QuiltCon East just transpired and for those of us who didn’t go, maybe you were like me: sitting in your kitchen compulsively eating microwave popcorn, refreshing your Instagram feed, eagerly awaiting to see friends and colleagues at the meet-ups, read about their observations of the show, and of course, to see the winning quilts! I also wanted to see how teaching was going for my friends, especially those new to teaching.

Just last week, working out at my local gym here in Napa, a quilting friend of mine waved at a distance and shouted, “I did two classes today in readying for a shrimp and grits feast in Savannah!”

She was QuiltCon bound, and I was so jealous!

I was jealous because of the camaraderie, the networking, the inspiration I have found at QuiltCon. I have been to every edition, and this past one in 2016 in Pasadena, frankly, bowled me over. I am very impressed with the production of this show and how quickly they have been able to develop it in a very sophisticated, forward-thinking manner, not to mention the excitement that manufacturers and movers and shakers in this industry have for it.

The reason I didn’t go to QuiltCon this year was because I got another upcoming invitation that was a conflict: an invitation to…well…Disneyworld.

When you can only be away so much, and only take so many transcontinental treks…it’s family first. So instead of seeing the best in show quilt in person at QuiltCon, in a couple of days, my niece and/or nephew will be my seat mate on the Crush ‘n Gusher…or The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Underground Adventure–whatever they choose.

In the meantime, today I was interviewed by Abby Glassenburg, co-founder of Craft Industry Alliance and founder/host of the While She Naps podcast. We have a shared history; we both were public school teachers and taught in the same school district nearly at the same time in Massachusetts. She is a true journalist, she asks questions and seeks answers in order to gain an understanding to issues that have not been previously addressed in this industry, with the designer, the crafter, the author, the teacher, the talent in mind. I wish we had a couple more hours to talk. Her podcast with me as a guest will go live this Monday, March 6th.

So tomorrow I head east–not to view amazing quilts–but to raise my arms high above my head, screaming at the top of my lungs at the peak of Expedition Everest, smiling, with a niece or nephew by my side. Because in five or so years, they will be moving on,  and I won’t be asked to sit next to them on a roller coaster probably ever again.

QuiltCon will still be there, but for this year, I am trading the viewing of quilts and quilter camaraderie for a pair of Mickey Mouse ears.

And I am totally good with that.