Quiltcon: The Aftermath

Sounds like the title to a bad sequel doesn’t it? haha!

Nothing could be further from the truth.

For me, Quiltcon was an amazing experience! Learning, sewing, socializing, eating, the whole experience was inspiring and a breath of fresh air for my poor dusty brain. The new year was filled with a number of personal stressors for me. Being able to attend Quiltcon was the relief, the break from ‘real life’ I needed to recharge my creativity and take the step back that I really needed. I didn’t touch my laptop the entire time I was gone! I was having so much fun that I even forgot to take pictures. Luckily my friends remembered, so I relive the memories through their IG feeds and blog posts. (if you want to find me on Instagram, I am @staceyinstitches)


One of our daily coffee friends, Reginald. Reggie is an art collector from Sussex.


I was one of the lucky few who manage to get every class I wanted, and ended up with a waitlist bonus. I spent two days learning Piece-lique techniques with Cristy Fincher (@cristycreates) She is the daughter of the immeasurable Sharon Schambers (who is one of my personal quilt heroes). Starch and glue baste are my new best friends as a result. The first day I learned the Paper less Paper piecing. This has definitely changed my life! I cant wait to finish the rest of this quilt!

My paperless paper piece block.

My paperless paper piece block.

I managed to finish up a mini top in the second days class. It was great to be able to learn the technique the first day, then have the second day to practice the technique. I plan on adding a border around the mini to make it a larger wall size. Off center and quilted using the techniques I learned in my other classes of course!


I was super lucky to have gotten into an evening class with Angela Walters. She is practical, down to earth, and I thought she was a great teacher. I had a lot of fun in her class, and wish I could have been in an all day with her. I also won a box of her Drift Aurifil thread! Woot!


The next day was spent with Krista Withers, another amazing quilter. Her style is different, but I was able to find a happy place where I felt like I Was stitching well and I was happy with my samples. I took her Compositional Quilting class in the morning, and then Ghost Shapes in the afternoon. Definitely another set of classes that feed well into one another, and ones that I could have done every day!


The best part of Quiltcon was being able to meet everyone in person. From QDAD to Moda to Windham, being able to shake hands and hug the people I interact with online on a regular basis was just tremendous. Kim Anderson @iadorepattern and I were roommates, and we sure had a great time. I also met up with Amy Garro @13spools and we lived it up. And went boot shopping. I love my boots and left a pair of old shoes in Austin in favor of my new kicks! I also developed an addiction to Tex-Mex. I recreated one of the dishes last night that tasted like it should, woo hoo!


The highlight of the trip was our QDAD at Quiltcon meetup! We had so much fun. Amy @Badskirt wasn’t able to attend, but she was definitely there!


QDAD at Quiltcon!


In Anne’s defense, I may have been doing something with Amy’s head a split second earlier…


The entire experience is hard to explain in typing. I left feeling inspired, refreshed, brimming with new ideas and confidence and friends. I may never be back to Austin,(Quiltcon is now split into a yearly show that flips coasts each year), but I will never forget it!

So to summarize what I learned:

1. Tex Mex is the best food ever

2. Spray baste is awesome

3. Cowboy butts boots are awesome

4. I need a long arm

5. No, seriously, I need a long arm

6. Margheritas are acceptable lunch fare

7. Everybody likes buttons

8. Its okay to wave your arms and yell like a crazy person at someone you recognize (except maybe not in the TSA line)

9. 49.5lbs Checked bag= Winning


10. Quilty people are the best kind of people! EVER!











Happy stitching!





Letters from Quiltcon

Yesterday emails were sent, read, and either celebrated or commiserated over.

The wait is over, and Quiltcon has its show quilts. Regrettably, none of my quilts will be hanging in Austin this February. Nor am I the only one without an entry, many of my amazing, talented quilting friends did not get in. Instagram has a new hashtag: #quiltconreject

Here is where I have a problem: the word reject.

Reject can be a verb or a noun. As a verb, reject means “dismiss as inadequate, inappropriate, or not to one’s taste” As a noun, reject means “a person or thing dismissed as failing to meet standards or satisfy tastes”. Reject has the undertones of failure, inadequacy, of not being good enough. Its not a very happy word, and using it to describe ourselves and out work is detrimental and frankly insulting.


We were not rejected, we were regretfully passed up. Not because our quilts weren’t good enough, but because they just didn’t fit with the vision the curators had for the show.

It is hard to get a letter saying that your work is not chosen. I understand all too well. But that does not mean you aren’t good enough.

