I went to QuiltCon East, presented by the Modern Quilt Guild in Savannah, GA last weekend and it was awesome! With beautiful fabric, happy quilters, and gorgeous quilts in every direction, my first trip to this modern quilt show & conference did not disappoint.
Beyond the unique emphasis on modern quilting, QuiltCon is truly a different type of show, designed to engage quilters in a variety of ways including interaction with major fabric companies, workshops & lectures from quilting experts & fabric designers, and of course the beautiful works of art – the quilts!
QuiltCon Vendors & Sponsors
Unlike many shows whose vendors primarily include small business owners, the QuiltCon exhibitors & vendors ranged from small businesses like Sew Stitching Happy, to big businesses like Missouri Star Quilt Co. as well as businesses like Aurifil, The Electric Quilt Company, and a variety of fabric companies.
Booths set up by fabric companies like Riley Blake, Cotton + Steel, and Andover featured contests and projects for people to make at the show. Here’s a quilt block I fused together from laser cut Andover fabrics. I call it “Put a Cat on it!” 🙂
The QuiltCon App
Much like event apps being used for other major festivals and conferences, the MQG nailed it with the app which sent regular notifications on demos and lectures or classes an attendee enrolled in. Maps and lists of exhibitors, sponsors, and vendors made it easy to find specific booths. And a robust help section with info on transportation and other logistics helped attendees navigate the basics.
On Saturday, just as I was looking at some cute fabric from Free Spirit, Tula Pink showed up. Within seconds someone yelled, “That’s Tula Pink!” and dozens of nearby quilters flocked right to her for pictures and autographs.
It was a treat to see well known quilters, bloggers, and designers like Tula Pink, Jenny Doan, and Anna-Marie Horner all over the place. I was too shy to introduce myself, but it was fun to wander the halls and feel I was elbow-to-elbow with some of my favorite quilters IRL.
QuiltCon Lectures, & Demos
Demonstrations ran all day on stage in the main hall near the quilts and vendors. As I wandered the rows of quilts, the app notified me of upcoming demos. It was so easy to just pop over to give my feet a much-needed break and watch the demos from folks like Anna-Marie Horner on appliqué or The Tattooed Quilter on improv triangles
Sadly, I was unable to get into any of the workshops which I heard were excellent, but even so I was able to enjoy several of the lectures on topics like “Social Media Photography” by The Tattooed Quilter or how to “Make a Traditional Block Modern with Cropping and Scale” by Riane Menardi (featured in the QuiltCon Magazine, 2015).
The QUILTS of QuiltCon!
And, of course, the crowning jewel of the experience for me was the array of beautiful modern quilts on show. From the quilts of featured artist, Angela Walters, to the special exhibits of handwork and modern traditionalism, there was so much to enjoy. Below are some pictures of the beautiful works on display…
Throughout the show, there seemed to be an emphasis on visual design elements and principles over technical precision in piecing and quilting. Several quilters took this further, playing with imperfection in improv quilting or by leaving seams uneven and knots visible on the front of the quilt.
Big stitch quilting was prominent throughout the show, sometimes integrated with machine quilting within the same piece.
Solid, high-contrast colors and large scale compositions were also prominent in the quilts throughout the show.
A large exhibit showcased the 1700+ quilts made and donated as part of the #QuiltsforPulse Charity Drive organized by the Orlando MQG.
Overall QuiltCon was probably the most well run and thoroughly engaging conference I’ve been to. And as someone interested in modern quilting, I couldn’t have asked for a better quilt show. I can’t wait to go next year when the MQG brings QuiltCon to the west coast!
Quilts in feature photo lower left to right – Focus by Leanne Chahley, Go North by Mariza Soto, and Autumn is Wistful by Chawne Kimber.