East Dakota Quilter


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QuiltCon Registration Tips

QuiltCon2015_Email

I registered for QuiltCon 2015 today! It will be my first-ever QuiltCon, and I am very excited. As a total newbie, I was unfamiliar with the registration process but now have a few observations and suggestions to share.

Expect delays. I expected the MQG server would be overwhelmed at the time of registration, so this wasn’t a total surprise to me. The fact that the site was already experiencing major delays more than a full hour in advance of registration worried me. At that point, I was able to connect to the site about 3 minutes after I clicked each link. By the time registration opened, there were delays around 10-20 minutes, depending on the computer, place in the queue, etc. It took me 30 minutes to complete my registration for all 4 sessions I wanted to attend, including 2 workshops and 2 lectures. I logged in at exactly the time registration opened. I type 115+ WPM. I copied the discount code in advance so all I’d have to do was paste it. I did everything right, and the fastest I could get through the server was still 30 minutes. (I saw the first Instagram tags about 10-15 minutes before mine.)

Use the email link. I thought I would be clever and link to the site directly, saving the link-from-email step. I got errors on both Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox saying that my session had timed out and was never able to move past those errors to the website. When I clicked the email link, I still experienced a delay, but I was ultimately able to get through.

Use a computer instead of a mobile device. I saw this advice on the MQG website and Instagram, so I didn’t even attempt to use my phone for comparison purposes. But I figured I’d still pass along the advice.

Register in pieces. Prioritize the workshops you want to attend. If there’s a session you don’t want to miss, register for it first, then “modify” your registration to include additional sessions.  There’s a tutorial for doing that here. Each time I clicked a link (including the “Add to Agenda” link for each session), it took about 5-10 minutes. If you consider all the people who could add one session in the amount of time you’re setting up your full courseload, it’s not surprising you could end up with a waitlisted status.

MQG_modification

Prioritize workshops over lectures. Each time I added a session, I could still see the webpage listing all sessions while the request processed. I used that time to see which sessions were full already. Each session showed remaining seats available below the title. For perspective, about 20 minutes after registration opened, every lecture I saw still had 300+ spots available while at least 4 workshops were completely full (“Add to Agenda” changes to “Add to Waitlist”). Many more workshops had few seats remaining.

I was interested to see whether I could guess which workshops would fill up first. I did a pretty good job! Of course all this year’s speakers have impressive backgrounds. Some are always popular, like Anna Maria Horner, whose sessions filled immediately. Most quilters know who you mean if you simply write her initials: AMH. Similarly, Alison Glass and Lizzy House have great new fabric lines; their sessions were full in less than 30 minutes. And Lee Heinrich‘s popular book (she’s one of three authors) also meant her session filled quickly. If a designer or quilter is all over Instagram, (s)he is going to have full sessions. Duh.

I didn’t scroll through the whole list while I waited for my page to refresh–I only thought of it halfway through my registration–so I don’t have a comprehensive list of all the courses that were full; I did notice that the following sessions were full 20 minutes after registration, the absolute soonest I could complete my registration due to the crush of people on the MQG server:

  • The Meadow with Lizzy House (031)
  • Drive by Color with Anna Maria Horner (220)
  • Advanced Piecing with Lee Heinrich (715)
  • Creative Quilting with Your Walking Foot by Jacquie Gering (813)

By the time I got to my second run of registration (for the lectures) 10 minutes later–a total of 30 minutes after registration opened–I found the following additional sessions were full:

  • Modern Appliqué Overview by Alison Glass (120)
  • Composition in Modern Quilts by Bill Kerr (211)
  • Mod Corsage by Anna Maria Horner (230)
  • Intro to Embroidery by Alison Glass (420)
  • Basic Improv Quiltmaking with the Quilters of Gee’s Bend (515)
  • Little Changes, Big Variety by Angela Walters (812)

The courses above appear to be this year’s hot ticket items. If you got into these courses, congratulations!

Don’t “search” for courses. As noted above, each time the page refreshes (i.e. each time you click anything on the screen), you waste precious minutes. Running a search means that instead of scrolling down the page quickly, you have to wait for the page to respond to your search parameters and refresh. Instead, locate the course by scrolling down the page. Courses are listed numerically by course number, with the workshop section above the lecture section if you select the “All Registrations” option (versus only lectures or general admission).

I am only attending QuiltCon over the weekend since I have to save as many vacation days as possible for my wedding this year. I got into all four sessions that I prioritized!

