Carson Converse, an artist trained in sculpture and interior design, was one of our subjects. Carson, who is based in Western Massachusetts, had two quilts in the show. One of them, Harvest, became a top-three favorite of mine at QuiltCon 2018. With a fine-tipped Sharpie marker, Carson drew thousands of tiny fine lines on rectangular patches pieced together.
“I was trying to create my own stripes,” Carson said in her quiet, thoughtful way. Harvest won first place in the Minimalist Design category.
I also talked to Tricia Royal, whom I happen to know from Chicago. Tricia and her family recently moved to the Los Angeles area, so this year, she was local.
“I created this piece when I was an artist-in-residence at the Lillstreet Art Center [in Chicago],” she said about her Totem quilt. Totem features thrifted vintage fabric overdyed with indigo using a shibori technique. The resulting piece has an “inadvertent hippie vibe” according to Tricia. I’ve always found I can tell a Tricia Royal quilt from a mile away: Her bright, saturated color palette is a dead giveaway. “Yeah, this one is typical me,” Tricia said with a smile.
I learned from Tricia and Carson that times have changed since the first QuiltCon in Austin in 2013, when only a smattering of vendors filled the convention hall. “I heard there was a waiting list this year,” Tricia said as we walked around the vendor hall. Talk about energy: People milled from booth to booth, squeezing past each other to snag fabric, notions, books and more. Those MQG tote bags looked mighty full.
I got to chat with Mary Clare Schuller whose quilt, Elemental, hung in the sunny gallery that everyone at the show referred to as “The Church of Quilts.” Mary Clare told me the back of her quilt was the side that got picked for the show, even though the front is what she started with.
“I think I kind of like the back better, myself,” she laughed.