I had a great time at the SAQA Conference in Philadelphia earlier this month. In fact, I wrote a trip report for the Craft Industry Alliance focusing on the programming and opportunities related to the conference. You can read that here.
But there were more personal details and experiences I can share here.
The bulk of the conference programming in the mornings was made up of lectures in a big hotel ballroom. It doesn't make for an interesting picture, but here we are.
I took lots of notes during the lectures. There were so many meaty little bits that I continue to think about and consider how the things I heard might affect my own art work and professional life.
I am so happy I squeezed in a brisk walk to Independence Hall with Maria Shell. The schedule was pretty full, but I really wanted to walk past "the room where it happened."
There was food, of course! A wonderful chocolate dessert bar on the first evening of the conference.
For lunch one day, we walked down the street to a dark bar for a Philly Cheesesteak (I ordered the chicken.) served by a waitress who was clearly annoyed by a table full of chatty women -- which made the experience seem even more authentic.
The best meal I had was dinner out with these gals for Indian. I had delicious butter chicken and naan with coconut, raisin and pistachio, but it was the company and conversation that made it such a delight.
A highlight of the conference was the Pecha Kucha talks. Twenty four SAQA members shared six and a half minute talks about a wide variety of topics. The room was packed.
We also visited Art Quilt Elements and I am always so impressed and inspired to see really world class art quilts in a beautiful space. You can see the whole collection online here. (Though of course, it's not the same as seeing them in the cloth.)
I was knocked out by the Best of Show winner, Diane Siebel's Head 10.
Oh this stitching!
It was great to see Lynn Koolish who is the editor of my book! My publisher C&T was one of the sponsors of the conference and I am so thankful for the connections we are building with art quilters and publishers.
We took a side trip to the Snyderman-Works gallery where I was quite taken with this piece.
Especially these crochet-covered branches with the tiny hands.
I was happy to donate two small art quilts to the Spotlight Auction.
There was lots of time spent chatting with other attendees, which I just loved! There were many many smiling faces, talented artists and inspiring stories to be heard.
We continued chatting even once we got to the airport to make our way home.