QuiltCon_Confirmation

I am nervous since I won’t know a soul at the conference center. If you’ll be there–and especially if you’ll be in one of my sessions–please let me know! I am most looking forward to making some real life connections.


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Riley Blake Challenge – Trivet

At my first-ever meeting of the D.C. Modern Quilt Guild, I received some free fabric as part of the Riley Blake Challenge. The challenge rules are pretty broad: create anything from the fabric in the bundle, using any additional solids or Riley Blake fabrics you’d like, and post your project in the forum by February 17, 2014.

I decided to use the fabric to make something I was lacking: a trivet large enough for my roaster, which matches my [late] great grandma’s.

Roaster by EastDakotaQuilter edited in Waterlogue

I adore the Marcelle Medallion design, and I decided to use it for my trivet. I tried paper piecing it this time. It was one of my first forrays into paper piecing, and it worked out pretty well, I think.

paper piecing by EastDakotaQuilter

(I finished all but the binding of this project well before I started the Sew Kitschy paper piecing BOM. Check out my blocks here and here.)

Marcelle Medallion Trivet by EastDakotaQuilter

My trivet includes a layer of Insul-Bright, which is a a heat-resistant batting. I would essentially have a mini quilt if I hadn’t used Insul-Bright. I later saw the Riley Blake blog has a free oven mitt tutorial using the same product, designed by Sew at Home Mummy. I even used the tutorial once before but didn’t manage to get a photo before I gave the oven mitt as a gift.

Another first for me on this project was hand quilting. I love the way it looks but was afraid to commit to doing a whole quilt. The trivet was a perfect size. I used Anna Maria Horner’s tutorial and size 5 purl cotton thread.

IMG_5130

I scrounged my ever-growing stash for some backing fabric and was pleasantly surprised to discover I had many Riley Blake prints left over from my original Marcelle Medallion quilt. I picked this one in blue, and I love the star quilting from the front.

trivet back by EastDakotaQuilter

 

I can’t wait to see what others made!


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Marcelle Medallion Quilt Top Finished!

I can hardly believe it: my quilt top is finished!

MM quilt top by east dakota quilter

I added several extra borders to bring the quilt to full size. I almost always make queen size quilts, having had a queen size bed since I was about five years old, so this one was actually small for me.

extra borders by EastDakotaQuilter

My first “bonus border” (moving outward, it’s after the plus signs and the border that surrounds them) was inspired by this border on Lynn Droege’s Tangerine Rose quilt, exhibited at the Quilt Show in Madison, Wisconsin, in September 2012.

Lynn Droege’s Tangerine Rose photo by EastDakotaQuilter

On my quilt, the finished width of each column is 2″. I made the sketch below to remember the height of each piece (dimensions show sizes to cut):

bonus border by EastDakotaQuilter

Pieces above are for one “set.” Each side of the quilt requires 5 full sets and 1 partial set. A partial set excludes either the left or right column. The finished border width is 4.5″ with cornerstones (cut at 5″).

I intended to have a solid second bonus border, but my half yard cuts were insufficient for the width I wanted. I added print squares as a filler. You might notice I also did this for one of the original borders when I accidentally measured wrong and made the strips too short.

From Anna Maria Horner’s feathers to the arrows on ABeautifulMess, feathers and quills are all over the blogosphere. For my third bonus border, I tried paper piecing for the first time. I created my own arrow pattern after seeing this pillow by Jennifer at Hopeful Homemaker. (She based her pillow on a pattern by Sew What Sherlock.) Below was my initial sketch:

arrow border by EastDakotaQuilter

The finished border was 4″ wide. The colored shaft of the arrow running the length of each border is 1″ finished, 1.5″ unfinished in width. Each side of the arrow is 2″ unfinished, 1.5″ finished. My arrowhead and feather pieces are each around 5″ tall unfinished. (I wasn’t being super careful about the height of these, but I just cut the shaft to suit.)

My final border (only on the sides) is another simple one: alternating blue blocks.

I got to photograph the quilt–all but the final bonus border–over the long Fourth of July weekend with the help of my two favorite men (my dad and boyfriend) in my favorite place (South Dakota).

MM in Dakota by EastDakotaQuilter

MM on a fence by EastDakotaQuilter

The next question is how to quilt the darn thing. I have seen at least two people do concentric circles or spirals. A handful of people have quilted straight lines across the solid borders. One person had an amazing longarm quilter consider each border individually. Hopefully I can come up with something worthy of the quilt top soon; it would be a shame to leave this bad boy sitting on a shelf somewhere!