Thursday, February 28, 2019

QuiltCon 2019 :: The Classes

Not yet officially home from QuiltCon due to a side-trip to visit family in western Tennessee, I'm sneaking onto the blog to share just a bit about my time at QuiltCon. Know this: it is overwhelming, exciting, affirming, challenging, enlightening, fulfilling.... and so much more. This was my third QuiltCon and it was as great an experience as ever. If you have access to Instagram, I tagged all my related posts there with #aqtquiltcon2019, so you'll at least get a glimpse.

I took just two classes this year. First was an evening one: Planned and Unplanned: Find Your Improv Groove with Melanie Tuazon [melintheattic]. Maybe it was because I'd had an exhausting first day of QuiltCon, but I'm thinking evening classes are more energy than I want to exert in the future. But that said, it was a really good class. Melanie is an excellent teacher, and I really appreciated her planned/unplanned approach to improv. If you're an MQG member, look for her webinar on Planned and Unplanned to explore the concept in more detail. It's kind of how I work anyway, but it's a thoughtful way to approach inprov, and I hope to consider it more intentionally in my future work.

We were to choose a simple block to focus our sewing time on, and I selected an X with a bar top and bottom, similar to a Roman numeral ten. Beings it was only a three-hour class, that didn't leave much room for exploration, so I basically played with scale, and best of all, randomly met my online-friend Carolina! We shared a common introductory QuiltCon conversation, Debbie: "Hi! I think we follow each other on Instagram!" "Yes! We're friends!" replied Carolina. Yup. Only now we've met face to face, which was really wonderful!

I've been known to choose a class purely on who's teaching it, and that was totally the case for my second, all-day class, Improv Theme & Variation with Denyse Schmidt. I lucked out and got to sit and sew next to my Bee Sewcial mates Leanne and Marci, which added to the fun of the day.

Gotta say, meeting Denyse and listening to her talk about modern quilting and improv crossed one off my bucket list. It was surreal spending the day in class with her, and I said so when we were each asked why we took the class/what we wanted to get out of it. Just being and sewing was enough for me!

Again, we began with a traditional block whittled down to its simplest form. I chose the quarter log-cabin block, and worked with a stack of stash oranges and blues. No rulers allowed, by the way!

After making a bunch of blocks, we were to put them up on our design walls.

Leave it to Denyse to come along and mix things up a bit!

If anything, Denyse emphasized scaling up, and we all agreed it totally made a difference. Here's how far I got. I'll see when I get home how I feel about sewing it right up as is or adding to it.

In both classes, teachers left time for all of us to share what we'd done, get feedback, etc. which was really great. I was so glad to see Marci had snapped the shot below of Denyse listening to me explain what I had done in class!

So that's it for the QuiltCon sharing for now. Still plenty more to come as I 'unpack' all the experiences!


  1. Thank you, Debbie! Yours is the first recap I've seen, even from my old guildmates. I had hoped to be there on Saturday, but the wild weather kept me in East TN.

  2. The evening classes are a challenge for sure. I took one for the past two years and finally swore them off after basically falling asleep from exhaustion in the middle of my class last year. Oops! Both of your classes sound great and I like that both instructors left time for review and conversing about what was done. And hooray for getting sewing time with friends, too. A huge extra bonus!

  3. fun to hear about your classes. somehow I always end up in evening classes & I am so not an evening gal! I managed to get a second wind for both of mine this year and enjoy them. I'd love to take a class with Denyse someday, I really enjoyed Melanie's too.

  4. Thanks for sharing. I have yet to make it to a QuiltCon so it is fun to live it out through others that go.

  5. How fun! It sounds like a fascinating class!

  6. Thanks for letting us in on what you where up to at QuiltCon. So far I have been only able to enjoy via IG. Next year I am finally planning to come.

    Maybe you can help me with a question: Is the Sunday still open exibition or is it "only" open Thu, Fri, Sat? So many people already wrote on IG that they traveled back on Sun... The dates on the website are four days... Confused. Thank you!!!

  7. I had two evening classes at QuiltCon. I'm a morning person and I had classes on Thursday and Friday too. But the two night classes were so well taught and inspirational that it was easy to get a second wind. It also allows more classes to be offered. I took Reinventing Hexies and a label-making class- both were great. Unlike you, i select my classes almost entirely on the subject and what i want to learn. I haven't had a poor teacher yet. Can't wait for Austin!

  8. looks like fun! Love the blue and orange!

  9. Your blue and orange project is going to be fantastic!