I hope you had a weekend as wonderfully quilty as I did! I was at Quiltcon, and let me tell you...it was amazing! I know last week's quilter, Rene did a fabulous job of sharing Quiltcon and the amazingness that it was...but she's a pro. She knew what classes to take, what was important to see and who to talk to, etc. I'm a newbie. Like....neeeewbie. Like I bought tickets to Quiltcon to have an excuse to travel to Austin and THEN checked to see if there was a MQG in my area! There is (the Orlando MQG which Rene founded), the girls in my guild are amazing, and I've since immersed myself in the wonderful world of quilty goodness BUT...I'm still new. I have a mega ton to learn and while to some the idea of going to a big huge show is daunting, I figured whats the worst? I'll look at some quilts and go eat my way around Austin (btw I still did that too). But it was so much more than that. To be in a place surrounded by so many women (and men) who love the same thing you do, and do the same thing you do is quite overwhelming. There is SO much inspiration everywhere you look, so many things to see and try and touch and watch. It was an amazing place. To any other newbie out there who would even consider going to a huge awesome show like this.....GO. I can't imagine a more inspiring weekend. But here are a few tips and tricks for newbies...
1)Wait until day two to buy anything. If you're going to be there for more than one day, wait until day two to buy anything. I bought fabric at the first booth I stopped in. (I have like zero self control in this department.) While its all fabric I may have bought anyway...its all fabric I could have bought online or at my local fabric shop. I probably should have waited and hit up the super adorable shop that had all imported fabric, or some thread I had never tried, but alas, the money was spent. I still love everything I got, but in the future I'll wait until day two.
2) Take as many classes as you can. Some people like to take one, absorb what you're doing and really get it but....don't. Take as many as you can. It wont be until the next time you're at another quilt show like this that you'll have the chance to be taught by all of the national level teachers. While my guild brings in awesome teachers, to have the range of styles available to you that you do at Quiltcon is something you MUST take advantage of. I took two classes and wish I took four. I still would have had enough time to shop and see some lectures and be social. Pasadena....I'm planning on taking full advantage of you!
3) Talk to everyone you can. Did you know that other quilters, even famous ones are nice?! That's right! We are an awesomely loving and super sweet group of people. So if you see someone that you know from tv, or thats a fabric designer, or a blogger, instagrammer you like....talk to them. They like it. I swear they do. They're there to be seen first of all, so you wont be bothering them (unless they're on a sewing machine or mid bite of food or something), and they like that you like them. They're who they are because people follow them and appreciate their art, so they're happy you are there appreciating them! I met quite a few well known quilters and all because I asked! Before I realized who Cotton + Steel's Rashida Coleman-Hale was, her back was to me and all I saw was amazing hair. I asked if I could touch it (I'm a hair stylist by trade), and of course she obliged, but when she turned around and I saw her name tag....I felt like a ding dong! But guess what? She let me the hair weirdo touch her hair and everything! See? They're nice. Talk to them, ask them any questions you have, take a pic and be proud you talked to someone you admire.
4) Be prepared. And by that I mean make a plan. Plan your classes, plan your lectures, and then plan your way around the show floor. Don't wander around like a lost puppy, you'll miss a whole ton of stuff, I promise. Attack it with a plan so you miss nothing and get the most out of your experience. Plan for a bit of wandering, you want to be able to soak it all in, but have some framework in play. Everything is there at your fingertips, so do a bit of research, make your plan, and attack it with purpose.
I have the day off tomorrow and plan on sewing ALLLLLL day long, so be prepared for some overgramming of projects and most likely another blog post of photos of my Quiltcon experience!