It’s another word for “conference”.

In this case, it’s a congregation of quilters who will be gathering together to learn, observe, see amazing quilts, shop – of course, be inspired, converse and party.  It is Austin, after all.

I’m referring to QuiltCon.  Are you going?  Do you know what it is?

Short version – QuiltCon is a modern quilt event, a conference and show created by and for The Modern Quilt Guild.  Attendees come from all over the world to take classes from some of the top modern quilting instructors, see the exceptional modern quilts on display in the show and exhibits, and shop.  The first QuiltCon event was in 2013 and like this year’s event, it was held in Austin, Texas.

Moda is going!  We’ll be there with the Moda Bake Shop, several Moda designers and as a sponsor.


This is a “before” picture… Holly has finished contemplating the booth design and is now concentrating her efforts into turning this into the Moda Bake Shop booth in a couple of weeks.

Jen Kingwell is coming all the way from Australia to be in Austin – she’ll be conveyed into the Bake Shop at least part of the time. I met Jen and Lucy in Pittsburgh last year, and we convened in Houston when she debuted Gardenvale.  Lucy is Jen’s daughter and she runs Amitie Quilts in Gardenvale, Australia while Jen is living in United Arab Emirates.  Everything you’ve heard about how congenial they are is true – times ten.


Absolutely wonderful.  The quilts are too.

Jen’s new book won’t be available until March but she’s got terrific connections so I’ve got my fingers crossed that she’ll have a copy that we can peek into.


Is there anything you’d like me to ask Jen?

Vanessa Christenson – V & Co. – will be there too, she’s conducting a couple of classes.  The first is on Triangles – half-triangle squares, flying geese, 60-degree triangles, paper-pieced triangles and wonky triangles.  The second is using her signature ombres – how to use them and make them work in your quilts and projects.


Of course they’re both sold out.

If you’re going to be there, the Moda Bake Shop won’t be selling anything, but I hear there will be plenty of good fabric-related reasons for stopping by.  Just saying…

I hope you’ll be there but if you can’t make it to Austin, I’ll take plenty of pictures.

And I’ll stop using words that start with “con”.

User Manuals…

As a general rule, I like User Manuals.

I don’t actually read them but I like knowing I have them… just in case.


When it comes to something like my computer, television and toaster, I read just enough to get me set up and plugged in.  I’ll figure out the rest if and when I need to.

Given that I write quilt patterns – what are essentially user manuals – this probably meets the definition of “irony”.

I confess that I did have to pull out the manual for my car when the defroster kept fogging up the car windows instead of keeping them clear. Given that I hadn’t used it much while living in Arizona, I considered the possibility that it might be broken. Nope… it was an “operator error” problem. In my defense, living in warmer climates meant that turning on the AC button was automatic. Apparently that just confuses the defroster. I’m glad the seat-warmer has just the one button.

Other than that little hitch, my move has gone well. I’ve found several different routes to work, all sorts of cool restaurants and markets, a place to get my hair done, and pretty much every kind of store I need to know how to find. As for getting settled in my apartment, I have only a dozen or so boxes left but they can wait because I know what’s in them – quilts and some office stuff. And because I still need to get a bookcase or two so I have someplace to put everything.

And yesterday, I actually set up the sewing machine and sewed.  I didn’t need the manual for my machine… but almost as I hadn’t sewn since sometime before Thanksgiving.  While everything was unpacked, it’s not all put away yet so I did have to go hunting for a whatever or two.


While my job didn’t come with a user manual, it did come with a Help Line and Tech Support. There’s been a phone system to learn and a different e-mail program to figure out, that last one has been particularly useful. There’s been new terminology to learn and in between curiosity-trips to the warehouse, I’ve been working on an upcoming project and compiling a list of possible topics to write about here.

And that got me wondering… if you were writing the “user manual” for this blog, what should it include? While I’ve got a long list of ideas, I know you’ll think of all sorts of things that would never occur to me. (Like not turning on the AC button when using the defroster.)

Fabric – Moda Fabrics. Done – it’s already on the list. But what is it you’d like to know? Is there something specific?


For example, this is V & Co.’s gorgeous new collection, Color Theory.  I saw it being rolled into/onto bolts in the warehouse and it’s getting ready to ship.  Would you like to know where Vanessa gets her inspiration?  How long it takes from her idea to actual fabric?

United Notions – every possible notion, pattern and book you can think of is in a big warehouse about 100 yards away. How tempting – distracting – would that be for you? As someone who loves “sewing/quilting stuff” as much as fabric, I’ve already got a few things put aside that I’ll share soon.

What else?

Is there anything – more – you’d like to know about my job?  While there are things I’m working on now that I can’t share, there probably isn’t much that you won’t see or know about eventually.  But I can address one thing now – no, I don’t get to take home a yard of everything.

At least not the first week.

So will you help me with a list of blog topics? It’s a “user manual” I promise to read in its entirety.

While you do that, I’m going to go look for my list of logins and passwords.

What’s New for Spring? Think Linen!

Candy Scraps

Quilters love cotton, it’s true. But there’s another fabric that’s been showing up in bags, clothing, and even quilts. It’s linen. Linen provides contrast and texture that you can see and feel, adding richness and depth to your projects.

Ready to give linen a try, but not sure where to start? Read on!

Continue reading

Color Me Happy by Vanessa of V & Co

Color me Happy

Color Me Happy is headed to stores now so we thought we would share Vanessa’s inspiration on her newest fabric line.

When I think of my favorite colors, the color scheme of this line fall in that category.

The simple designs and the colorful palette make me über happy

and make me smile every time I work with this line.

I hope it colors your fabric stash and projects happy, as well!        Vanessa Christenson

Continue reading