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Jay McCarroll demonstrating pocket insertionAs promised, this is a post about my experiences and impressions of QuiltCon. I was totally unprepared for the event, since as many of you know it is tax season and I considered myself a lunatic for signing up for this conference when I am so busy at work. I was working 15 hours days up until I had to leave on Wednesday afternoon.  A day before I had to leave I looked at the class supply list and it was unclear if I was supposed to come with already pieced fabric for the “Kitchen Sink Skirt” with Jay McCarroll or if we were going to be piecing in class. Needless to say, I didn’t have room in my one bag for a bunch of fabric, so I brought one piece. I just figured I would make a skirt that wasn’t pieced. More on that later.

QuiltCon Goody BagUpon registration we were loaded down with a goody bag filled with charm packs, flyers, discount coupons from vendors, magazines, patterns, a side winder, a mug from Bernina, sun glasses and many other goodies. What impressed me the most was the bag itself. It is 100% cotton and very cute with a handmade look. Normally at conferences, the bag is the first thing that gets pitched. I could already tell that this conferences would be a little different. The next unique thing was the name tag which was very colorful and had everyone’s blog name.  Next I had to grab some fruit and water and rush off to class.

As mentioned before, my first (all day) class was with Jay McCarroll, season 1 winner of Project Runway and the name of the class was “Kitchen Sink Skirt.” By the time I signed up for classes, there were only a few classes left and this was one of them. I don’t think alot of quilters were interested in garment sewing. Frankly, I’m a garment sewer, as well as a quilter, and a fan of Project Runway, so I thought it would be a fun class.  I was not disappointed! Jay was very funny and quirky (like he was on the series). I think the non-garment sewers stayed confused after the piecing the fabric part, as we made our own patterns (Project Runway style) and I think Jay My improv patchworkassumed we were more knowledgeable of garment sewing than some of us were. It was an elastic waist skirt for pete’s sake, how hard can it be! However, this skirt had lining and pockets, so it did confuse some of the class. My skirt didn’t get finished. As you recall I brought one piece of fabric and for 1/2 the day everyone was making patchwork. The vendor hall had not opened yet for me to get more fabric so everyone started giving me scraps and the quilter I shared a table with gave me the most. In return, I gave her the side-winder (bobbin winder) since she didn’t get one in her goody bag. I did manage to Jay's sample skirt with ethnic fabricspurchase some fabric from the vendors (but not specifically for my skirt), so with all the wonky fabric I got, my patchwork is perfectly hideous, but I had fun trying to improvise as I was definetly out of my comfort zone. Here is a picture of my patchwork that will probably get made into a top to practice my FMQ. I really am not disappointed that I didn’t make a skirt. At my weight, an elastic waist gathered skirt would probably just make me look bigger anyway. I was very happy with the class, as I didn’t feel pressured to finish and I loved that I got to try some improvisational piecing. Jay was a delight and I was glad to have spent the day in his class. Jay’s sample skirt was lovely with all ethnic fabrics.

Marcia Derse and Malka Dubrawsky fabricsI went off site for lunch as convention center food is usually pretty awful (and I recently started Weight Watchers Online), therefore I didn’t have much time for shopping during the two hour lunch break, but I did manage to grab up some fabric I had been eyeing on line (for placemats) and a few other interesting Lotta Jansdotter Bella and Echo fabricspieces. to incorporate in my skirt. Jay came back from lunch very excited about the Best of Show quilt. It had been made with his “Center City” fabric line. More on the quilts and Day 2 tomorrow.

Happy Thursday, Lora