Saturday, February 23, 2013

Quilt Con Day 3

Since I've gone to a number of quilt conferences over the years, I was very curious what this inaugural Quilt Con would be like. Here are a few of my impressions:

A large group gathered for a demo about fabric design by  Heather Ross
The crowds are definitely here. I've bumped into many familiar faces from the Kansas City area. Crowds on Friday were easily twice the size of the Thursday crowds. Today - Saturday - it's sunny and warm in Austin, I expect it will be even more crowded in the exhibit/vendor hall. There is great enthusiasm, marveling at the spectacular work - as there so often is at regular quilt shows.

There is a large exhibit of modern quilts from all over the world. Along with the modern quilts shown below, one aisle is flanked on both sides with quilts by Denyse Schmidt (tonight's keynote speaker). We've all admired them online - to see them in person is spectacular! (Keep watching, those pics will be posted soon ...)

The rock stars of the modern world are here - lecturing, demoing techniques, signing books - just like regular quilt shows. The lectures have been interesting and well attended, helping us all gain insights about what modern is. And the success of modern is obvious by the number of vendors in attendance. The men in suits are here, a signal there is a healthy financial side to all this. That said, many of the businesses present are run by women, another healthy sign.

The crowd demographics fascinate me. There are fewer gray heads here than there are at most quilting events ( although statistics show modern quilters are spread pretty evenly from age 21-60+). You can see occasional wild colored hair (but we are in Austin). Many of us are celebrating this new turn for the quilting world, and the enthusiasm for our passion that signals a healthy future.

So! I'm off to the show today. My daughter Betsy will be a quilt angel/white glove rover in the hall this afternoon (Kate was there with me Thursday). More pics and stories to come ...

Gotta post one more quilt - there are SO MANY I am fired up about.

Another quilt from the Kiracofe collection. Historical Modern!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Quilt Con Day 2

Wow! Finding this quilt nearly made me jump for joy! There are many, many wonderful quilts in the Quilt Show at Quilt Con. But this one drew the strongest reaction from me. It is a wool quilt by Sherri Lynn Wood of Oakland, California. Wood calls it an improvisational riff off the Log Cabin pattern. It is made entirely of vintage Pendleton wool shirts, skirts, suits and pants - a repurposed wonder. The backing below is 100% linen, as is the binding. The quilting is a very simple pattern, done with the big stitch.

A nice touch to the quilt show is a section of "Modern Historical Quilts" from the collection of Rod Kiracofe. It's featured in Kiracofe's book .Quilts, now available as an ebook on This one looks familiar to us, doesn't it? A sign with the exhibit notes the similarities between the modern quilt movement of today as well as the modern and contemporary art movements. Kiracofe's quilts were made by largely anonymous quiltmakers.

QuiltCon Day 1!

I'm at QuiltCon in Austin, Texas. The level of enthusiasm is HIGH. People are excited about the quilts, excited about the lectures, and excited to be part of the inaugural QuiltCon.

There are so many wonderful quilts on display, it is hard to pick only a few to show. I love this one because of the pattern and the wild diversity of fabrics included.

Here's a detail shot. This quilt was made by Lotje Meijknecht of the Dutch Modern Quilt Guild.

How about this Ron Swanson quilt by Monica Solorio-Snow of the Portland Modern Guild. It won first place in the piecing division! There are several quilts here based on pixilated images.

There are also vendors galore and fun photo booths. My friend Sammie bought so much she had to take it back to the hotel room (in the first 2 hours the show was open). If you're in the Austin area, don't miss it - the show runs through Sunday. You can buy a day pass for $10 to view the quilts and visit the vendors.