My Reflections on Quiltcon 2019

Wow! I can’t just stop the post here, but that’s what I woke up feeling this morning. To be honest, I haven’t sewn much this year. My creativity has been in a slump. Getting away for the weekend was just what I needed personally and creatively.

Nashville was such an easy drive from Indy. A quick five hours, but next time I’m making sure the Bluetooth in the rental car will connect with my phone. There are some areas lacking anything but church and country music. Which isn’t bad if that’s your jam.

My friend Rachael and I had no real agenda for our Saturday at Quiltcon but both reflected last night it was the right amount of time for us. Did you see us from 10-12 helping out the amazing Heather Givans at CrimsonTate’s booth? Jen from @jenmadecrafts popped over to say hi to me after following me on Instagram. She loved the liver and onions story. Ha.

After working the booth it was time to get some food. We hit up a taco spot around the corner from the convention center. Rachael picked out a table and as I found her, I noticed someone sitting in the corner by us. No big deal it’s just Tula Pink having a little lunch chat with someone. I don’t want to say who since their conversation was more work/collab related. I totally kept my cool. As they went to leave I did thank her for creating Neptune since that is the fabric that got me started with modern quilting.

We had roughly five hours left to explore the show. We started on row 1 and worked our way through. Let’s dig through my bag and photos to reflect on my favorites from the show.

New Designers and Companies

Some of these companies are not necessarily new, but they are new to me. A couple I just really liked the direction they are going and see the need in our quilting community.

Figo Fabrics –

Let’s chat Figo Fabrics. We saw guild members posting pictures at this booth and were intrigued. This is a new modern offshoot of Northcott fabric. The hand on the fabrics is soft and their colors are on trend. I’m excited to make something with my Lucky Charms 2.5″ squares and my fat quarter. Be on the lookout for shops to start carrying their line. I like where this company is going.

figo fabrics, quiltcon 2019, quiltytherapy

Brooklyn Mojo –

There is a secret spot in my heart for hand printed designs. I mean hello I love Lotta Jansdotter. Brooklyn Mojo shared some of their designs but also some handmade items on hand. We had a wonderful conversation about products. Pantera noted that she had witnessed someone at a show that really wanted an item, but didn’t have the funds. From there she wanted to have something on the table that everyone could afford. I appreciate that.

As a maker that can be hard to have something at lower price points and still pay yourself. Because I love supporting small businesses I picked up one of her pouches.

brooklyn mojo, quiltcon 2019, quiltytherapy

Pineapple Fabrics –

Their bag sucked me in. I wanted a bag with a pineapple on it. Not many companies were giving out branded bags.

This booth was an experience. We started roaming around and noticed a number of precuts. The precuts were arranged in kits and I haven’t seen this. The idea is simple and I think genius for those getting started with quilting. Or someone like me that needs a quick project to get her sew-jo back.

Plus they are currently carrying the Paintbrush Studio solids that were recently released. They are soft and offer a huge range of colors. Bonus that Pineapple offers them at an affordable price point, or at least at the show.

Sara Parker Textiles –

Eco friendly fabrics and inks are used to create her lovely line of work. Sara Parker offers a variety of prints and I’m going to ponder some of her fabric for upcoming projects.

Quilty Decor

I came across companies making some cute signs/prints for your home or office. These make a great gift for a guild member or friends when you aren’t sure what fabric to get them. Also, nice for those that aren’t into fabric to get something for you that you may actually like or use.

Kati Cupcake –

While this designer has been around, she is branching out into prints. Kati Cupcake has cute patterns for dresses and bags. Seriously, I wanted to purchase the Hard Core Quilter sign she had. Right now I don’t have anywhere for it. However, it’s on my list once I get some artwork back up on my walls.

Crafted Moon –

Whimsical designs and saturated colors created a line I’m now adoring. I can’t show you what I bought because it’s a gift for a friend’s upcoming birthday. Loads of cute art prints, cards, and temporary tattoos are available on Crafted Moon’s website.

Everything Else

You guys, I need this quilt. Red Thread Studio is hosting an EPP Stitch-Along. This quilt is stunning and I want it. No seriously, I want to purchase it since I won’t recreate this one. It has drawn me in.

Red Thread, decadence

Paducah here we come. Rachael and I are adding a trip to the National Quilt Museum this year. Did you know they are hosting a 2020 School Block Challenge. If you have K-12 kids you should check out what they are doing.

We were able to score free tickets to Paducah as well.

Overall I was excited to see the quilts in the show. I was surprised by the trends that I saw. It’s a great show and so happy that we went. While I didn’t do any classes or workshops I think I found some inspiration again.

Now I need to get ready for the drive home and see my nugget. But first some true Southern breakfast. Later y’all!

