Thursday, February 26

QuiltCon - How the Modern Quilt Movement Converted Me

Riding the Sewing Machine in the Stitch Lab Booth
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.

Vickie Howell with The Conan Quilt by Allison Chambers
This is the second time QuiltCon has come to Austin, TX. Sadly 2015 is also the last time it will be here. Pasadena get ready for QuiltCon 2016, Savannah you get 2017. The good news is the show is now traveling making it more accessible for other on the West and East coast. However, location does not seem to matter to these dedicated quilters. I met up with friends from Detroit, Chicago, Portland, Houston, Baltimore and more. This amazing and unique convention is worth traveling for. There are free make and takes, amazing quilts on display, fabric shopping galore, lectures to hear and plenty of workshops to attend.
Oil and Cotton wins for cutest booth.
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.
This Way by Tricia Royal winner 3rd place improvisation
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?
Holy Sh*t Sherlock quilt by Kristy Daum
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.
Woven Pattern - 70's Quilt from the collection of Bill Volckening
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


cat and vee xoxo said...

It wasn't just a US-attended show - I went to QuiltCon all the way from Australia, along with nearly 30 other Australian girls, and 4 girls came from New Zealand, plus two from India and maybe 10 girls from the UK/Europe. I loved Austin and wish it would stay Austin-based. It was such a fabulous time, so happy we all went - it was a huge time, logistics and money commitment, and such a big deal being so far away from my kids, but it was so worth it. Cat

jacquie said...

we'd sure love to have you...!

jacquie said...

we'd sure love to have you...!

jade said...

to give it that extra sparkle.
If you follow me at all you know that I am continuously trying
to reinvent the plain old tee shirt. I loved this

Rezalo kacose said...

Thanks a lot for sharing this with all folks you really realize what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also consult with my site =). We could have a hyperlink exchange agreement between us

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