Firstly, QuiltCon was AWESOME! The people were great, the classes were good, and the show was lovely. But I'm sure you already guessed that. Here's what I really got out of the experience.
This one may be obvious. I mean we were all there for the same reason, but it was delightful to feel like one of a group. I kept hearing, "these are my people", and "these people get me", and I was feeling the same way. Whether it was the stranger you sat down next to in a class, or someone you swapped a pin with in the hallway, or the roommate you stayed up with until 1 am every night talking about quilting; everyone was there because they love to quilt and they were just as excited as I was to be there.
I generally sew alone. On occasion, my daughters join me, or I stay late at a guild meeting to sew, but most of the time I am down in my
QuiltCon is kind of like inspiration overload. Everywhere you turn you are met with something or someone that gets you really thinking.
Unlike some other shows, when I walked around QuiltCon, there were more moments of "I could do something like that". Perhaps it is because simple shapes and patterns are part of the modern quilting movement, or maybe it is because making quilts for USE is also a big part of modern quilting. Either way, as I walked around and viewed the quilts hanging in the show, there was at least one feature in each of them that I was inspired to try.
My classes challenged me to try something new or to do a skill better than I've been doing. That process is always inspirational, even when the new skill isn't going so well.
Perhaps the most inspirational thing was getting the comments back on my quilt, and the fact that they weren't negative! I was pretty much expecting a bunch of negative comments, especially hearing about some from the previous QuiltCon. Plus, I know that my quilt had issues, I can point them all out to whoever wants to know. Now I don't know if the QuiltCon judges were making an effort this year to be more positive or what, but I was inspired by the comments I received: "Great pixelation of background", "Quilting is technically good", "Piecing is precise and even". This was just the encouragement I needed to keep trying.
I know many of us put down our own work. We know where all the flaws and mistakes are, and we can't help but compare ourselves to others. I have tried really hard to just get over it. Yes, my work is flawed, but I am on a journey here. Perfection is not my goal. My goal is to improve with each quilt I make, but I know I rush sometimes and so of course, mistakes are inevitable. That is part of the journey as much as anything else, learning from errors.
Getting feedback from someone looking at my quilt in person instead of through a computer screen was extremely helpful. I hope to enter a quilt in next year's show. I hope you will consider it too!
Next year's QuiltCon is practically in my backyard, Pasadena! OK, so in LA traffic that is really an hour away (only 25 miles, mind you). If you are planning on attending, I hope you drop me a line so we can meet up for coffee or something.
Thanks for reading today,