Quilts typically conjure images of old ladies, that is until you attend QuiltCon. I know this phrase is completely over-used, but these are not your grandma’s quilts. This is not your grandma’s quilt show for that matter. I doubt my grandmother ever bought a fat quarter at the same place where you could get a tattoo or take a picture straddling a giant bucking sewing machine. The Modern Quilt Guild is changing people’s perceptions of quilts, especially mine.
You walk the floor of QuiltCon and catch quilt fever. I adored so many of the fabrics. Companies like Cotton and Steel are breathing new life into a traditionally stuffy industry. Bunny’s Designs was there with their collection of kawaii fabrics that tug at my kitsch loving heart strings. I can hardly wait for Windham Fabrics to release their new line of fabric with Carolyn Gavin of Ecojot. It was almost enough to make me want to learn how to thread a bobbin. Almost.
Modern guilds are doing for quilting what stitch-n-bitch groups did for knitting. They are groups of passionate like minded ladies who gather to talk all things quilts. Sometimes it is over a pint of beer at the bar and other times it is over a stack of fabrics in someone’s studio. Like most everything, quilting with a friend is always more fun. Many of these guilds traveled to QuiltCon together. Hearing the excitement my girlfriends who traveled here for QuiltCon had about their craft and their guilds was contagious. Chicago Modern Quilt Guild member and friend Tricia Royal waxed poetic over guacamole and michaieadas to me about her guild that she had traveled with. Tricia won 3rd place in the Improvisational Quilt category. Also present talking quilts and queso was Portland Modern Quilt Guild member and QuiltCon Lecturer Susan Beal. Susan has a long history of crafty girl gangs as a founding member of Portland Super Crafty, only makes sense she would keep up the crafting with company motto. I wonder if I can join the Austin Modern Quilt Guild as a fan or quilts rather than as a quilter?
There was more than just quilts at QuiltCon. I walked away from the event with an amazing lap loom from Purl and Loop. Remember how I said weaving was hot in 2014 and going to be even hotter in 2015 - ya I’m ready for action. Austin darlings Stitch Lab were all the rage with their rideable sewing machine, but their embroidery patterns of feminist Lone Star Legends is what sucked me in. I can hardly wait to stitch up Ann Richards in all her glory. I’m already regretting not getting a T-shirt from Patchwork Threads. Their shirts and mugs that read: “I quilt so I don’t kill people” were quite the talk of the conference floor.
QuiltCon is like a textile based art show. Just because you don’t paint does not mean you wouldn’t appreciate visiting the Lourve. Same goes for QuiltCon. Sure the shopping, flair (badge) collecting and tattoo parlor are fun, but the beauty of the modern quilt is what is at the heart of QuiltCon. Walking the floor and looking at the quilts on display is like visiting a modern art museum. The only difference is instead of paint and brushes these artists used a needle and thread.
Check out more DIY project's from Jen at www.jenniferperkins.com