I’m overwhelmed, in a very good way, and it’s hard to know where to start. Maybe with the numbers: 8 days, 5 full classes except one (5 short), a Sampler and Machine Quilter’s Forum (hundreds at each, multiple instructors), 2 Meet the Teacher events, at least 5 countries represented in my classes, countless renewals of friendships, many miles walked with over 20 pounds of quilts and product on my shoulders, hours slept-hmmmm, number of items purchased at vendors-2!
Apparently I was not the only one overwhelmed. I can’t tell you how many times I saw a conked out quilter sleeping on the chairs. It’s hard work to be at Festival! There were so many competing interests: renewing friendships, meeting new friends, seeing the quilts, talking to the makers, meeting up with fellow SAQA members, getting tips from other teachers, teaching, prepping for class, schlepping my stuff to class, and those minor activities like eating and sleeping. There is a motto in the Education Room – “Sleep in November”!
There is also a phrase: FOMO, meaning Fear of Missing Out. That is what I experienced. I would be looking at quilts in the short time I had on the quilt floor and I would meet someone interesting. A conversation would ensue and then I would think, I hardly looked at quilts! I would walk the vendor part of the show and think, oh I don’t need anything and someone would walk by with the coolest fabric or notion. Or I would think, I haven’t been outside in 2 days, so I would spend time in Discovery Park, only to realize I missed a lecture I wanted to go to. I could not take it all in.
To will try to take you through Festival, through my eyes. I’ll start at the beginning:
Who’d a thunk I would get a hotel upgrade I didn’t ask for? I received a lovely corner room with a sweeping view of the city. Okay, part of that view was the top of the Toyota Dome with its eerie red lighting.
And instructors get goodie bags! This year’s bag was especially bountiful….and heavy. Vendors provided some really nice products. I gave away some items to my Intro students on my last day of teaching.
I took no photos in class-I just forgot! But I did take this video. I looooove the sound of a class filled with free motion quilters! It is such a kick to teach at Festival. The energy level and enthusiasm is high and student expectations are high too. It’s challenging, exhilarating and exhausting all at once but it feeds my soul. The next time I’m there I hope to take some classes from instructors that will never get to my neck of the woods.
I was dead tired and missed the Winner’s Circle celebration which really is like the Academy Awards of quilting. But I did make Preview Night and I had the best time ever. The first few hours of Preview Night are for IQA members only, so you can really get to see the quilts without a crushing crowd. And as a bonus, many of the makers are beside their quilts. A few very interesting examples follow:
There was a special exhibit of Log Cabin quilts by Brigitte Morgenroth from Germany. I believe she said there were 25 of her 115 quilts on display. And what a delight she was to chat with! If you could only see this exquisite piece in person: the glow of the silk, the way the design moves as you change your position-it is stunning.
She hand quilts each one and her work is almost entirely out of silk. She adroitly manipulates the silk to let the sheen create color and texture. Her work is divine.
I had a delightful conversation with Jerry Granada-his style is unique and recognizable and he quilts on a domestic machine! The quilting was in keeping with the space theme-wish I’d taken a close up. We are kindred spirits of sort and we waxed poetic about the pure joy and peacefulness of quilting on a quiet, domestic machine.
I loved his matching shoes. And who’d a thunk-his husband is from Streator, Ill, the next town over from my hometown. If you’re from a small town, you know what a kick you get out of someone actually knowing where you are from.
I thought I had a photo of the maker of these quilts-I call her “The Knit Lady”, Suzanne Thompson. She knits “fabric” on her knitting machine, then cuts it up and applies it to a background and quilts it. This quilt is made from knits! She had an entire display of maybe 15 quilts made in this method. She was fascinating and her work so unique and textural.
Of course I had to visit my quilt! It was wonderful to see it hanging there and it did receive a fair amount of buzz. Initially they had the dog gone sign covering up one fourth of my quilt-grr. Deborah Boschert moved it for me-thank you!
At the end of a long day I was delighted to see friends from my home guild (the Folsom Quilt and Fiber Guild) at the bar-what a treat! Fellow instructors Melinda Bula and Peggy Martin there too. I even had a drink-something I do maybe a couple of times a year.
Next week I’ll begin posting quilt photos-I’m still catching up with Real Life.