Tag Archives: QuiltCon


'Tis the season for Modern Quilt Guild members to wait in limbo to hear about their quilt submissions for QuiltCon 2019. I know I'm in lots of good company. The show will be in Nashville February 21-24. I look forward to attending the show and connecting with the community.

This was the first year that I wasn't racing to finish all potential submissions at the last minute. Unfortunately, I did run out of time for the Michael Miller Hash Dot Fabric Challenge project that I was working on in November. However, I did choose four of my 2018 finishes to submit. You can click through if you'd like to read more about my process and see more pictures of each project.


Pantone Ultra Violet All About Angles


Fandangle Scrappy Squares

Modern Batik

Congratulations to everyone who has submitted their work and best wishes as you wait for selection letters.


QuiltCon 2018 starts next week in Pasadena. I'll be there with my family. Maybe you are attending. Maybe it's your first time. I thought I would share a few tips. If you have additional tips or questions about QuiltCon, please feel free to leave them in the comments.


Download the App

Download the CrowdCompass AttendeeHub app to get this year's QuiltCon app. It's an easy, in-your-pocket way to keep track of all your events and connect with others. You can use it to take notes and to set reminders for events. View the Event Directory to find your friends and add them as contacts or send messages through the app. I *think* you can also access online here. (Someone tell me if that doesn't work.)


My first QuiltCon (Pasadena 2016) I took a million classes. I don't advise that. ;-) Take classes. They are great. But consider how much bandwidth you have for sitting in a classroom and taking in new information. Also consider leaving yourself plenty of time for seeing the show, visiting the vendors, seeing the town, and socializing with quilty friends. (Most classes are currently full, but there is availability in some and numerous people are trying to sell their spots. Check at registration.)


Lectures are great info and a low price point. They are more likely to have space available at this point. Lecture passes are available for a whole day of lectures as long as no individual lectures that day have sold out. Check the schedule for which lectures appeal to you to see if a day pass makes sense as a way to save over the price of paying for each lecture individually. Be sure to bring paper and pencil for notetaking. Any lecture or panel is sure to be a wealth of info!

Social Time

Schedule time in advance to meet up with people you want to see while you're there. (For walking the show together or a meal, etc.) This may include a guild dinner on meeting up with your online quilter friends in real life! I think scheduling in advance is especially important for online friends you want to connect with. A friend and I missed each other entirely in Savannah because we were trying to connect on the fly and were never in the same place at the same time. Now is the time to reach out to the online friends you want to be sure to connect with and make a plan for when that will be. One great option is to plan to meet up at one of the QuiltCon organized evening social events.

Meeting People

Related to social time with people you already know... be open to just meeting people while you are at the show. 99% of us will be there because we LOVE quilts. (The other 1% will be dragged along by someone who LOVES quilts.)  I am a super big extrovert, but I sometimes struggle with small talk with people who are new to me. I found this to be a particular challenge in Savannah when I was basically going to bed at late California time and getting up at early Savannah time and I was sleep deprived all weekend. There are many ways to connect with people. Consider chatting with someone sitting next to you at a demo, waiting in line for food at the concession stand, or another person admiring the same quilt as you at the show. If you have a hard time thinking of what to say, try one of these questions to get the conversation started:

  • What have you been most inspired by today?
  • What do you love most about quilting?
  • Are you working on a project that you're excited about? Tell me about it.
  • Where did you travel here from? (There are many people who travel internationally for QuiltCon.)
  • Are you here with any friends? (If you meet someone who isn't traveling with a group, it would be nice to invite them to join your group for dinner. The crowd I've encountered is very "the more the merrier" at QuiltCon.)
  • Have you found any fabulous deals in the vendor booths?
  • What's the next thing you're checking out today?

Another point worth mentioning in the "meeting people" section is the strangeness of meeting people in person for the first time that you only know online. There are many of us who are connected online in one way or another. I have online quilter friends who I'm super excited to meet in person. Some have become such close friends that we keep in touch by email, or even chat by phone or FaceTime. Then there are people who I feel I've gotten to know through conversations on social media. There are also numerous people whose work I really enjoy online, but who I don't really know. To complicate matters, numerous people don't use their name for their social media handles and maybe never post any photos of their face. So... when meeting someone who I "know" online I like to remember that they may have no idea who I am and offer them a little context if I think they might know me. If it's someone whose work I admire, but whom I don't expect to know me, I may say something about what I like about their work. Even when you meet one of the industry sewlebrities, remember that just like you, he or she is there because they love quilts and any of those above questions will do. ;-)

The Quilts

The show of quilts in Pasadena is in two rooms. The main room with the vendors and a hall next door. Super close. But be sure not to miss those quilts! And leave yourself plenty of time. There is a lot of very fine work to take in! Also, be sure to make your way through all the vendors booths, as they have many additional amazing quilts to awe and inspire. Remember, that while it's great to take pictures of the show quilts, you should ask vendors before photographing anything in their booth. And be sure to credit makers if you share photos online. Again, quilts in the show are fair game to share, but check with vendors before posting their work.

Things to Do

If you aren't taking classes or attending workshops, there is still lots to do! There are demos both in individual booths as well as the main demo area. Many vendors have games and activities in their booths. And don't forget to do some shopping. Be on the lookout for book signing schedules in some booths. Enjoy the warm Southern California weather with a walk or a meal outside.


There is convention center food available for purchase, but in Pasadena there are many dining options just across the street in Paseo Colorado, an outdoor retail district.

Things to Bring

  • Business/Contact cards -- for connecting with others.
  • Handwork -- for while you're resting or waiting for class/lecture/demo to start.
  • Notebook and pen/pencil -- to keep track of all that is inspiring you!
  • Spending Money -- cause shopping... 'nuf said.
  • Comfortable Shoes -- you'll be walking a lot!
  • Buttons (or stickers) to swap -- don't have buttons, check here to see if there's still time.


If you're attending QuiltCon I hope you have a great time. Get even more info on the QuiltCon site. If you see me, please stop me to say hello. I'm not taking any workshops this year, but plan to attend the following lectures:

  • Thursday 2/22 @ 1:20 - Panel: Social Media and Quilters
  • Thursday 2/22 @ 3:00 - Quilt as Desired: Choosing Walking Foot Friendly Designs for Your Quilt with Jacquie Gering
  • Friday 2/23 @ 12:00 - How to Design a Quilt in Five Easy Steps with Latifah Saafir
  • Saturday 2/24 @ 12:00 - Featured Lecture: You Make The Rules: How I Use Design To Guide Work And Life with C. Friedlander
  • Saturday 2/24 @ 3:00 - Lessons from Art Critique - with Chawne Kimber

Aside from those times, I'll most likely be bopping around QuiltCon with my quilter kiddos (ages 5 and 7) who each have a quilt (from Kids Quilt Round Robin) in the Youth category of the show.

Let me know if I'll see you there!


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.