5 Trends From Quiltcon 2019

Hey Y’all! Greetings from Nashville and Quiltcon 2019. This is my first Quiltcon and it was amazing. So much inspiration. Stunning quilts. You can view all the winners from the show here.

However, my feet are killing me. So much walking around to make sure we saw everything in one day. I’m going to do a separate post with my favorite finds.

5 Trends from Quiltcon 2019

Faced Binding –

Many of the quilts displayed had faced binding instead of traditional binding. I’m impressed with this detail. The quilts don’t feel framed, rather they just end.

5 trends from quiltcon 2019, faced binding, quiltytherapy

Matchstick Quilting –

I honestly lost count how many quilts featured matchstick quilting. It created a stunning detail on the quilts. Is this a trend from show quilts? Also, how tired are you arms after doing this?

Some quilts featured matchstick quilting that was tight and in tiny spaces. Bravo!

5 trends from quiltcon 2019, matchstick quilting, quiltytherapy
Finite Struggle…Infinite Hope by Sarah Maxwell @sjmax105

Curves –

Bust out of just squares and rectangles, so many curves were showcased on quilts this year. They provided a movement and motion I didn’t expect. Some were appliqued and some were pieced. Are you exploring curves in your quilting? The photo below was in the small quilts. I appreciated the subtlety of the curve there.

5 trends from quiltcon 2019, curves, quiltytherapy
Self Portrait by Melanie Tuazon @melintheattic

Colored or Contrast Thread –

White thread it out you guys. Dig into your thread stash and get those colors out. Don’t be afraid to play with contrast in your thread collection, it creates an interesting dynamic.

5 trends from quiltcon 2019, colored thread, contrast thread, quiltytherapy
Complementary Convergence by Cassandra Beaver @cassandra.beaver

From Instagram it was hard to see that the faint lines are crated from thread instead of fabric. This quilt is something you truly need to see in person to appreciate.

Look at that detail

Tiny Piecing –

Upon arrival at the convention center you were greeted by the charity quilts many guilds had created. While tiny piecing was the theme for the charity quilts, this continued on throughout the show. By tiny, I mean teeny tiny. In my studio those would have gone into the trash.

5 trends from quiltcon 2019, quiltytherapy, tiny piecing
Brisbane River Dreaming by Brisbane Modern Quilt Guild

You guys I can’t even begin to describe how teeny these are. Slivers might be a better way to describe the size. Holy camoly. Can you imagine all the pressing necessary with these seams?

tiny piecing, 5 trends from quiltcon 2019, quiltytherapy
Sprinkles by Debra Jalbert @madeofhonorquilts

Finally, if you were at Quiltcon did you notice any of the same trends? Did I miss something that you saw? Just seeing these quilts online do not do them justice, you need to see these in person.

5 trends from quiltcon 2019, quiltytherapy

Read My Guest Post

love yourself, confidence, quiltytherapy

I set a word for 2018…confidence. As I started to focus on this area of my life, I was sure the answers would come from books. When that didn’t give me what I craved, I kept searching.

Boxing provided me the confidence I desired. A few months ago a blogger put a call out for guest bloggers on her new site. There was some hesitation on my behalf, but decided it was worth telling my story.

You can read my post here.

While it is scary to put yourself out there and share your vulnerabilities, it can be very empowering. My hope is that it inspires someone else who is struggling and is unsure. This Valentine’s Day love yourself first and good things will come.

love yourself, confidence, quiltytherapy

An Odd Family Tradition

Are you surviving these winter months? It’s cold in Indianapolis and I’ve been spending time indoors. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I’ve spent some time at my parents. We have been prepping for a family birthday party next month. My twin uncles are turning 80. Yes, 80.

There is just a small age gap between my mom and her brothers. It makes for an interesting family dynamic. My closest cousin in his 50’s. But my second cousins are closer to my age.

My uncles for decades had dinner with my grandma every Tuesday night. As a kid they would come and do yard work, etc. Then February would roll around. The boy’s birthday approached. There was no question what the dish would be. They always got liver and onions for their birthday.

Yeah, liver and onions. No clue how this tradition got started, but it stayed until my grandma went into a nursing home at 96.

I got the idea to add a small touch of my grandma for the boy’s birthday. Let’s get the boys a smash cake that looks like liver and onions. In my local swap group, a number of cake recommendations are made regularly. I reached out one with my odd request.

The Cake

She delivered. Look at this gem.

liver and onions cake, quiltytherapy

It looks disgusting, which is what I ultimately wanted. While it looks disgusting, it tasted AMAZING!!! The baker made a moist chocolate cake, it was just the right amount of chocolate. The onions are made with cooked apple slices.

