Saturday, March 14, 2015

QuiltCon : Part 2 : Volunteering

If you haven't heard about it, I went to QuiltCon this year. It was surreal!

I have been a member of the Modern Quilt Guild in one way or the other right since I started quilting. The MQG has always given me a direction, first through online inspiration and assistance and now through QuiltCon. I do dream of playing a larger role in the MQG someday. But meanwhile, I decided the best way to 'be involved' was to apply to be a super volunteer for Quiltcon. And I'm so happy that I made that decision!

I reached Austin at about 2 am. I was supposed to reach at midnight, but my flight from New York was delayed. My first volunteer shift started at 8 am! Was I tired? Not at all!!!

I helped prep the lecture halls for a while before being sent to the exhibition hall along with the fabulous Kathy York (Her quilt iQuilt) won the "Best of Show). I had been in touch with her before - when I made my 3D quilt. She is a warm and a generous person. I loved the fact that everyone greeted me with a lovely warm hug!!!

I kept going for 8 hours volunteering because of the wonderful people around me and the adrenalin of being a part of this show!!!

The awesome Colleen - the lady in pink hair lying at the bottom of the stairs was the one who decided how the volunteering schedule worked! She was SUPER! Always smiling - I totally admire her strength. It was not a joke to try and make everyone work and feel like they are being given a gift! 

I also got a pat in the back from Jacquie! She is an unbelievable lady! She is the Chairman of the Modern Quilt Guild, but yet she was so accessible! She recognized me by my name when she met me! I love her!!! I got to learn so much from her. Throughout QuiltCon, there was not a moment when I saw her stressed. I know it is a HUGE task to organize a show of this volume, but this lady is a pro! Hats off to her!!!

I got to assist two workshops - the perks of being a Super Volunteer! First was Cristy Fincher. Her class was about Quilting with straight lines. And I got to learn a lot of things. Especially how to bury threads - even when they're super short!

The other class I assisted was Yoshiko Jinzenji's!!! It was amazing. The lady is an enigma! I loved her work since a very long time. But the way she played with material - ranging from sheer organzas to silks and upholstery fabrics - it was crazy awesome! She taught me to be fearless in my approach!!!

Will I go to QuiltCon again? Of course Yes. But I'll request MQG to have it at a time other than February. I cannot afford to miss my son's birthday AND my anniversary every time.

Will I volunteer at Quiltcon again? Definitely!!! It was a huge part of my experience. Everyone at MQG made me feel at home. I was not homesick for even one moment! I enjoyed being a part of the show! I am proud of being a part of Quiltcon!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Quiltcon Part 1 : Roomies!!!

I went to QuiltCon this year!
It was a dream come true for me. I had been planning on doing this since Quiltcon2013.
I managed to save enough money to make it a reality this year!!!

It was an awesome experience!!!

I traveled 9500 miles to reach Austin, but it was totally worth it!

I will need much more than one post to write about all that. But in this post, I will write about the wonderful women that I shared my room with!

Here are my room mates for QuiltCon.

From left to right : Laura (she won the people's choice award for her awesome quilt), Emily (since we had 2 Emilies in the room I called her EmB), Elaine, Me and Emily (This one was EmL)

We stayed at the Marriott! It was a beautiful room on the 10th floor with a wonderful view of Downtown Austin.

Meeting Emily (EmL) was the highlight of this trip EmL and me have known each other since 2010 and we really became friends in 2011 after I made this Doll Quilt for her in a Swap.

We have been talking (aka chatting on FB) with each other so many times. When she went to Austin in 2013 and had a lot of fun, I was so jealous! It was then that we decided that we will be roomies for Quiltcon 2015!!!

EmL's and mine is a friendship I cannot describe! Meeting her in flesh was so awesome!

We talked a lot (as much as I could stay awake to do) into the night. We got Tattoos together. Not same ones (But I'm sure she's going to get one to match mine - she was so in love with it)

Mine is the "expecto patronum' one.

She did hers first. I was super nervous. When I asked her if it pained a lot. she said - Not a lot. A little. But when I started getting mine done it pained. A LOT!!! I was actually glaring at her!!!

We spent a lot of time giggling about it!!!

When it was time for good byes, we did share a lot of tears. I remember people giving us sympathy smiles or avoiding looking at us while we stood outside a classroom that I was volunteering in and hugged and cried!

I loved all my roomies! I had heard about them through Emily. We started chatting on FB as a group and if one of us missed a (long) conversation, they had to go back and scroll through eternity to get to the top!

We also had our own roomie swap!

I made all the girls mini quilts. Here they are.

This one is Emily B's

 This one was for Elaine. I wasn't a huge fan of the colours, but this was definitely the one most difficult to part with!

 This one was for Laura. It even had her blue glasses!

Lastly, this one was for EmB. It was the most difficult to make. I dont know why. But it was also the fastest to come together!

I had a blast at Quiltcon because I had such wonderful girls to come back 'home' to! Thank you ladies, for making my stay awesome and for making me not feel homesick.

More about my trip in the next post. Stay tuned!!!