Saturday, April 14, 2018

International Quilt Festival Chicago 2018

April is an exciting time of the year for me. Not only is the weather finally starting to think about warming up, but the quilt show season has officially begun!

I look forward to the Quilt Festival in Rosemont every year. This is my 3rd year going, and each year it's been different. In 2016, I was a newbie quilter and everything was shiny and new to me. I rushed around trying not to miss anything, but overall felt very overwhelmed. Last year, I concentrated solely on testing out longarms so I didn't do much else. This year, I'm no longer a newbie and no longer shopping for a longarm, so I felt like I could slow down a bit more and enjoy the show.

The best part of any quilt show is always the shopping. In fact, I judge a quilt show by the quality of the vendors. I always describe myself as drunk on fabric fumes at a quilt show, and I will usually pick up a few things that I wouldn't normally. I rarely have buyer's remorse, though!

On day two of the show, I spent some time in classes. My morning class is with Jamie Wallen from Quilter's Apothecary called Mystical Blocks and Borders. Jamie is an accomplished quilter, and his work is stunning. He also had a low-key humor and so much quilting knowledge that the room was filled with sounds of people writing as he gave tip after tip after tip. Even though this is a longarm hands-on class, we spent most of the time drawing, which I think is a good thing. I could learn so much more drawing than trying to quilt something on a machine that I'm not even familiar with. In fact, Jamie said, "Don't think of it as drawing. Think of it as quilting on paper."

While this sort of quilting is very elegant, it also requires more marking than I would want to bother with. However, I know that I will be able to take the principles I learned here and apply it to my own work.

But ... I didn't quite get to finish the class. About 3 hours in, someone came in and said that there was a fire, and we all had to vacate the classes. There were a bunch of police cars and fire trucks parked outside and they locked the area down so nobody could go back in. What it did mean was that I had extra time at the vendor mall and my wallet suffered greatly for it.

Happily, they took care of the fire situation eventually and my afternoon class called Black, White, and Zentangled didn't get cancelled. When I arrived, the instructor told me it was going to be a private lesson, because apparently I was the only one who signed up! I was surprised they didn't just cancel the class. But I had a great time in the class, and the class projects I worked on are probably the first class projects ever that I'm super proud of and actually want to keep!

It comes as no surprise to me that I would enjoy Zentangling. After all, it's free-form doodling, and isn't that exactly what I do with free-motion quilting? I'm excited to finish the class project and hang it in my sewing room!

It's been another great year at International Quilt Festival, and I hope to be back next year!


  1. Sounds like a great time. Fun that you had a private class. My recent experience at MQX was great, and the quilts are stunning. It is so much fun to learn, see and absord the quilting wisdom around you!

  2. I will be posting about Haphazard today!!!!


  3. That Zentangle stuff is amazing! And great acquisitions. What fabric line is your tower? Thanks for sharing! (Sorry about the delete--I had to correct my typo!)

  4. My goodness! I am surprised there weren't more signed up too! I got interested in Zentangle a few years back but kind of stopped doing it when I got hooked on quilting! Your Zentangle project turned out great!


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