At first, I wasn’t sure how the apple slices would work. They look gross but were perfection. There was a cinnamon strudel light icing mixed in. We got to taste test the cake on Monday. Hey, someone had to make sure it would be right for the party.

Check back in February to see how the boys reacted to their surprise. It’s a wonderful personal touch to incorporate my grandma into their birthday.

Shift Quilt | A Reflection of 2018

shift quilt, quiltytherapy, scrap quilt, improv pieced quilt

As 2018 came to a close, I began a new quilt project. My festivities for the evening including an anxiety ridden dog that farts all the time, snuggling P, and not much else. Once P went to bed I started messing around in my sewing space.

At an IMQG meeting a while back I picked up some scraps from our 2017 Quiltcon Charity Quilt, as seen below.

These scraps had been sitting on a pile in my sewing space and an idea sparked. Why not just bust out one last project for the year? What came about was a quilt that resembled my 2018. Here’s how.

Scraps

In 2018 my life felt like millions of pieces not really sure how it all fit together. Maybe you noticed a change, maybe it’s you’re first time here. Either way I’m glad you’re reading.

It was nice to work with something my friends had worked on. Friends helped get me through 2018 and this incorporated that detail into the quilt.

Layout | Design

The design for this quilt happened organically. My brain may have subliminally arranged the quilt. All the blocks were pointing up but one. This one changed it’s focused. It shifted. Once I saw how I had laid them out on my first pass, I left it, and knew I needed to build the quilt from here.

That’s how my life felt. My focus shifted, my life shifted. This quilt was becoming an interpretation of what I had felt. It felt like a true artistic breakthrough. Then quilty tetris happened and it I loved the top.

Can you guess how many Y-seams are in the top?

I used a Kona (maybe Navy) solid that was in my stash that coordinated perfectly with the blue in the backing. It’s an African Wax print from Crimson Tate. I had picked it up from a neighborhood garage sale site and it’s been waiting for the right project.

It wasn’t easier to piece together the top. Some time, rearranging, and lots of trial and error to get it exactly how I wanted it. There are TWO Y-seams in the quilt. They were challenging but necessary with my block placement.

Quilting

As the top was coming together, I envisioned a heart in the shifted block and then quilting out ripples. My quilting had other thoughts. My heart was messy and wasn’t looking great. Let alone decent to keep going.

shift quilt, quiltytherapy, scrap quilt, improv pieced quilt

So I ripped it out and started with another option. Wavy organic lines. The year had been full of curves. Some bigger and some tighter. The lines felt much better in telling the story for 2018. They are not perfect, but got better by the end.

Binding

shift quilt, quiltytherapy, scrap quilt, improv pieced quilt

I do love a solid binding. In the scraps from the IMQG meeting, I had found an orange binding ready to go and thought this could work. Once the quilt was finished it needed more of a frame to complete the piece, not accentuate it. The Kona solid binding won.

Typically, I machine stitch the binding to finish up a project. However, this quilt needs the hand stitched binding. Spending some time snuggled under the quilt, sewing along slowly, to finalize the overall look.

Conclusion

In 2018 my life took a change. Right now I’m not ready to discuss anything publicly, maybe eventually. What you should know that while it’s been challenging, it’s also been a time of growth. There has been much reflection. I’m in a much better spot than where I thought I would be.

Finishing this quilt going into 2019 was refreshing. I can complete 2018 and feel like I’m truly moving forward. In all the quilts I’ve created I’ve never had an AH-HA! moment. I used to call them Oprah moments when I was coaching people since those typically feel like a breakthrough.

It was therapeutic. Not sure where this quilt is going to live. In my stash or out the door. Maybe this needs to stay with me for a bit to remind me that everything shifted and I’m still fine.

shift quilt, quiltytherapy, scrap quilt, improv pieced quilt

The Best Christmas Gift

As a mom, Christmas isn’t about me. It’s always about P and others. This year was no different. There are needs and wants that I have this holiday season. I’m too proud to share my needs.

However P was asking what I wanted. My response has been just hugs and kisses. He told my mom and she helped him make it happen. He was so excited to show me. On Christmas morning this was his gift.

best christmas gifts, gifts for mom, quiltytherapy

I loved it and I teared up at the idea. He was very excited for me to open it. My next gift was socks, exactly what I needed. Boxing wears your socks out. Ha. P got me exactly what I wanted and needed this Christmas.

The rest of the day was all about P and the magic of Christmas for a five year old. It was magical and full of family time.

Maybe a little too much family time. Boss had enough.

As a mom, I think this was the best Christmas. Now I wonder how much of that candy P actually eats instead of me.

What did you get for Christmas?