. These, obviously, are some of my personal favorites from the show. There were literally HUNDREDS MORE wonderful quilts, so this is just a small snapshot of an amazing show.

Each quilt is pictured next to a snapshot of its title card showing the title, maker, etc. Click the pictures to pop them up larger in a Lightbox.



Group & Bee Quilts

Minimalist Design


(Unfortunately, my wide shot of this gorgeous piece came out blurry, but I wanted y’all to see the details anyway!)

Modern Traditionalism



(If you haven’t read my recaps from QuiltCon 2017 and QuiltCon 2018, I highly recommend it for some continuity and context in the development of the MQG and modern quilting over the last few years)

This was my third year attending QuiltCon, and once again I was impressed by the excellence of the show as well as the difference from previous years. I continue to think that the skills of modern quilters in general are maturing (especially evidenced by the curved piecing and thoughtful details included in many of the quilts). I was delighted to see a strong appliqué section this year, stronger than either of the previous two years in my opinion).

Consistent with the previous years, modern quilting continues to remind me very much of graphic design. A clean, bold, often minimal aesthetic is definitely preferred in the show. Unfortunately for my personal taste, though, that mean less free motion quilting and fewer prints than last year. Prints were used in small amounts as “accents” (to great effect, I might add), but y’all know I love ALL THE PRINTS, so I would have liked to see more. This year, I think there was a bit of a return to minimalism, shown in more solid fabrics than last year, as well as more straight line quilting. In many cases, I know that straight line and walking foot quilting was carefully chosen and executed to match the aesthetic of the quilt, but I couldn’t help but wondering if more free motion quilting education would result in a stronger representation of custom quilting. I continued to love the generous use of bold, bright colors.

Another movement that continued from last year was a strong handwork section. As modern quilting is touched by an increased public awareness about self-care, wellness, and mental health, a return to slow stitching is definitely holding strong. I also noted several quilts that were made as a means of processing personal life events or circumstances (One Year and They Said It Would Just Take Time shown above as well as others in the show). Quilting is an important part of our personal journeys, whether its through quilting to escape, quilting to process, or quilting to share. Similarly, quilts making social commentary continued to be well represented, as is tradition in the MQG. “Shame” is shown above, but there were many others in the show as well, including the People’s Choice winner.

As with previous years, I adore consuming the show and continue to wonder if I really fit in the modern quilting world. I think my age may make me a modern quilter almost by default, but my contributions continue to be in the more modern traditional space and, hopefully, by encouraging others to try and feel confident free motion quilting.

In closing, you may have noticed that I didn’t include any pictures of Sherri Lynn Wood’s special exhibit. Unfortunately, I didn’t even take any! However, I did attend her keynote lecture, and it was every bit as fabulous and thought provoking as I hoped it would be. If you’d like to see some pictures of Sherri Lynn’s work and read a bit about her beautiful process, check out my FriYAY Friends interview with her.

I’m already excited for Austin 2020 and, most especially, Atlanta 2021! The Modern Quilting Movement fascinates me, and I always enjoy QuiltCon— I hope you’ll join me at the show in the years to come!