Tag Archives: QuiltCon


I probably decided while attending the last QuiltCon that I would submit quilts for the upcoming QuiltCon (in Savannah in February). When I saw the Nine-Patch Challenge I knew I wanted to play with the geometry of the 9-patch and turn it into something non-rectangular. I made many sketches before zeroing in on a few possible versions of this idea. I settled on this version knowing that it would be a challenge to piece.

Perspective by Sarah Goer Quilts

I redrew my design in Illustrator as a 60" by 60" quilt. Much later in the process I questioned my choice in size, though in the end I'm quite pleased with the strong visual impact at this size. I decided I preferred a non-square quilt and adjusted the final size to finish at 51" x 61".

Perspective nine-patch blocks by Sarah Goer Quilts

Though the design was completed earlier, the entirety of this quilt was cut, pieced and finished in the month of November. Naturally, I began with the regular 9-patch units, a variety of sizes ranging from 3" to 18" finished blocks. Then I moved on to paper piecing the skewed 9-patch units.

Perspective (all nine-patch units) by Sarah Goer Quilts

Long pause.

Finally, with five days left until the submission deadline, I got to work on piecing the quilt top. I used my Illustrator document for measurements to meticulously cut the right triangles necessary to fill in next to each side of my trapezoidal 9-patch units.

From there it was like piecing together a puzzle. This was the step that was going to make or break my project and I was quite pleased when stuff started going together as planned.

Four days left. I made my quilt label and chose a backing fabric that didn't require piecing. (Score!) Then I basted my quilt and pondered how I would quilt it.

Three days left. I made my final decision for quilting, deciding on large pebbles (I prefer to think of them as river rocks) after a recommendation from Sarah. (Sometimes a crazy suggestion from a friend is just what we need!) This decision was not made lightly, with the submission deadline approaching. I spent 13 hours over two days quilting.

Submission day. The deadline was 10pm PST, so I had all day to trim, bind, photograph and submit my quilt. To say I was thankful that nobody in my family came down with any type of illness would be an understatement. A million thanks to my family for letting me check out for four days which enabled me to finish and submit my quilt on time.

I have really enjoyed seeing some Nine-Patch Challenge quilts pop up on Instagram and I look forward to seeing which quilts are selected to hang in the show. Congratulations to all who entered!


Yesterday I received my rejection letters for the two quilts I submitted to Quilt Con. I'm bummed. This is a hard time in our community with people experiencing a whole array of feelings about why their quilts didn't make it. I hear ya. I really do. I'm definitely disappointed. However, it doesn't change the fact that I'm damn proud to have made this quilt. I was inspired by a fairly open-ended set of challenge guidelines and I designed and made a quilt that I love. The construction of the quilt was a stretch for me in multiple ways. For that, I feel like a winner. True, I had visions of my quilt hanging in the show in February and having my photo taken next to it. And I'm disappointed that won't be happening. However, just because this particular quilt wasn't a good fit for this particular show, doesn't mean I'm upset that I made it. Or that I wish I hadn't bothered.

Here's my perspective on creating. While I loved attending my first QuiltCon this year and would be proud to have a quilt hang in that show, I am not defined by whether my quilt was accepted or rejected for this, or any, show. I strive to make quilts that I love. The reasons I love them may vary across projects or even change over time, but I make because I love what I'm creating, not because I'm trying to make them fit in someone else's definition of good. And let's talk about good for a minute. There are some things I could have done differently with my quilt. Small ways I could have improved it a bit. (I felt this way before the rejection letter. ;-)) But, my quilt wasn't rejected because it wasn't good. It's darn good and so are the many other rejected quilts. (For the virtual show, see #quiltconreject on Instagram.) There were over 1,500 quilts submitted for this show. And my guess is that over 75% of those were rejected. To cultivate a show, there are many factors that go into the selection process. The rejection isn't personal.

This isn't the result I wanted for my first submission to a juried quilt show, but I look forward to entering this quilt and others into future shows.

Thank you to all my friends who were supportive along the way as I worked on this project.

I'm linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday and Finish It Up Friday.

Linking up to the Q4 Finishes Link-Up. See my Q4 list here.


Nothing like a deadline! It became obvious on social media the past couple days that I was in good company with many other quilters finishing up (or, in the case of some, just starting) our QuiltCon submissions for tonight's 10pm PST deadline.


Here's my sneak peak of my quilt (full reveal when I blog about the entire project), Perspective, which I submitted for the American Patchwork & Quilting Nine-Patch Challenge. I enjoyed playing with the geometry of a nine-patch by piecing skewed blocks. Then I had this wonderful recommendation (I'm looking you, Sarah N.) to pebble the background. I estimate I spent about 13 hours over the past two days to pebble the quilt. (My arms are so sore... so it totally counts as a workout, too, right?) I'm very pleased with the results of those marathon quilting sessions. And I'm feeling quite confident with pebble quilting now!

