Quilting Inspiration is Just Around the Corner: A Look Back at some of 2018 QuiltCon

Preparation is underway for modern quilt enthusiasts from near and far to get their yearly “fix” of quilting inspiration at the annual QuiltCon show. This year’s event will be held for the first time in Nashville, Tennessee. Between participating in seminars, visiting rows and rows of vendors, and navigating full classrooms, there’s lots of time for attendees to wander the aisles and view quilts from the more than 300 juried quilts and dozens of special exhibit pieces.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones: I’ve attended all five of the previous shows, and have seen firsthand how the technique and sheer artistry of today’s modern quilters have blossomed. Here’s a quick look back at some of the outstanding quilts from the 2018 show. I hope they whet your appetite for what’s in store in Nashville in the next few weeks!

Best of Show, 2018
“Going Up”, 2018’s Best in Show quilt by Stephanie Skardal, was simultaneously graphic and modern while also paying homage to our quilting heritage. Stephanie created the design as an oversized traditional Log Cabin block pieced with tiny and precise strips. Modern? Decidedly. Traditional? You bet. When asked what moved her about this quilt, QuiltCon judge Tara Faughnan said, “This quilt created a strong visual impact with very few elements. There is a beautiful simplicity to it. The lines and colors are so clean and strong. To be able to convey so much with such a simple design is one of the aspects I loved about it. And the piecing and technical skills were so beautifully done that the design is able to shine and take center stage.” Quilting inspiration indeed!

“Going Up” 52” x 64” by Stephanie Skardal, Clemmons, North Carolina. This original design was created using photo editing software. Photo credit: Mellisa Mahoney.

Precision matters
Piecing was not the only aspect of the quilts that grabbed the attention of the viewers. The quilted stitch – whether made by hand or by machine – was featured prominently in many of the quilts on display. Christine Perrigo’s “Ohio Snowball” was a real crowd pleaser because of the stunning design and accurate and precise placement of each stitch. Her artistry is evident not only in the quilting, but also in her piecing technique.

“Ohio Snowball” 56” x 70” by Christine Perrigo. This quilt was conceived during a guild meeting at which a challenge was issued about taking a traditional pattern and making a modern quilt from it.

Small piecing is on the rise
Here’s a trend that just won’t stop: small piecing. Debra L. Jalbert’s quilt, “Leftovers #7”, is an example of small piecing on a large scale. “This quilt is the seventh in a series made from leftover fabric. The goal in this piece was to create texture and weight with bulky seams. The blocks vary in both size of the individual pieces and total block size.” Debra continued to work until she ran out of fabric.

“Leftovers #7” 61” x 68” by Debra Jalbert

Want to make attending the 2019 show a bit more fun? Here are a few tips to help you enjoy the experience at another level:

Make the most of your time at QuiltCon.

  • Rise and Shine: Namaste. Early morning yoga at the show is not to be missed!
  • Register Early: Classes fill quickly, so sign up as soon as possible. If your class is full, get on the waiting list.
  • Little Known Fact: You can buy, sell, or trade workshops while at the show directly with other attendees. So if you miss the sign-up, there’s a possibility that you still might be able to take that class!

And for even more enjoyment, don’t forget to pick up your own copy of QuiltCon 2019 magazine in February! You can download last year’s official guide to the modern quilting event of the year in preparation for this year’s show!




Editor, QuiltCon magazine

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