Afton @Quilting Mod, Daisy @Ants to Sugar, Me, Anne @Hudson Valley Quilts, Kitty @Night Quilter
QuiltCon 2015

QuiltCon 2015: People

The biggest reason I was excited to attend QuiltCon was to meet online friends in real life. I attended QuiltCon in 2013, but I was not a blogger at the time. It was an excellent experience, and you can check out my post about QuiltCon 2013. Now that I have been blogging and building relationships with quilters around the world, QuiltCon this year had a different level of expectation and excitement. Don’t get me wrong, attending as a non-blogger is awesome. Quilters are a very friendly and inclusive bunch, so please consider attending Pasadena in 2016 or Savannah in 2017. The extra bonus of putting faces to names this year was just a new aspect to the experience for me.

In particular, getting to meet some of the other New Quilt Blogger’s from Beth @plum and june‘s new quilt bloggers blog hop in 2014 was an awesome experience.

Afton @Quilting Mod, Daisy @Ants to Sugar, Me, Anne @Hudson Valley Quilts, Kitty @Night Quilter

Afton @Quilting Mod, Daisy @Ants to Sugar, Me, Anne @Hudson Valley Quilts, Kitty @Night Quilter in Front of Best in Show “i Quilt” by Kathy York

While we were walking around, I think we might have figured out what Kitty’s favorite color is. 🙂 Even her phone matches!

And as I had talked about the Moda party and my plans to dress up as “Quilting Jetgirl” so much, I have to admit to getting pretty shy about the whole thing when it came to pass. I only got one photo snapped of me all dressed up at the party:

Moda Party: Gemma @Pretty Bobbins, Christa @Christa Quilts, and Me

Moda Party: Gemma @Pretty Bobbins, Christa @Christa Quilts, and Me

Here’s a not so secret secret: I am an introvert. I love the online community and the interactions I have with each and every one of you. But I was so nervous and scared and tentative about meeting people in person! I feel like such a dork and I really wish that I were more outgoing and personable, but there it is. Awkward and shy: check! Thanks so much to Renee @Quilts of a Feather for letting me hang out with her so much at QuiltCon.

Dinner Friday Night: Sandi @Crafty Planner, Renee @Quilts of a Feather, Amanda @What the Bobbin, and Me

Dinner Friday Night: Sandi @Crafty Planner, Renee @Quilts of a Feather, Amanda @What the Bobbin, and Me

I wish we had snapped another photo later in the evening when Katy @Team Katy and Laura @Little and Lots stopped by. Amanda was giving out her awesome needle minders instead of swapping buttons, and I snagged this cutie:

Needle Minder from Amanda @What the Bobbin

Needle Minder from Amanda @What the Bobbin

Speaking of swapping, I swapped Quilting Jetgirl “Sewing at the Speed of Sound” stickers for lots of buttons. It was a great way to break the ice with people, and a lot of fun to collect up all these items!

Pin Swap

Pin Swap

I got to meet Jess @Quilty Habit, and she graciously showed us the backs of quilts during her time as a “white glove” volunteer on the quilt show floor.

Jess @Quilty Habit Showing the Back of Viewer's Choice  Quilt

Jess @Quilty Habit Showing the Back of Viewer’s Choice Quilt “A Quilt for Our Bed” by Laura Hartrich

I met Jess @The Elven Garden at the Moda party on Thursday night and I got to see her again on Saturday when she was volunteering in the classroom where I had my workshop:

Me and Jess @The Elven Garden

Me and Jess @The Elven Garden

And it was a pleasure to be in Angela Walters‘ Quilting Negative Space workshop. Much more about that later this week!

I caught Michelle Wilkie next to her Phased Circles Quilt:

Michelle @Factotum of Arts with her Phased Circles Quilt

Michelle @Factotum of Arts with her Phased Circles Quilt

My mother and her 2 sisters were also in Austin for a visit (my mother is also a quilter and both sisters sew, so they decided to have a mini reunion at QuiltCon). Getting to visit with my mother and my aunts during the evenings was nice. I had not had the opportunity to spend much time around my aunts since I was much younger, and having adult conversations and getting to know and appreciate family as an adult is a privilege.

My Aunt Cheryl, My Mother Lorna, and My Aunt Emma

My Aunt Cheryl, My Mother Lorna, and My Aunt Emma

It was also a joy to discuss quilting with them all. Seeing how Cheryl and Emma (who are not quilters) responded to the quilts was fantastic. They each picked up on and were excited about quilting details, color choice, and fabrics in a way that was exciting and fun to watch.

My Mother Lorna, My Aunt Cheryl, Me, and My Aunt Emma

My Mother Lorna, My Aunt Cheryl, Me, and My Aunt Emma

Reflecting back on how many other wonderful ladies I met and got to chat with, even for just a moment, I have to admit that maybe I wasn’t as awkward as I feared. I put myself out there (for me) and had a great time meeting and getting to know so many friends in person. As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, quilters are a friendly and inclusive bunch, and it was a pleasure to interact with so many of you individually. 🙂

My closing thoughts on the situation is that I think quilters range the spectrum from gregarious to shy, and I have found that it works best for me to interact in a smaller environment. As I was walking around the convention center taking in the show and watching the interactions, I decided that QuiltCon felt a bit like a study on being alone in a large crowd. Nothing wrong with that! I love getting to people watch. My thoughts then moved on to how meeting one-on-one works well, but it works even better (for me) when I am sitting at a sewing machine working on projects and working with others in that fashion. I can definitely see the benefits of belonging to a local guild, and I am a bit sad to not be closer or more able to participate in a guild and group sew-ins. Just my current thoughts and observations. If you were at QuiltCon, how was it for you?

0 thoughts on “QuiltCon 2015: People

  1. magistra13 says:

    It looks like you had a pretty good time 🙂 I love the buttons and needle minder, what great ideas! I’m another introvert, although at my age because of work, etc., many people might not recognize it, meaning I look more comfortable than I am. Anyway, I think your idea of dressing up was a great one and I think one of the sponsors could have a party that included prizes for costumes that would be a lot of fun! But those things build slowly, if at all, which is ok. The great thing is you got to see a lot of beautiful quilts and meet a lot of nice people and even get in quality family time! Sounds great to me! (On a side note: is there good shopping there or any giveaways? Did you bring home some fabríc?)
    Beth

  2. Judy says:

    So fun to see all of those smiling faces! I too am not comfortable in crowds and do much better when dealing with people on a smaller scale. Good for you for stepping outside of your comfort zone and diving head first into the action 🙂

  3. It was awesome meeting you in person!

  4. DeborahGun says:

    So wonderful to see all your photos Yvonne of all these lovely quilters who I know from on-line. I would have been a bit like you – happier with a small group of people that I could get to know well, rather than the life of the party, but it sounds like quite a few of us are like that!

  5. Thank you for sharing this post! This is the most unique QuiltCon blog post I have seen! I can totally relate ~ introvert here too! While I am fine walking around in a big crowd, speaking is another matter! Good for you for pushing through it.

  6. Any chance you could set up your own little quilt chapter? Start meeting at someone’s house and see how it goes? I’m pretty sure that’s how our Perth Guild started … I’m glad you put yourself out there and got to experience a different level of Quiltcon this year … it’s such a long way from Oz (especially Western Australia) that very few of us can make it – although I pleased to see that you did catch up with some Aussies 🙂

  7. Audrey says:

    I’m so glad you enjoyed yourself! I hear you, I’m totally an introvert, but I find that it’s a bit easier to talk to fellow quilters because of the common hobby/obsession.

    I am seriously trying to make Pasadena happen next year. My quilting sensei proposed attending, and it sounds super lovely, so I’m crossing my fingers. And if I make it, I’d love to meet you in person!

  8. Terri Ann says:

    This post makes me so happy. I spent the weekend rather jealous of all my favorite bloggers hanging out together at Quilt Con and all your photos make me feel like I was there too 🙂

  9. I’m working on my QuiltCon post right now! (And I’m stealing your photo of all of us – but giving you credit, of course). I agree with you about how it’s easier to meet people while sewing. For that reason, I’ve been attending many more of the local bee’s than guild meetings. But, we’re doing more ice breaker activities at our guild meetings, and I’m finding it’s facilitating good one-on-one interactions. So I’ll attend a bit more this year! You’re a great organizer of people Yvonne – I hope that one day things click and you can start a group in your area. If I lived nearby, I’d attend!!!

  10. I missed out on those adorable needle minders!

  11. Renee says:

    Hahaha let you hang out with ME?? I would say I am awkward and apprehensive at meeting people, especially those I don’t have a good online friendship with (I didn’t talk to any of the designers, even though I sat across from Denyse Schmidt in the Mod Corsage class, and I did see many IG peeps I follow and felt way too weird to approach them). So I gravitated to those I knew and felt comfortable with–especially you and Afton, the only ones I knew in person previous to QuiltCon. Walking the quilt floor with you was really nice! I so appreciate your honesty, keen eye and similar level of critique of the quilts. I’m glad we were able to have dinner together in a small group, and it was nice to hang out with you at the Moda party where I was so totally out of my element, haha. But glad I stayed long enough to chat with so many people–I would have MUCH prefered a quieter place with better lighting. I vote for an ice cream social next time!

  12. RuthB says:

    Loved seeing all the photos and putting faces to names – looks like a lot of fun and I would be nervous wearing a costume representing my blog too – dressing up like a basset hound probably not a good idea! I really liked your jet suit though!

  13. Jasmine says:

    Wow! Overall, it looks like you had a great time. I would love to meet some of my blogging friends in person. And while I may be a little more outgoing, I prefer smaller groups as well.

