It has been a very eventful week, but there aren’t a lot of photos to support that! It was the week of the virtual Houston Quilt Festival and it was a jam-packed:
I am not going to show a lot of screen shots because to me, they pretty much all look alike. I was a panelist for both of the Machine Quilting Forums, presenting on Cutwork as well as an overview of free motion quilting. Each Forum had close to 500 attendees! If it were held in-person the limit is (I think) 150. Now you see why Forum fills early every year!
I regretfully have no evidence of the keynote speech that I gave on opening night of Festival. What. An. Honor! I spoke passionately about “Quilting is a Contact Sport!”, how quilters are a powerful force and how we are a generous and caring community.
I worked really hard and long on that speech and I hope it was well received. I couldn’t tell, it was just me and my computer, in my home. There were almost 1800 attendees, so I guess that was a good sign! I have never spoken to a crowd that large before and I estimate that there were attendees from at least 10 countries?
It was not recorded (my decision) and there were no questions and answers (again, my decision)at the end. I honestly did not think there would be any questions – that was probably not the best call. So, all of a sudden, poof, it was gone. Forever. It’s just such a weird feeling! This was a huge accomplishment and honor for me and it hardly exists on the internet.
Again, no actual screen shots because it would have been inappropriate, but I also took classes and lectures. I learned Precision Piecing from the Best, Philippa Naylor (UK). Wow, I had no idea how much care went into true precision piecing. And pins!! I learned some nifty tricks too.
I also took Intense Free Motion Quilting from Claudia Pfeil (Germany). It was jam packed with ideas for fills and backgrounds, with a 27 page handout! Claudia is a long armer and I hadn’t realized how deliberately long armers avoided stops and starts. I guess that’s because most long armers work for-hire; time is money and stops take time. It was an interesting perspective.
I also took a wonderful lecture from Sue Nickels. It was both a retrospective of her work as well as a trunk show of her considerable collection of historical pieces. It was very interesting and Sue is so dog gone charming.
Then wow, the dynamo of Kimberly Einmo with a plethora of clever ideas for setting up your creative space. She had great ideas for maker spaces from tiny to luxurious. She too is incredibly charming and has a fantastic space to work in.
I also took a lecture from Cindy Seitz-Krug of 20 tips for better machine quilting. I like to hear from others in my field; I learn from their perspective and their presentation approach. Cindy is both knowledgeable and confident and just oozes charisma. It helps me to see how I appear compared to others. I have created a list of “suggested improvements” for myself as a result of watching all of these presenters.
I have yet to view “Quilt by Committee” with 3 Handi Quilters Educators, which I look forward to.
My Perspective on this year’s Festival
A general note about this year’s virtual Houston Quilt Festival. Yes, there were glitches. Most presentations had some sort of minor glitch, a few had major ones. As teachers in a virtual world, there are soooo many things we cannot control! Most students were patient with this fact. We can’t control storms and your internet speed and “new” formats.
There was a lot of confusion about simply getting to view classes. The manner of entry was different from any other virtual Festival I’ve attended. It’s hard to tell what the issue was. It was different, but I did what their directions told me to and got in. I feel badly for those who had difficulty viewing their choices.
For me, as an instructor, it was gold to me! I NEVER get to take these classes because, well, I’m teaching. The in-person show is extremely intense. I average 20 – 30,000 steps a day and I’m in the red zone and orange zone on my FitBit for much of the day.
I got to take condensed classes, front row seat, at home – wahoo! I LOVED the Master Class format which was a 90-minute lecture/demo. You got all the meat, no fluff. This was a unique approach to virtual quilt classes and I think it was a huge hit. Even if you were not impressed with the content or instructor, you paid a mere $20 to view them. You didn’t devote an entire expensive day at Houston and pay over $100 on a subject/technique that ultimately did not interest you. I hope they keep some version of this online Festival!
The show side of things was a little awkward to me. The quilts had to be viewed via PDF due to some sort of computer issue so it was kind of difficult to maneuver through. Seeing quilts online with any show is okay, it just does not excite me. In the end, online viewing of a quilt show leaves a lot to be desired, no one can help that. I felt that the Education side of Festival was fabulous and the show side, not so much.
From my view, the virtual Festival was fabulous! I have been invited to and committed to next year’s (hopefully) in-person Festival and I can’t wait! I MISS people, the random interactions, seeing my friends from all over the world, seeing the quilts in-person and the the mystique/charisma that IS Festival. I want to see the quilts in front of me and relish that feeling of being absolutely surrounded by beauty and wonder. Let’s hope!
And that’s not all that happened this week. In my family, between Hubby and I, we have NINE birthday/anniversaries, from early Nov to first few days of Dec. Mine is the last event in that string. I have put this same banner up for 30 years. Every single year, when it gets to my birthday, at the end, I am pretty much over it. I DO NOT want cake, a big celebration, no. Just leave me alone is pretty much how I feel, not in a bitter way, but I’m just simply done by that point. I don’t put my birthday all over the internet for bad people to see. Let’s just say I celebrated my birthday this year with 1,800 other people. And with California in lockdown, dinner was something I scarfed down after my lecture. And it was a good night!
Maybe next year will be a bit more festive and calm! It’s all good, it’s been a wild ride and a wild ride beats a painful or sad or worry-filled ride. I have many, many blessings and truly, you who read my blog are one of them. I appreciate and treasure every comment and reader. Thank you!
I’ll be linking up to: