Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Quilt Canada Prep - Worries of a conference attendee

I am attending Quilt Canada in Toronto, Ontario this week and am having a wee bit of pre-conference anxiety. If you have ever attended a large gathering of quilters you will understand how important it is to be prepared.

My first CQA conference was in another province and I took 4 days of classes and almost lost my mind! Seriously, it was very overwhelming! Now that I am a more experienced quilt conference participant I know how these events are for me (completely exhilarating and creatively overstimulating), and I have learned what I can handle and how to cope more effectively. 

Here are some of my tips that I am obsessing over reviewing:
1) Pace yourself: There is so much going on at the conference that you really have to make a plan of what you want to do the most. I am only taking two classes this year, so that I have enough time to do all the other things that I want to do, at a pace I can enjoy. I have scheduled a whole day to see the National Juried Show, the Invitational Show, the Trend Tex Challenge, and of course visit the merchants mall. My problem is that I don't look at quilts the way normal people do. I visit them. I have conversation with them and get to know them. It takes me a long time to take in all the detail. Hopefully I have planned enough time to see everything and not feel rushed. 

2) Be prepared for your activities: It's really important especially if you are taking a class to bring everything you might need. I know what it's like to be the teacher when students don't bring what is on the supply list and come unprepared thinking they probably won't need this or that. I don't want to be that student! If the class supply list says you need something - bring it! And of course we all know that the perfect fabric you need will be the one that you left at home. I predict it will happen and I will just have to deal with it!

3) Be rested: If you are affected by crowds of people, and/or you are really revved up by amazing beauty and creative overload, you will be exhausted by the end of a day at Quilt Canada. Take time for short rests during the day, and get a good sleep at night (ie ... don't talk to your quilting friends all night long about what you saw, bought, and learned at the quilt show!)

4) Be organized: It's a long long walk from the parking lot to find the classrooms, and you will be hauling your class supplies all that way. I have a rolling suitcase that can easily hold all my class supplies, plus water and snacks for the day. 

5) Be relaxed: One of the challenging parts of taking a class at a huge venue like this is having to sew on a sewing machine you've never used before. This concern is based on a workshop experience at my first Quilt Canada (read about it here). I worry about being able to adapt to sewing on a new machine quickly enough to keep up with the class instructions. 

I have lots of experience with different kinds of vintage sewing machines, but am not very good with anything computerized. 
I really want to just chill out, and enjoy the whole experience, so I will try to remember all of the above tips! Wish me luck!
I will blog throughout the week as time and internet connections allow. 


KaHolly said...

Have a wonderful time! If you follow all of your own advice, you'll do great. And, oh, what fun you'll have! Looking forward to hearing all about it!

The Cozy Quilter said...

I will be there on Saturday! I hope to see you! What are your plans that day? I am also overwhelmed by crowds of people and need quiet time on my own to recharge. I hope you have a great time at quilt Canada.

Lesley said...

Looks like you will be all set to have a wonderful time!

Deanna W said...

I will be attending on Friday. Hope we run into each other...maybe lunch!?!

Dolores said...

I'm there on Sat. to take in the show and that's about all. Maybe the merchants mall but I don't need anything.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Hopefully it is a basic machine, not too many bells and whistles to learn. I'm not a fan of the computerized machines, either. I feel 'lost' when I use them. Have a fun time. Sounds like you have a good plan for pacing yourself.

Janet O. said...

My four sewing machines are all basic mechanical jobs. I walked into a class once where there were about 70 women already set up to go and I think I found one other featherweight in the bunch. Most were large computerized models that took up so much table space that we couldn't rotate the expensive rotating mats we were supposed to bring to class! : )
You give some great advice here. After experience at a couple of shows, I no longer schedule classes every day I will be attending. Though I love the classes, some of my favorite experiences come when I have a day to shop, visit, and peruse the quilt show at my leisure.
Hope you have a great time!

Kate said...

Hope you are enjoying all the activities!

Cherie in St Louis said...

What fun!! I really got a chuckle from the customer service picture, ha!! I have the exact same feelings you do about using a strange machine....especially the electronic ones. I love your description of how you visit the quilts because you articulated exactly what I do. Have a great time visiting!!