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.
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:
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.
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:
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!
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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?