QuiltCon was recently held in Austin, TX and Laura Gilvin, the Marketing and Product Development Manager of Studioe Fabrics was able to attend.  Did anyone else get to go? She came back with a new, clear and inspired understanding of the modern quilt movement and were amazed at the quilts they saw at the show.

Modern Quilt Guild has teamed with Craftsy.com to post lectures from the event for free, so you can see for yourself. http://www.craftsy.com/class/quiltcon-lecture-series-2013/194?expiredPreview=true

Today’s blog is an interview with Laura Gilvin, on her impressions of QuiltCon. First, an introduction to Laura. She has been designing quilts, quilt patterns, and working with our design team on the staff at Studioe Fabrics since its inception. She is an awesome quilter herself, and has been leading the charge toward a better understanding of what the concept of modern quilting truly has become.

Vanessa: Tell me your impressions of the QuiltCon event. Was it worth it? Did it meet your expectations?

Laura: It completely met my expectations.  I think it was the perfect balance between speakers doing lectures and the gallery of quilts. I think some people were surprised that is was so small, in fact much smaller than Quilt Market, but I expected it to be just about the size it was since this was the first conference of its kind.

Vanessa: What speaker were you most inspired by during the lecture portion of the event?

Laura: I loved both Jacquie Gering and Heather Grant. Jacquie is a relatively new quilter; she has only been quilting for 5 years. In her presentation we laughed and we cried as she shared the enjoyment of quilting and how it has personally affected her life. Her presentation had a very good enjoyment factor, because she was very personal in her approach. Heather Grant, Event and Marketing Manager of QuiltCon, provided great information about the causes and shifts that occurred in quilting, technology and culture that led to the birth of the modern quilting movement.  It was great to have the specific understanding of the modern quilt movement with solid definitions. She talked about how social media and the prevalence of the digital cameras and digital images caused this trend to grow as quickly and definitively as it has. Social media was a platform to share a new found love for this type of quilting.  With digital cameras people were quick to put their work on the web, and it spread by apps like Flickr and Shutterfly.

Vanessa: What new understanding of the movement has become crystal clear to you?

Laura: Well, one of the myths that was exploded was that modern quilting is for younger people. It is not. The modern quilting philosophy is a design philosophy and esthetic, but there are certain elements that are unique to the movement. One thing that stood out to me is freedom in construction.  Another is using an alternate grid, which is very different than the traditional approach. The third is form and function go hand in hand – quilt are to be used.

Vanessa: How do you think the modern quilt genre fits within traditional quilting?

Laura: One of the speakers, Heather Grant, described the concept very well in talking about how modern quilting and traditional quilting fit together. She said if the world of quilting is like a 3-legged stool, then traditional quilting has one leg, modern quilting has another, and art quilts would be the third.

Vanessa: How have you changed your own quilt design approach since attending QuiltCon?

Laura: Well, I can’t wait to put some of the ideas into designs of my own. Overall I am very excited about Modern Quilting, and because it is still a new trend, there is a place to stretch out in creating designs with a whole new influence.