Ready for a QuiltCon Recap? Last week, I packed up the family and headed to Nashville!

QuiltCon 2019 Traveling
Our flight wasn’t delayed or canceled, despite the snow and ice!

Last time I went to the Modern Quilt Guild’s annual show (QuiltCon), in 2017, I posted a few pictures on Instagram of my time in Savannah, but shared many more on my personal Facebook page. I took four workshops, attended lots of lectures, swapped a mini quilt, went on an expedition to see some super-cool travel trailers, and probably didn’t get as much sleep as I should have.

My friend Ann (@noeinann) made a mini for me in 2017.

This year, I cut way back on the scheduled events, and ended up spending an awful lot of time talking to people: old friends, new friends, people I know from Instagram who seem like old friends, people who loved my bag (Tea Leaf Tote by Poorhouse Quilt Designs), and quite possibly a statue of Hank Williams.

Alla (@rainbows.bunnies.cupcakes) and I found each other because of our bags.

I met up with a few Island Batik Ambassadors, quilters I met at Savannah QuiltCon, friends from home(!), fellow Partners in Design, Sew Pro alumnae, and New Quilt Bloggers from years past (and some people fit into, like, three quarters of those categories…SHERRY).


In between all of that talking (which I’m thoroughly unaccustomed to), I did manage to look at some quilts. The QuiltCon Charity Challenge quilts displayed an astonishing range of techniques and concepts within the guidelines of tiny piecing and a particular set of colors.

Lots of quilts on display this year had strong messages. Not all were obvious until you read the information card (always read the information card).

I loved going through the quilts with my family and seeing what caught their attention. Both of my children have made their own quilts, and my husband has developed an excellent quilting vocabulary. I suspect that they will all be less impressed with my work now.


Because I kept my schedule so fluid, I ended up losing track of time a lot, and only attended three lectures. The first was with Teresa Duryea Wong. She spoke about cotton and indigo from Japan, and shared slides of some breathtaking work that Japanese quilters have been doing. I ended up having her sign copies of her three books: Cotton and Indigo from Japan, Japanese Contemporary Quilts and Quilters, and her book that’s just being released, American Cotton: Farm to Quilt.

The second lecture was a Sarah Bond lecture about the quilts that her ancestors made. I’ve taken classes with Sarah before and have always found her to be funny and plain-spoken–two of my favorite characteristics in a teacher. While I was still in the lecture hall, I ordered the book that Sarah first discovered her family’s quilt history in. It arrived the day after I got back to NJ and I’m looking forward to sitting down with it soon.

Sarah Bond (@slbphilly)

The last lecture I attended was with Laura McDowell Hopper, who talked about quilt preservation. While I’m not one to make a lot of heirloom quilts, I certainly want to take any steps I can to make my quilts last as long as possible. I learned some basic preservation techniques to use (and some techniques to avoid), and Laura gave us some other resources to consult as well. Again, I left the lecture hall with a book on order.

quilt & textile Conservation resources & supplies


Well, duh, of course I went shopping. When I asked my mom what I could bring back for her, she said to find some kind of new gadget for her. Let me tell you, that’s no easy task. She…invests in her quilting. However, after thoroughly wandering the vendor aisles, I think I found a couple of things she doesn’t already have. But they shall have to remain unblogged (for now) since I haven’t seen her yet since I got home.

So, while thoroughly wandering the vendor aisles, I chatted with Quilt Alliance about how to persuade people to Go Tell It for three minutes, planned vacations to the Dairy Barn and the National Quilt Museum (BECAUSE I’M GOING TO WIN THE DRAWING), checked out the fabric lines coming soon from Ruby Star Society, had Bernina people thrust a fabric panel into my hands, and got a couple of little needlebooks and a new book from Moda (BECAUSE I WON THAT DRAWING).

I also enjoyed long conversations with Joe from Schiffer Publishing, Sue Reich from Quilts of Valor, and Jim Sherraden, the recently retired master printer and curator at Hatch Show Prints. All told, thanks to those three people, I think I spent about an hour in a booth surrounded by books and totally absorbed in conversation with people who are passionate about what they do and curious about everything tangential to it. HEAVEN.

And of course, I did buy some fabric. I mean, come on, it’s QuiltCon, not TalkCon. The mother/daughter team at Fiber on a Whim had me cracking up, and I loved the textures of all of their dyed fabrics. Had to buy some. Crimson Tate is always a fun booth. Spotted a teensy weensy Bloc-Loc for teensy weensy half-square triangles, as well as mini charm packs of Liberty. Had to buy some. Bespoken2 (rebranding from Kismet) carries quite a collection of sari fabric and kantha quilt charms. Had to buy some (and came perilously close to buying an entire vintage kantha quilt). Brooklyn Mojo is new to me. I enjoyed talking with the owner (okay, I kind of talked AT her), and couldn’t resist a few of her prints. Had to buy some. If I lived near Frond, I would live IN Frond. Had to buy some. After having a long conversation with a shop owner at another booth who was an original Bob Ross acolyte, I could no longer resist the Cherrywood Challenge despite my best efforts to avoid it. Had to buy some. And the “I Will Cut You” laser cut quilt kit from Punkin Patch is going to work up in a snap. And sparkle like crazy once I hotfix eight gazillion crystals to it. And look SPECTACULAR in my studio. Had to buy some.


There were no bad meals.

QuiltCon Legendairy Milkshake Bar
Yes. That’s a slice of cheesecake in the whipped cream.

Now to start planning for QuiltCon Austin in 2020!!

QuiltCon 2019 Recap -- Nashville
One quilter\'s experience visiting the Modern Quilt Guild\'s annual show: quilts, vendors, food, and more!

6 Replies to “QuiltCon Recap

  1. Of all the things you got (nice haul) I love the red and white quilt book. I’m sure it is such a pleasure to browse over and over again. Then maybe make something from it. Glad you had a great time.

    1. I was SO excited to win that book. I fell in love with the quilt they had hanging at the show from it, plus the designer of that quilt (Lisa Bongean) signed the book. I have plans!!

  2. What a fun post, although I’m incredibly jealous of all the fun you had. I have to disagree with you on your thought that your family will be less impressed with your quilts now. I think they will appreciate them more, understanding the greater community that you live in, and those that challenge and inspire us to keep working at our craft. So, what was the very first item you placed in that bag? Just curious.

    1. You should go next year! I’d love to meet you in person. That’s a wonderful sentiment about appreciation, and I’m sure you’re right. Hmmm, the first thing? I bought a few things that I didn’t put in the post, and the very first purchase (from Pink Door Fabrics) was a “Badass” pin that I gave to my daughter. The first thing that I picked up for myself was the teensy weensy Bloc Loc from Crimson Tate–it’s so cute, I couldn’t resist.

  3. It was a really fun time and I think I will take one or two fewer classes next time. I love seeing what you saw and did that I didn’t and damn I missed that milkshake/cheesecake – may have to go back. Thinking hard about going to Austin next year – its really a no brainer – just whether hubby will let me go without him after my disaster. Just kidding! So great your family was there too!

    1. I took too many classes in Savannah, but I wish I had taken at least one in Nashville. It’s hard to figure out what the right balance is!

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