Friday, April 12, 2024

QuiltCon 2024 - Final Reflections

Sir Walter getting into the quilting action

In preparing for QuiltCon this year, I looked back at my own blog posts to remind me about my experiences and thoughts. I found last year's final reflections post to be a good one - so I am wrapping up my QuiltCon reflection today. If you've not seen them already, I have 4 other posts -My QuiltsThe QuiltsThe Workshops, and The Best Bits. This will be my final post.

Location, location, location! The Raleigh Convention Center is less than a 30 minute drive from my home. When Raleigh was first announced as a location, I was pleased to avoid needing airline reservations but I worried about how much of the experience I would miss by coming home each night. Cleary I love my family but their attention span for discussion on quilts is, frankly, not very long!

Luckily for me, I found the right balance by spending 2 nights at an AirBnB with friends and coming home the other nights. The location gave me the opportunity to volunteer each day before and after the show - which I loved - and it meant my family could actually stop by to better understand what QuiltCon is all about. Every attendee I spoke with really liked the convention center and all the restaurants and food trucks nearby. And, the MQG just announced that QuiltCon is returning to Raleigh in 2026! (Phoenix is the site for 2025.)

The show - especially the vendor area -  often felt crowded, more so than any other QuiltCon I've attend. The attendance numbers support this - see Kelly's post for the specific statistics. Most of my time was spent looking at quilts so avoiding the crowds wasn't difficult. There were so many food options nearby that grabbing a bite to eat wasn't an issue. The lines every day at show opening were the real surprise. I'm used to lines for Thursday but it was crazy other days as well and registration Wednesday afternoon was crazy stuff.

Trading friendship bracelets was the most fun! I truly enjoyed sharing them with friends and with people I met on the show floor. I hope this is a 'thing' next year! I did have small buttons to swap and some business size cards but they were more awkward to hand out.

It was an absolute thrill to have my quilt Echo featured in QuiltCon magazine. The magazine sold out quickly so I was happy to purchase my copy on day 1.

If you attended QuiltCon, you likely have had a similar experience to mine - namely as you read through others peoples IG or blog posts sharing favorite quilts, you see a quilt that you have no memory every seeing before yet you are confident you saw every quilt in the show more than once! When someone actually highlights one of my quilts, I get quite excited and surprised. Here are just two of them - Cassandra's Unique Interpretations of Shape post  featured My Twist quilt!

Credit: Cassandra Beaver

And Aurifil's Thread's of Inspiration post featured my quilts Mending Fences and Echo!

Credit: Aurifil

I walked away with so much information and excitement with ideas to try all different things after seeig the show. In no particular order:
  • explore a message based quilt
  • a large sized two or three color improv quilt to be entered into Improv category (I've 3 improv quilts that have been juried into previous shows but all were in the small quilt category)
  • curves, all shapes and sizes
  • a mix of machine and hand quilting (this is one of the details I love to find on show quilts)
  • another group quilt. I enjoyed having a group quilt in the show in 2023 and always enjoy seeing a group of makers pose together in front of their joint creation

Notes to my future QuiltCon self (in no particular order) -
  • Shop the vendor floor late in the day on day 1 to avoid the crowds, the noise and still have a chance of finding things in stock; 
  • Volunteer again during registration - it is fun and exhausting all mixed together
  • Take a break for a cup of tea and a chat with a friend every day (my breaks this year were all solo)
  • Trade friendship bracelets again - hopefully they are still a thing! - and start making them well ahead of time
  • Grab more photos with friends (those are the ones I cherish, not the show quilt photos)
QuiltCon is so much more than the show itself. It is about the people - those who create the art and the story behind theirs quilts and every person you share the experience with.

Counting down the days to QuiltCon 2025 in Phoenix!

Have a wonderful day! Patty


  1. I already booked a place to stay in Phoenix and look forward to seeing you there!

  2. I sure enjoy reading about your impressions of QC 2024! I am surprised that 2026 will be in Raleigh again, though not doubt it's the size of the convention center that was a real selling point. And certainly, having support from your local MQG chapter helped enormously! After seeing the lines before 10 AM, I'm hoping the MQG decides to open the doors at 9 AM. I thought it was difficult to find food (I stood in line for 20 minutes only to learn the vendor was out of yogurt; and another person said the price she was charged for food from a street vendor was higher than the advertised price), and I hope more food vendors will be added in 2026. Also, chairs. More chairs are needed, especially on the show floor and the show floor eating area. And more women's bathrooms... I was always in a line. I mentioned all these things in my survey response, and I hope they're addressed. I can sure understand how convenient it is for you to have QC in Raleigh. Definitely money-saving, and also nice to have a little extra time to volunteer. I too hope friendship bracelets are a thing next time. Until then, I have a year to teach myself how to make them! :-) Hope to see you in Phoenix!


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