  14. I had a great time too – it was so wonderful to meet you in person, Yvonne. It was a fun but I intense 4 days — I admit to having a 4 day stomach ache from all the social interaction. It’s so nerve wracking! It sounds like Renee was your safe place. Kitty Wilkin and Cheryl Brickey were mine. I am so sorry I missed the New Bloggers Meet Up! Maybe next year….I’m proud of us all for pushing past our social anxiety and vulnerabilities. It will be that much easier the next time around!

  15. sally says:

    Interaction on here is sometimes so much easier, and it would have been very easy for you to stick to that and keep a really low profile while you were there, I think you did amazingly to put yourself out there the way you did. Something I would very much have struggled with.

  16. Anne Beier says:

    I was so glad to finally meet you in person. We just got home and had a great time at the conference and visiting cousins afterwards.

  17. Summer says:

    Your post makes me feel better about attending in an upcoming year. Even though Austin is just 3 short hours down the road, I had no one to go with and, like you, wasn’t comfortable just winging it by myself among such a large group. Thanks so much for your perspective and honesty!

  18. I’m writing this post now!!! I absolutely agree—meeting “my people” in person for the first time ever was an amazing high point of the entire event. I’m kinda close to crying just thinking about it. It’s hard to express in words how wonderful it was to meet you and talk to you, even just for short bouts of time. I am absolutely with you in wishing there were a guild nearer to me, and now more than ever, wishing we had teleporters so that we quilty bloggers could be a guild! After all, YOU are totally my guild. I catch myself thinking how I could see us being really good friends if we lived close by, and keep reminding myself–we can be really good friends even across the miles. Blogland is amazing. I’m very much looking forward to meeting up with you again in the future–maybe not next year with my bitty baby, but definitely the year after–or maybe even in between! If you ever have the desire to visit Maine, you are MORE than welcome at our home. Okay, back to trying (and failing) to get my feelings expressed in words! ps. Wait a minute–you are a brilliant jet plane engineer!! Time to get started building that teleporter!!! 😉

  19. mlwilkie says:

    It was so great to meet you and an fyi…you definitely were not weird or awkward at all. You were great and I loved the time we got to chat. Next time, I am definitely doing less so I can spend more time with folks. I meet most (not all) of the folks I wanted to meet but never for long enough :-). Best thing is now I think I know names and not just IG handles 🙂

  20. Given your openness to connect online I never would have pegged you for being “shy.” But there you have it. Our online personas are never what we truly are. I really wish I could have gone this year but it just wasn’t in the cards for me but I informed my husband last night that I will absolutely be at QuiltCon 2017. It’s only 5 hours away and I’ve always wanted to visit Savannah. I hope you’ll be at that one – would love to meet you in person, along with so many others!

  21. Vera says:

    To me you done pretty well for shy introvert! Thank you for sharing your experience.

  22. springleafstudios says:

    I can relate to your introverted self. Me too for the most part and it’s true about being alone in a crowd. But QuiltCon was wonderful and I met so many warm and friendly people just like you did. The only down side was how hard it was to spend quality time with anyone. Next time round I’ll make more a point of that.

  23. Taryn says:

    Thanks for sharing so much of your QuiltCon experience, especially your notes from the Gee’s Bend Lecture! The class with Angela Walters sounds like it was such a great experience!

    I was another introvert at QuiltCon and I must admit I felt a little out of my element! It was really neat meeting people I had previously only known online, even if only briefly. I am not sure I would ever go completely solo to another convention type event again, but because of QuiltCon I feel 100% more comfortable about participating in smaller scale events like local guilds and classes! I definitely agree that it is so much easier getting to know people and form deeper relationships while you are participating in a common activity, like working on a sewing project.

  24. Wow, what a great post! It was so nice to meet everyone in person. I am usually pretty “gregarious” but I have my introvert moments (especially by Sunday!). I hope we get to hang out a bit more next time. Also, that’s a great picture of me white-gloving – I’m stealing it!

  25. 2nana50 says:

    Oh my, I thought you were gonna wear your space suit…..??☺ LOL glad you had a good time, thanks for sharing pictures…

  26. Great post, Yvonne! Quiltcon would be exciting and terrifying for me too…I love to be around people, but I’m usually the observer more than the one stealing the show 🙂 It would be a real push for me to actually go around introducing myself to people!

  27. It was great meeting you Yvonne even if for a brief period of time. I’m with you the whole Quiltcon thing felt weird but then again it had me questioning if the online world is really the “weird” part. I kind of hate that many of us know each other more by our blog name then our real ones. Good lessons.

    Hillary

  28. This is definitely a much different take from your first round in 2013! You have stated it throughout randomly that you are more shy than not and I giggle each time because I also don’t take you that way at all. I only do because you have said so… I also hope to see you again at another QuiltCon as I am already reserved for Pasadena! I loved your idea for the Moda Party as well and when originally hoping to go this year, that was my favorite part! I’m jealous of all of the people you got to meet and classes you got to take. In some ways I am happy I didn’t go and am now reading your posts and others, because I feel like I will be a bit more prepared for what and how I want my time spent when I am there. Either way, I hope to see you at a future one!

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)