The Free Motion Quilting Project: Amazing Experience at Quilt Con East 2017

Monday, February 27, 2017

Amazing Experience at Quilt Con East 2017

What an amazing trip to Quilt Con East this past weekend! We had a great time seeing the beautiful quilts at Quilt Con, visiting with friends at the show, then traveled to Charleston to visit with family and celebrate James’s birthday while dressing up as Star Wars characters.

Now for the recap of Quilt Con – this was an amazing show!

I’ve never been to Quilt Con before, but now I see why it’s such a fun, fantastic show. There are so many quilters traveling over to the show, plus fun vendors and fabrics you don’t see anywhere else, and the quilts – the quilts were simply fantastic.

See what I mean with the Best of Show – Bling by Katherine Jones:

This quilt was incredible and what I loved most is Katherine's balance between the intense piecing and simplistic quilting. So many times I’ve seen intensely paper pieced quilts get quilted to death and back again. This is a perfect balance and I’m so happy this quilt won Best of Show.

I’ve been attending quilt shows for several years and noticed a few years ago that I wasn’t snapping photos much. There just wasn’t a lot of new stuff to see and not much was catching my eye. It’s not that it takes so much to impress me, it’s more that I’ve seen so many quilts pull out all the stops in an effort to impress, it just got to be too much.

Well, Quilt Con certainly gives you something new, and different, and…awesome. The minimalist style really called to me at this show and I found many quilts overwhelmingly peaceful.

Dipped Dimension by Kathleen Probst
Is that possible to be overwhelmingly peaceful? I’m not sure if that’s a contradiction, but that’s how it felt to me!

Less is more, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring or simple. Many quilts featured massive shapes that are quite challenging to piece or applique and were executed perfectly, again with minimal quilting that enhanced the piecing.

Here is one of my favorite quilts from the show called Los Angeles that was created as a donation quilt for the event. It was designed by Lisa Congdon and pieced and quilted by Gina Pina.

I also loved the experimental nature of many quilts. This is Smoke by Katherine Jones was created entirely with white thread, but ranging in weight (thickness) from 5 to 60 weight:

The thicker threads were quilted using bobbin thread work and the thinner threads from the top like usual. I’ve long suspected this is what varying thread weights would do, and I can’t wait to play with this idea and see what happens with different filler designs are combined with different weights of thread.

I also saw a lot of impressive machine quilting, particularly quilts playing with density, thread texture, and scale. This is a close up of the luscious texture on The Egg by Hillary Goodwin:

This was just a small selection of my favorite quilts from the show. I loved seeing so many fantastic quilts, so many innovative techniques, and so many quilting friends all in one place. Quilt Con is definitely the place to be!

I know I've returned home feeling very inspired and invigorated to try new things. Quilt Con has definitely sold me on the minimalist style and I'm eager to create my own overwhelmingly peaceful quilt.

Did you go to Quilt Con this year or in previous years? What was your take on the show? Do you like seeing minimalist quilts or does that feel too simple to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Let’s go quilt,

Leah Day 


  1. So happy to hear you and your lovely family were able to attend QuiltCon East and have a fun getaway trip to visit family too!

    My one and only attendance at QuiltCon, was QuiltCon West. While I don't consider myself a modern quilter I appreciated seeing all the quilts on display, as well as vendors. It was a great experience for me and certainly gave me ideas for #CreativeGoodness with using color, quilt designs, and more so - freemotion quilting ideas. I'll definitely go back. And, I'd love to see you also attend, as well as hopefully enter a quilt to QuiltCon.


    1. I completely agree! I loved the show, but if it's always this weekend of the year...whew! It may be a few years before it's a regular thing for us since it's on the weekend of James's birthday. I loved the show and it definitely felt like the place to be!

  2. I went to Quilt Con East this year and loved most of the quilts. I've struggled with quilting and what to do for yrs, but the quilts gave me lots of inspiration. I'm so glad I was able to go this year!

  3. Wow! That first image looks like shattered glass.
    A quiltcon is on my bucket list to attend.

  4. Being on the West coast, I didn't make it to Savannah this year. I agree that unlike other shows, Quiltcon has a wide variety of very unique and interesting quilts. Thanks for sharing these. I hadn't seen them on Instagram, which is where I was following the show.

  5. Wow, these are amazing! Very unique. Thanks for sharing your photos.


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