Jess over at Quilty Habit spelled it out perfectly in her blog post Positive thoughts on Quiltcon Rejection. She gets to the heart of the matter in a great way. there were over 1300 entries to Quiltcon. The show coordinators have a vision of how they want Modern Quilting to be represented to the public, and the quilts they chose reflect that vision. There are so many interpretations of Modern Quilting, so many aesthetics and techniques and visions, that to narrow it down to one must have been agonizing. But they did, and then they had to flip through the thousand plus entries to find the quilts that reflect the chosen aesthetic. It is the same selection process used in museums and art galleries. You could submit a masterful landscape painting that accurately reflects the people, time, and techniques of the style, but if they want flowers in vases, the landscape isn’t going to make it, no matter how talented and perfect the landscape is.

From what I have seen from the quilts that did get in, this year Modern Quilting will be represented by bright, bold colors, simple quilting, color blocking, and graphic designs.

So lets change the hashtag. Lets rejoice in our shared love of quilting! Lets cheer for our friends in the show! Lets ooh and aah over the quilts that will be displayed, and see the show for what it is : a curated selection of quilts, selected from a pool of the best modern quilts in the world-our quilts!


*UPDATE* Latifah Saafir at The Quilt Engineer has an amazing, insightful post about the jury process. Go check it out, it helps to put things in perspective!

Happy Goes Mini

Happy Goes Mini

WIP Wednesday

Stacey is going to Quiltcon!! Woot woot!!

I am super excited to be able to attend Quiltcon 2015. I don’t know how I am going to wait until Feb! Resgistration opened this morning, and man, that was a crazy nightmare of stress, but I got into all the workshops I wanted. It was hard to narrow it down, there are so many great speakers and teachers. I ended up with 3 full days of workshops. I don’t know when I am going to see the show. I might have to try and modify my schedule a bit.  I am doing the Paperless Paper Piecing and Curved Seams Piece-lique taught by Cristy Fincher. For those of you who don’t know, Cristy Fincher is the daughter of the esteemed Sharon Schambers, multi-award winning quilter, and one of my personal quilting inspirations.  Cristy runs the online business Purple Daisies, where you can find Sharon’s lessons and tutorials and patterns. You can also view her award winning quilt up close, Mystique. This quilt is amazing and all my favorite shades of fuchsia. Really, look at her gallery. It’s amazing!


I also got into two of Krista Withers half day quilting workshops. I am especially looking forward to these. I have had the pleasure of hearing her speak at a Vancouver Modern QUilt Guild meeting and seeing her work up close. The two workshops are about composite drawing and and ghost shapes. Exactly what I need!

I still have to go back and see if there are any lectures I might want to go to. Maybe free up some time, we will see what is left. A lot is sold out, but that’s okay, I might learn something new! I am mostly looking forward to meeting my quilting friends in person! So excited!!

On to the WIP portion of the evening!


My petal pinwheel quilt top is done and off to Joan for its VIP quilting treatment. Joan seems to be able to read my mind and interpret my psychobabble and give me exactly what I didn’t realize I wanted. So now I am on to my Hoffman Challenge quilt. I went a completely different direction with it this year. Normally I do these paper pieced masterpieces of color and stitchery, but this year I wanted to really bring it in and do something modern. Modern quilts are underrepresented in the Hoffman Challenge (read:none) I wonder if it’s not known enough in the modern quilting world, or it’s the fabric. Either way, its a load of fun and it is a CHALLENGE. You don’t always like the fabric, so creating something you love can be hard, but definitely worthwhile.  I make sure I get the show book each year so I can look at all the lovely quilts that travel the country. The closest mine has ever been was Yakima, WA. Alas, I was unable to make the event but there will be others =)

Pile of pressing...

Pile of pressing…

This evening has been filled with lots of pressing. There is going to be some stitch ripping after this post. A tip for ripping paper piecing stitches- place the blade between the paper and the fabric, the stitches come out cleaner.


I have a big mess of precut fabric shapes for such a small quilt ( the max perimeter is 160″, any shape). I also fussy cut the challenge fabric, the background between the print shapes is gorgeous and quite modern. That navy is delish! I also have some triangles cut from a Freespirit Designer Solid in Mulberry. I love that dusty shade of plum purple, and it fits the gray scale perfectly.


I thought about including a pair of butterflies in the blocks. What do you think?


I would love to see more modern quilts in the Hoffman show. Maybe I will write to the curator, and I certainly hope you pick up some of the challenge fabric and give it a try! You can find the details here, and the deadline is July 18. Quilts must arrive in Colorado by the end of that day.

Would you consider the Hoffman Challenge with me next year?


Happy Stitching,



Linking up to Lee@ Freshly Pieced.