QuiltCon 2019 // Nashville, TN

Towards the end of February, my mom, aunt and I visited Nashville for a long weekend to attend Quilt Con. My mom and I had gone in 2017 when it was in Savannah and that event was a pivotal point for me in connecting me with this amazing quilting community. I was so excited to get re-connected with the people I met 2 years ago and to meet some new friends face-to-face for the first time.

It was an amazing trip filled with so many great experiences. If you want to see Quilt Con in action, I have archived some of my Instagram stories into an archive called “Quilt Con”. Here are just a few highlights of the trip.

Eliane taught me some improv skills.

Have you met Eliane from @patchworkandpoodles? She is a super cool quilt pattern writer that I had been “internet friends” with before Quilt Con. I had hoped to see her while in Nashville, and as luck would have it, we ran into each other quite a few times. At one of the “make-and-take” booths she taught me a new skill that I hadn’t done much of ever before: Improv Quilting! Turns out it’s a ton of fun to be haphazard and just play around with fabrics without any real plan, pattern, or quilt math.

I was also thrilled to see @modernsewciety, @dixie.stitches, @loandbeholdstitchery and so many other fun quilty people.

Kim & Nisha taught me some EPP skills.

I ran across the Brimfield Awakening Instagram page a couple days before leaving for Nashville and OH MY am I glad I did! I signed up for a little mini class hosted by @brimfieldawakening and @wonderfilspecialtythread about how to do the Avon Block in EPP (English Paper Piecing). For those who aren’t familiar, EPP is a method where you use pieces of paper as the template for what size and shape the fabric should be, and the Avon block is a free pattern offered by the Brimfield girls if you sign up for their newsletter. Once you glue the fabric onto the paper template, you sew the blocks all together by hand and then remove the paper pieces. This is my first time doing anything other than a hexagon in this style and it really opened my eyes to the possibilities. I even learned a special stitch called the “flat back” stitch which is a total game-changer when sewing around curves. My next EPP Project will be the Brimfield Star and I can’t wait to show you my progress!

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Aunt Sandy & I working on a Make-and-Take

Saw my Havels Sewing friend Shelly.

If you’ve been following along with my story on Instagram, you might notice that I am obsessed with @havels_sewing products. I actually became an ambassador for the company since I love their stuff so much. I’d been emailing with the company for nearly 2 years and it was so fun to finally meet Shelly in real life! We chatted and caught up and even discussed some potential new product development. I got to meet her daughter and she got to meet my mom & aunt. Good times all around!!

If you find any Havels goodies that you can’t live without, use coupon code HOMEMADEEMILYJANE at checkout for $7 off a purchase of $25. My personal favorites are their cutting mat, jumbo rotary cutter, seam ripper, and 5 ½ inch curved embroidery scissors but they have lots of fun essentials to try out.

Ate great food

Backstory: In May 2018 I started an incredibly restrictive diet – its called AIP, maybe you’re familiar? I had to cut out a TON of foods in efforts to heal my gut and eat as many nutrient-dense foods as possible. I’ve felt a lot better and have been able to reintroduce some more foods groups which helps a ton with adding variety back into my life. Even with the new “reintroductions” I am still pretty limited.

As you might imagine, going to a fun city while on dietary restrictions is not easy, but I am so thrilled to let you know what it went REALLY well! I did not feel deprived at all! Some of my favorites meals I had there included an amazing beet salad and the best honey ginger garlic chicken wings I’ve ever had.

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Mom & Me in our matching shirts

Recap

My summary of Nashville is “Go for the quilts, stay for the friends & food”. We had an amazing time and I already cannot wait for Quilt Con 2020 in Austin, TX. Start sending me Austin recommendations now please!!

Stay tuned for updates on the new sewing skills I learned, and let me know if you decide to join me in my Havels addiction.

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