QuiltCon 2020: Trip Report

I guess I should share some words about my recent trip to QuiltCon 2020 in Austin, Texas. I don’t have anything profound to say this year. If I’m being honest, my words weren’t that profound last year (haha).

I had a blast going to QuiltCon for the first time without a kid, which let me to lose myself in conversation and time, frequently. It happened so much that I barely talked to my family one day and heard about it the next day. It also happened so much that I barely slept. Because I was having a hard time sleeping, I made the most of the mornings and joined other runner-quilters to run along the river. I also participated in the MQG mini swap and had a very successful swap with my partner.

I also taught at QuiltCon for the first time, with two lectures and two sessions of a strip piecing class. Teaching was a very positive experience. I received positive feedback and my students learned! I enjoyed it and applied to teach again next year.

From a show perspective, the thing that stood out to me most was the texture of the show quilts, coming from so much variety in hand quilting, hand embellishment, and layering. I also personally loved many of the quilts with lots of color.

I had four quilts in the show this year, spread throughout piecing, improv, and the stripes challenge. I also had one quilt in the quilt of the month exhibit, and one quilt in the block of the month exhibit. I took less pictures of my own quilts and more photos of other quilter’s impressive work. I shared many of my favorites on Instagram in two sets (one set for texture and one for full shots), and those are all linked below.

And keep on scrolling past the photos if you want to see brief notes on QC category numbers.

Non-Actionable Thoughts on Judging

Last year, I shared a pie chart to show a breakdown of QC quilts by category. At that time, I was trying to understand which categories might be more or less “competitive”. This year, I don’t think I care as much, but I’ll share the numbers anyways in case anyone wants to see them. This year’s numbers come from my good quilty friend, Caroline of Geometriquilt. Thanks Caroline!

Year over year, the QC jury and judges changes, which means a different set of 4-5 people decide on what quilts are accepted, and then 3 different people do the judging. I don’t think these statistics are actionable except to say that maybe handwork has less entries because it’s a lot of work :). But outside of that, predicting jurying and judging over subjective matter is basically impossible. The software engineer in me wants to determine the black box to get from quilt to ribbon, but instead, I think I’ll focus on making the quilts I want to make and decide on show options later.

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