I also submitted my Retro Trailer mini quilt.

Now that the Thanksgiving holiday and my QuiltCon submissions are behind me, I can settle back into a more normal routine and get focused on some goals: quilting, blogging and otherwise. Oh, and bee blocks for November. Thank you for your patience! ;-)

Thanks for visiting! Happy sewing!


Last but not least. Saturday evening I took Conquering Curves with Janice Ryan of Better Off Thread. Going into the class, I was exhausted from three full days of QuiltCon excitement, including my first four classes. I didn't know how much I would be able to absorb. And I wondered what I was thinking taking a curves class (probably the most technically challenging of my classes) on Saturday night, at the end of the whirlwind that was my QuiltCon experience. At least I brought a pile of fun orange and teal fabrics to work with. ;-)

I'm so very glad that I took the class. Not only did I do some fun and awesome work with curves, Janice was an amazing teacher! Her command of the subject, her thoughtful organization of the handout and progression of the class, the amount of stuff she packed into a mere three hours - all awesome! She led an introduction to the full group (24 of us in class) and then worked her way around the room to demo the detailed example to small groups. Then, in an act of teaching perfection, she supported everyone in working at their own pace through the four different skill sets being taught by demonstrating each lesson numerous times as small groups were ready. This meant she showed each skill numerous times, but nobody had to wait around for very long before she was demonstrating the next part of the lesson. Even in my exhausted state the class was a wonderful experience. I would take any class Janice taught!

I think there's generally two schools of thought on piecing curves: the don't pin technique and the pin the heck out of it technique. We used the pin the heck out of it method. I sewed one seam of the first block, molehill curves, then moved on to the whole circle (12 1/2" unfinished block). We had four sections of the quarter circle drunkard's path units (6 1/2" unfinished), in decreasing size of piece (and increasing difficulty), and I made two of the four sections. I think I was losing steam mentally, and this is where I ran out of time. I did watch her demo on part four: the clamshell, and eventually I'll get to trying that out.

I'm not likely to put these four blocks into the sampler that Janice designed for the course. Instead of one finished mini, I think I'll use each block differently. I'd like to make a drunkard's path lap quilt, so I think I'll put that block on the back of my quilt. I may finish the circle block to be a mini of it's own or use it in the center of a medallion style quilt. The molehill and clamshell blocks will most likely be used to make a zipper pouch or some other small project. All that said, these aren't the highest on my to do list, so it'll probably be a while.

While I might not recommend taking 21 hours of class in three days at QuiltCon, I'm thrilled with my new skills and new projects. And I'm definitely glad that I took the opportunity to immerse myself in learning while I was there. Next time I attend QuiltCon I'll probably be more selective about what classes to take and settle on just one or two in order to give myself a little more balance with downtime and social time for the weekend.


This first quilt is Sinuous by Valerie Shields, in the Small Quilts category. I was drawn to the simple yet striking color palette and love the combination of curved and straight line piecing in each block. I imagine this block would be a lot of fun to play with different layout opportunities. I love the movement of the quilting lines. Valerie’s artist statement reads:

The block was created by my friend, Karen Cunagin. I wanted to use it to create a modern piece with a limited palette yet pleasing design. I like the simplicity of using one block and getting the strong sense of both curves and straight lines.

Design Source: The block was created by Karen Cunagin and taught in her class at the San Diego Adult Continuing Ed. School. The overall design using her block was my own.


Also in the Small Quilts Division, this one is Holyoke 1938 by Timna Tarr. This quilt stood out to me first on Instagram when I saw photos from the show. I was even more impressed upon seeing it in person, due to its size. It's so small for all that detail, both piecing and quilting! I've included the 8 1/2" by 11" artist's statement in the photo for scale. (Also, check out the beautiful ribbon! Congratulations, Timna!) The detail and precision in this map quilt are amazing. It also struck me that it is a map of Holyoke, where my late father was born. Timna's artist statement reads:

Holyoke, Massachusetts was one of the country's first planned industrial cities. The city is powered by a dam on the Connecticut River and a canal system. The juxtaposition of the natural river and the planned gridded streets is fascinating to me. It is also just across the river from where I live -- the little blue star in the upper right is where my house is located.


Giveaway *closed*

I'm sharing some of my goodies from QuiltCon with one of you. I'll draw one winner on March 24th (tomorrow!) at 1pm PST out of all entries on my five posts about my QuiltCon classes. (This is the last of the five posts.) The drawing is open to everyone. To enter, please comment below and tell me about the best quilting class you've ever taken, or a quilting class you'd like to take. Followers can get a second entry by posting a second comment to tell me how you follow me (Bloglovin', Instagram, etc.). Thank you! Thank you to everyone who entered. The winner is Anja of Anja Quilts!