In my first post about QuiltCon 2023 I highlighted my favorite quilts and quilt details. But I also wanted to let you know which workshops & lectures I took and also show you a bit of my sightseeing. The post is much a diary of sorts but I tried to add all my “learners” so I hope you nonetheless find something to take away for yourself. Otherwise maybe just look at the sightseeing pictures at the bottom ;)
I still plan to write up my thoughs about all the conversations I had. But I am still trying to organize them. Plus this post is already very long.
My Own Schedule
As with my first QuiltCon, I decided to stick with only the 3-hour workshops. I also tried to avoid the night time slot though one class was only available then. And as I arrived a bit earlier to get over jet lag, I was a bit tired at the end of the day but not as bad as I expected. Though I would not plan to do that on one of the last days either ;)
And though I am fine with the workshops I took, I am also reconsidering my 3-hour rule. It is really lovely to get to know the instructors, meet the other quilters, and get a feel of the topic. But it is “only” that. Three hours are too short to touch on something deeper. So if in the future a day class would catch my eye, I might take it.
In contrast to last time, I did not book any lectures in advance. The cancelation policy for QuiltCon is not the best. And I learned the last time, that you can always get tickets at the door. So as I still felt unsure how Covid would develop come winter, I figured paying a touch more at the door in comparison to not being able to cancel was a good trade-off. In general, it is. But what I had not realized is that this is not always the case with the lecture of the keynote speaker. Everyone told me that lecture was already overbooked and they would not let anyone additional in at the door. In hindsight, I would have been able to get in, which still frustrates me, but I learned and will in the future always book the keynote lecture.
To see the exhibit through someone else’s eyes
This year’s tour was led by Teresa Duryea Wong (website | IG). She did a job as wonderful as Mary Fonds last time. It was lovely to hear extra information about the quilts. Things I would never have seen or noticed myself.
The tour covers the special exhibits and especially the quilts from the keynote speaker. This year the keynote speaker was Chawne Kimber. Plus we touched on the special exhibit about Harriet Powers. I still highly recommend booking the tour!
I booked four workshops. One with actual sewing, it is what we love to do, right? Two for insights into Adobe Illustrator, hoping I would learn a thing or two for my own pattern designing/writing. And I added the fourth as a challenge. Handsewing! I you have been with me for a while, you might know that that is not a thing I like to do ;)
Semi-Improv: Tilted Tiles | Charles Cameron
I have been following Charles and his designs and interesting approach to improv for a while and this was a great opportunity to dip my toes in!
Charles suggests a small wall hanging or table runner size for the class. As I wasn’t sure about the usefulness of one of those, I asked him if I could also plan and cut for a full-size quilt. But in hindsight, this was not a good idea. I had forgotten that you can only get that much done in a 3-hour workshop, plus table and design space is limited – in comparison to my own studio. So I had not as much fun as I could have had, had I followed his cutting plan for a smaller project. Not saying it wasn’t an awesome class, including a fun and motivating teacher.
And I still love my project! I just had to get to it at home with my big design wall. You can already see it developing on IG. But I will try to remember this “learner” for whenever I get the idea to change the class curriculum again.
Hand Accented | Cassandra Beaver
Booking this class was a challenge – not the actual booking but the content. I hate hand sewing but as I see the visual impact it can have, I thought I might learn a trick or two to like it better. Apparently, I already knew quite a bit more about hand sewing than I thought. So not that many takeaways. But I learned a few more stitches that work well for quilts – aka look good on the front and back of a quilt.
Intro to FPP Design: Adobe Illustrator on iPad | Angela Bowman
I was really looking forward to this class and especially with my high expectations, I am so happy this was an awesome class. I would really recommend it to anyone interested in this topic. Angela came very, very well prepared. She had a 30+ page workbook for us with all the steps for each task. You can’t remember, or you couldn’t follow during class? No worries, you can read up at home. How awesome and generous is that! She also told a tiny story in between which showed she had even taken the time to map out the required time with an Illustrator beginner.
I am sure I would use her process if I could get the Illustrator iPad version for a smaller monthly fee. In my opinion, it is too expensive. Especially since I have an old desktop version that still works for what I need. But I think I can incorporate one of the biggest insights I had also in my software version.
Advanced Quilt Design in Illustrator | Daisy P. Aschehoug
This was my nighttime class and I totally forgot to take any pictures. Daisy was a competent teacher, but her teaching style did not fit as perfectly with my personality. She is a lovely person and tried to answer as many individual topics as possible. We also received a coupon for her online class, which I booked but haven’t taken a look at yet. I think this was also very special and generous!
Another remark of mine is that with “advanced” in the workshop title, I had expected a bit more intense, complicated topics but she started with fairly basic concepts and worked her way up. Thus there was not enough time in my opinion to really get to advanced ideas.
With so many workshops I had not much time for lectures. And besides the keynote which I would have loved to hear, this was something that caught my eye:
Organizing a Maximalist Craft Studio | Sam Hunter
You might know that I am into minimalism and having a crafting hobby sure means quite a few things in your studio ;) So I loved to hear more tips about organizing it – or how to keep it more minimal.
The lecture was fun and interesting but not what I expected. But it also had some interesting things to take away. What really stuck with me was her part about neurodiversity. “Neurodiversity refers to diversity in the human brain and cognition, for instance in sociability, learning, attention, mood, and other mental functions.” 1
It strung a note, probably because it has been something I have been thinking about for a while. How we are all different – also in the way our brains work.
Her main idea was to highlight that we are all diverse – and all perfect in the way we are – and just need to find out how we “tick”. So she had a lot of questions to consider for yourself and your studio. E.g. Do you like/need to be able to see everything? Or do you need it behind doors to not distract you? Do you prefer all similar items together or at the different locations that you might need them? What are your physical limitations: How much can you lift, how high is your reach…
I think I do most of this quite instinctively so it did not trigger as many new insights as hoped for. But I loved her overall emphasis on “You are perfect the way you are. No self bashing.” She phrased it differently but I can’t remember the original words ;)
Let’s round up this already very long blog post with a few more pictures. I did as much sightseeing as I could fit in on Wednesday, Monday and Tuesday. The last days accompanied by Preeti :)
First full day in Atlanta. Started with walking through Centennial Park to the World of Coca-Cola. Followed by a visit to the Center of Civil and Human Rights. They say opposites attract: Commercialism and pop culture vs. history and emotions.
Days 6 + 7
Visiting the Martin Luther King historic site which included a museum, his grave, an eternal flame, and his birth house… After we walked over to Krog Street Market. Which I totally forgot to photograph. A newly built hall with lots of different food stalls inside. Everyone can grab whatever they like and then sit together and enjoy their meal. After walked across the Oakland Cemetry which was right across the street. On the last day, we traveled to Piedmont Park by Marta and had a lovely walk at 25°C with a blue sky and sun. Awesome!
Also I am always impressed by the amount of murals. I feel we do not have as many… Here are just three of the many we saw.
Thanks for sticking with me through such a long post! And I hope to see you back soon for the third part ;)
Also, if you didn’t see it yet, here is the reminder for QuiltCon 2023 — Part 1 — Quilts.
You did so much on your Quilt Con trip! Classes are interesting and you can learn a lot, but I don’t love the evening ones either. Great job on the sightseeing! Gotta start thinking about next year’s quilt con – definitely planning on going!