QuiltCon Recap #3: Niki

There were so many interesting workshops to choose from at Quiltcon 2013. Based on Facebook comments many of us guild members were poised at our computers on registration day, knowing that at the magic hour the competition to get our top choices would be stiff. Even so, I didn’t get into everything I wanted to attend but was successful at getting into Valori Wells’ Signature Quilt class.

Being a visual person, my whole deciding factor for choosing this class was the photograph of Valori’s quilt of stacked curving pieces. In retrospect it’s kind of embarrassing that I knew nothing about the instructor. It was in the class that I learned that Valori has an enviable quilting heritage through her mother, Jean Wells, and that she basically lives my dream life designing fabric and quilts. She is also about my age and has tattoos.

Valori Wells's stacked curves

With the cost of fabric often being much higher in Canada than it is in the US, I waited to get my course supplies from the friendly folks at the Marmalade Fabrics booth. I got a pre-cut bundle of Kona solids and for my dominant colour a half-yard of grey-on-grey cross weave fabric. I was set. After the class I went back to buy more of the grey-on-grey and was told it was Jacquie Gering’s personal bolt that they begged from her for the booth. Clearly I was on the right path.

Stack of Solids

The Saturday of the Signature Quilt class was sunny and warm, heaven-sent after a Pacific North-West winter. The room had tall windows and super-sized design walls. Janome provided sexy machines for us to use (I really liked the thread cutting button), and Valori provided surprise packages of Kona solids for us to practice our curved piecing on. It all felt super deluxe.

Classroom with Janome Machines

It was a full day class with a two-hour lunch break. Enough to dash over to see Amy Butler’s lecture and then pop over to see Susanna Dickinson’s house where they have a quilt signed by her descendants and an album of a quilt event that they hosted. Seeing historical quilts certainly boosts my efforts in the here and now.

Valori quickly got us rolling with the curves, so we had a lot of time to work on our projects. At the end of the day we did a go-round to discuss everyone’s progress, and part of the fun of a class is seeing how others interpret the same instructions. Am looking forward to finishing mine, perhaps for one of the upcoming shows. This was the second improvisational quilting workshop for me in a row and I can see how one might never return to the straight and narrow.

A Day's Work

Signature Quilts was one of many wonderful experiences I had at Quiltcon and in Austin, but the lasting overall break though for me is that it’s time to take my quilting to the next level. Having show-ready quilts will be my next goal, and perhaps one day my Signature Quilt will be the one to make a public appearance.

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