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My First QuiltCon

I've been back from my first QuiltCon, and I'm just now feeling rested and ready to talk about it. First, take a look at this photo from the Modern Quilt Guild. To know I'm down there is still such a giddy feeling!

I registered for the event when the Modern Quilt Guild was giving free passes to its members. I thought I'd grab them and could always decide later if I want to go. Well that decision came just a few weeks before the event! I booked a hotel and train tickets and was starting to get excited.

As I was packing my backpack for the train ride, I thought six hours was plenty of time to read or get some work done. Friends, I stared out the window like I was Sheldon Cooper nearly the entire time! When I saw that we were going through a railroad crossing where cars had to wait for us, my excitement level just kept getting higher. We picked up a lot of quilters along the way, and there was a certain energy in the car as we pulled into Raleigh.

I checked into my hotel and ate dinner in the lobby. Apparently I wasn't the only quilter staying there. They asked me at check in if I was there for "the quilt thing"! Then I started to notice something about my sisters in thread. This is the text I sent to hubs while eating:

Now that I know I was appropriately supplied and attired for the event, I was ready to head to the convention center on Thursday morning. Having never been before, I got there super early because I thought registration would take a long time. When I tell you that these people have a system! I was checked in within five minutes. Then I headed over to the MQG shop and picked up a QuiltCon t-shirt and some other goodies. I followed the longest line I've ever seen until I got to the end. By now, it's 8:30. The doors open at 10! It was like it was 1992, and they were selling tickets to Pearl Jam! Most of us were sitting in the line, and I struck up a conversation with an amazing human. (Hi, Stephanie!) Quilters really are the friendliest and most welcoming (welcomingest?) people in the world. We talked about our style of quilting and our families, and the time just flew by.

It's 10. They're letting us in. The line moved so fast, and the next thing I knew I was down on the floor trying to decide what to do first. I headed over to the quilts on display and starting working my way forward from the back. About a third of the way through, it was starting to get very crowded and overwhelming. That's when I decided to go over to the vendor section where it probably wouldn't be as crazy. HA! I walked in some kind of zig zag that gave me an idea of what this section was about, but it was so packed. About a quarter of the way through, I met up with my friend, Jen, from Manderly Makes. We walked the vendor hall for a while and caught up. It was my first time meeting Jen without a screen between us, and I loved getting to see her. 

After lunch, she was off to a class, and I decided to be more methodical about my tour through the vendors. I found some great fabric bundles, quilt patterns, and stickers for my laptop and sewing machine. It was about mid-afternoon when I sat in the demo section to rest my feet. I got to chatting with some folks - remember, we're awesome people! - and met Margaret and Pam. They were also in need of a rest, and I've been thinking about the conversation we had ever since I left them. If you ever need a boost, find a quilter to talk to!

The next day, I decided to get to the convention center around noon. It was still packed, but it seemed like a lot of kinks were sorted out from the first day. The flow was definitely much easier to manage. I met up with some friends from Immersion and had a blast walking around and doing demos at different booths. Spoonflower was hosting a make and take on how to make repeating patterns, and I loved just getting to sit for a bit and color.

When my group decided to head out to lunch, I stayed behind to get through the rest of the quilts in the show. The sheer depth of creativity and vulnerability in the quilts was amazing. I mentioned to someone next to me how many statement pieces there were. She asked if there was a theme this year. I told her I'm pretty sure it's unofficially rage. There were a lot of pieces on gun violence and reproductive rights. In fact, the best in show quilt was imagery of what school supplies a teacher might use in an active shooter situation. Here's the front:

And the back:

And the write up from Ginny Robinson, the maker: 

To close this out, I'm going to just share a ton of pictures of some of my favorites from the show. I'll share the quilt and then the write up from the maker. I definitely encourage you to check out their Instagram profiles and give them a follow:

I hope you enjoyed my little virtual quilt show. I'm still feeling the glow of QuiltCon and can't wait to go again next year!

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