I went to QuiltCon 2018 in Pasadena, CA, and had such a wonderful time. I wanted to share it with all you lovelies. Here are QuiltCon trends that I identified, as well tips on the show. Some background info: QuiltCon is a four-day event put on by the Modern Quilt Guild. They have vendor booths (my favorite because I can’t help myself, I mean I am a total fabric junkie) and manufacturer booths (which I love because sometimes they give free stuff away). Stages where they show demos (be vocal because they might reward you). Lectures and classes you can pay to attend (and gain knowledge from top designers in our industry).

This was my second time attending QuiltCon on the West Coast. They alternate each year, so next year it will be in Nashville and the year after it will be back in California. For me, California is only a seven-hour drive away so I am like heck yeah, I am in. And then, of course, there is the show. Both years I am left thinking — am I really modern? — and I am not sure. What is modern??? That might be a good idea for a blog post . . . What do you think?


I decided on an Airbnb because I hate hotel lighting and I thought I could take some quilty pictures of an upcoming pattern called YoYa Quilt. I rethought this decision for a bit as the idea of other random people having stayed in this same apartment with the same key flooded my mind. Let’s just say I slept with my rotary cutter next to my bed. It’s funny because I always stay in places like this with my whole family or my hubby, but because it was just me, I dwelled on it. All went well! I had a fabulous café in walking distance that had yummy ham and cheese croissants that I ate both days. Plus my quilty photos turned out great.  


I filled my days because I went by myself and didn’t want to get bored or feel out of place. I bought the lecture pass for Saturday and signed up for a class on Sunday. Because my quilty photo shoot ran long, and I had lunch with an Instagram friend, participated in the MQG swap and had dinner with my quilt guild, I didn’t go to as many lectures as could have. If I could do it over again, I would have gotten there on Thursday. That way I could have attended the show on Friday as well. With all of that said, it was incredible and that is what counts. My favorite thing about my whole QuiltCon 2018 experience was attending a Free Motion Quilting class for my domestic machine. It was thought by Christina Cameli and she is amazing and I highly recommend her. These are my practice samples made in class.


When signing up for QuiltCon, be one of the first 1,000 people that register. They get a free goodie bag. I was lucky enough to be one of them!! This is the bag. The best thing about it is that Robert Kaufman, the main sponsor of this year’s QuiltCon, has a fabric line with design elements from the bag in it. It is so cool!! I am a big goofball and feel connected to the fabric and had to get some. The line is designed by Violet Craft and called Palm Canyon.


Here is a link to all of the winning quilts. I identified four QuiltCon trends from the quilts in the show and just had to spread the word. At the bottom of this post you will find full quilt images with the makers name.


QuiltCon Trends #1, the big stitch.

I don’t know if you have heard this term, but there were many quilts in the show that featured the “big stitch”. There was even a class dedicated to this technique. I think this comes with the mindfulness movement, which is the desire to take things slow and embrace the experience and stress out less. The big stitch is basically a modern twist on traditional hand quilting. By using a thicker thread, such as an embroidery thread/floss, and a larger tapestry needle, you are able to get a lovely eye-catching stitch that is slightly faster than traditional hand quilting. It also can be used to complement machine quilting.

QuiltCon trends- images with the Big Stitch


QuiltCon Trends #2, the linear quilt.

This was a biggie. The first place ribbon winner of the show used white strips and blue strips of fabric to create three flying geese. The second place winner also used tiny strips of fabric to create a design similar to a log cabin quilt. Both are shown below. My favorite quilt also used this technique creating a red plus sign.

Quilt images from QuiltCon.

QuiltCon Trends #3, the circular element.

Now this one was everywhere. I counted 20 quilts using this element and didn’t start counting until I was halfway done with the show. It was interesting to see the many different ways it was used and how different each finished quilt turned out. I created a little gallery of circular quilts. These are only some of the quilts that featured the circular element in the design. circular element


QuiltCon Trends #4, textures.

All of the quilts at QuiltCon use machine quilting or hand quilting to create insane texture. However a few of the quilts created interest by using different types of fabric contrasting the traditional quilting cotton fabric. Unusual types of fabrics that I saw on quilt tops included: minky (I named this quilt chewbacca because it was a brown minky), shot cotton, gauze (as on overlay), denim, chambray, and hand-dyed fabrics. Collage quilting can create a wonderful contrast and texture.

Quilt images showing texture.


Well, I hope you got a feel for the show. It will be interesting to see how the trends evolve and if they stay around. If you go the next QuiltCon in California, maybe we can do lunch. Happy Quilting, everyone!

Piecing - Lorena Urarte

The Quilts of Carolyn Friedlander

Handwork - Liz Harvatine

Use of Negative Space - Eva Birch

Handwork - Chawne Kimber

Best in Show - Going Up

Modern Traditionalism - Jo Avery

Applique - Beth Chinderle

Handwork - Heather Kinion

Modern traditionalism - Daisy Aschehoug

Modern Traditionalism - Staci Meyr

Modern Traditionalism - Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

Modern Traditionalism - Katherine Jones

Sarah Bond

Use of Negative Space - Daisy Aschehoug

Use of Negative Space - Melanie Falick

Piecing - Tara Glastonbury

Handwork - Kim Eichler-Messmer