Last week was QuiltCon 2020 in Austin, TX. I had the best time one could have–and got the full experience of teaching a handful of classes too. I dropped my kiddo off at daycare on Wednesday and headed to Austin (only about a 2 hour drive for me), checked in, and had lunch at Moonshine across from the convention center. Me and the hubs had a meal there a few QuiltCons ago the last time it was in Austin and the food is SO good. Then I got settled into my AirBNB–check out the gorgeous couches in this place…I pretty much picked this airbnb for those couches…and the reviews on the super comfy bed–it did not disappoint.
Back to QuiltCon…
So I spent the evening prepping and going over my class notes for the next four days and headed up to the convention center Thursday morning to spend a little time in the OLFA booth! I was demo-ing my new Trippy triangles templates with the OLFA 28mm Rotary cutter while OLFA was giving away their new carrying cases.
I taught Veer From the Linear (longarm class) and Choose your EPP Adventure (English Paper Piecing) and all of the classes were a blast! There were so many fun and energetic creatives in my classes –I’ll share a few pics. We had a great time and I really enjoyed everyone in the classes. I had several familiar faces in all my classes–lots of friends and fun memories made 🙂 I was also in desperate need of a Diet Dr. Pepper before my first class, and my friend Debra totally saved the day! I had no change for the coke machine (it didn’t take a card) and the line for the cafe in the convention center was at least 30 people deep. Debra threw all her ones at me so I could have my caffeine. She’s a total lifesaver!
Okay–now onto the quilt show!
I was lucky enough to have a quilt juried into the show (first time ever!! and not for lack of trying–I had lots of rejections prior to this, so I was especially excited!). There were so many amazing quilts that I’m probably going to overload you with photos, but I’ve got to share some of my favorites. Here they are, and not in any particular order–I don’t know how the judges rank these. I’m definitely not jealous of the ridiculously hard job they have of judging the quilts! Forgive me for the small collage pics–they were being so ridiculously slow to load that this was the only way I could get them to do it. Makers are tagged in the captions starting at the top and going left to right.
Advice for attending QuiltCon
There was one major mistake I made when I was packing for QC. I underestimated how much walking I would be doing. I already have foot problems–so I should have known better. Next time I’ll pack better band aids (all I had were crummy Frozen ones for my daughter) and MOLESKIN. I had brought what I thought were comfy, already broken in shoes, but on the first day, I had a huge blister on the back of both feet. Lesson learned! Also, bring change for the coke/snack machines (See the first paragraph for why ;).
I was travelling semi-locally, so I packed my car full of anything and everything I thought I’d need (which was a lot, since I was teaching four classes). If I were attending sans teaching, I’d still pack snacks and handwork. Make sure you bring a good camera–and when you take pictures, try to also document who the makers are. I think it’s really important to credit the makers. Think about if your quilt was juried into this ridiculously awesome show and you kept seeing pictures of it everywhere but people failed to credit your work. It’s a total bummer, and I do my best to always credit the makers when I take pictures of their quilts. I’m not always 100% successful, but those little cards next to the quilts with their info and the artist statement make it really easy to just snap a quick picture for reference later.
It’s a lot to take in. Like, A LOT.
Also, be ready for complete sensory overload. I work alone in my studio 50+hours a week, and so just being around all the people, chatter, colors, insane creativity is a lot. It didn’t used to get to me so much when I taught public school, but I really needed a couple of days after I got home to be alone with my thoughts. Aaaaand that’s super easy when you’ve got a 3 yo waiting for you 😉
Do your research on where you’re going to stay, restaurants to eat at, sights to see, etc while you’re at QuiltCon. I always like to take advantage of as much local eats and stuff as I can. I was really sad I didn’t make it to VooDoo donuts and there was supposedly and awesome pretzel place close by I would have like to go.