Friday, March 1, 2013
QuiltCon Day Four Recap
The last day of QuiltCon was here and I had one last workshop to attend, this time with one of my quilting heroes,Yoshiko Jinzenji. I became a hardcore fan if hers the very first time I saw some of her fabric. Her abstract design aesthetic really drove me wild and I've accumulated some of her fabric along the way, hoarding it instead of using it.
Oh, and then there are her quilts. They take my breath away. I'm not one to collect many quilting books, but hers top my wish list. I always find myself drawn to and inspired by her work. It so unique and distinct. So when I saw that she was teaching a class at QuiltCon I knew I wanted to be in it.
Actually, it was the last class I signed up for when registration opened. I knew I wanted to be in the same room with her but working with sheer fabrics isn't foreign to me, and with the amount of money I had already shelled out for workshops and a four day lecture pass I wasn't sure if I should spend more money. So I registered, immediately felt a sense of remorse and logged back into the site to sign up, reminding myself that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
I am shocked that her classes didn't sell out. But I have not once regretted my decision to take her class. In fact, I think I got something more important out of her class than any other workshop that weekend, not new skills, but something far more meaningful to me: inspiration. I came out of her class on fire.
Her workshop was entitled "Playing with Sheer Fabrics" and we were supposed to make a pillow following some of her unique layering techniques. There was a hint if instruction, and a modicum of work, but the class was more of an opportunity to hear Yoshiko speak, play with her fabrics and fondle some of her spectacular quilts. I mean seriously, just to be in the same room with her for three hours was worth the price of admission.
Rather than use the cutesy templates that were circulating the room, I started working with layering and laying out scraps, similar to how she does in her quilts. And I'm not a fan girl, but I even slipped down to the vendor floor to try and buy her book to have her sign. Unfortunately, they weren't for sale, instead I bought two yards of one of the fabrics she was selling and had her sign that with a Sharpie. I think it might become art in my studio.
I just can't convey in word just how invigorated I was by her class. It reminded me to start exploring my own aesthetic and to follow my abstract and textural tendencies in my own work. I feel like it got me back to my basics and also started pushing the envelope inside me, which is especially important in a year that I am trying to focus on "me" creatively. Quite honestly, it was the most valuable moment, creatively the whole weekend for me as an artist.
The rest of the day was spent exploring the vendor hall and quilt show one last time. I even took a moment to make a charity pillowcase while waiting for my friends to get out of their afternoon classes. Then, sadly, it was time to head back to the airport to head back home, head full of inspiration and heart full of friendship.
QuiltCon was an amazing weekend, full of laughter, learning and lugging home a ton more stuff than was with me when I arrived. It was the perfect amount of days, not too many, not too few. I came wanting to stretch my skills, meet new friends and commune with old ones. And I did just that. Sadly, I missed meeting some that I had intended to see, but I deepened friendships with some of the making women in my own guild, which was extremely meaningful to me. I rarely used my lecture pass, and could easily be done with the vendor floor in an afternoon, but I never regretted one workshop and loved every single moment spent in Austin. I can't wait until 2015!
Be sure to check in on Monday when the virtual QuiltCon Quilt Show starts. I'll be posting all of the amazing quilts right here so those of you who couldn't attend QuiltCon this year don't have to miss out on the inspiration!