It’s taken me some time to process the time I spent in Austin, Texas for QuiltCon 2015. In fact, I don’t think I’ll be done processing for a while- for so many reasons. This trip was an opportunity of a lifetime for me, and I feel so incredibly blessed that I was able to go. Since I have so much to say on the issue, I’m going to break my posts into three instead of one long post. First up: the people, the experience, the fun. Austin, you were so good to me.
I cannot say too many times how much I love my quilty friends. At times in my life I have not been brave enough to choose my friends wisely, and I allowed myself to be sucked into friendships that were not beneficial, uplifting, or encouraging relationships. Oh, how I wish I could go back and tell young Ashley that holding onto those friends wasn’t worth it, and that there were so many creative, kind, and loving women in the world who would be my friend. I digress… because I can’t, and I seem to be OK now that I’ve learned the lesson!
The quilting community has shown me how important it is to surround yourself with passionate, talented, giving, and encouraging people. It was so exciting to meet so many of the people who have encouraged me over the past two years of my quilting journey and meet them in person.
Do you know what’s cool? Seeing your best friend’s quilt in the show together! I have admired Michelle’s work since we both started around the same time, and she was sweet enough to make me this quilt! (I wish.) I mean, how talented is she?!
Also, as I walked around, I found that I would see a quilt, and exclaim, “Oh, there’s so-and-so.” Quilts became their owners, my friends. I recalled nights where their Instagram posts had inspired me as they created the quilts in the show. It was surreal.
Like, Cath and Laura!
Every quilt was so inspiring, and I’m pretty sure that I didn’t see them all. I also took some personal time to fulfill a life-long goal: buy some cowboy boots in Austin.
I can’t even. Coming from snowy, gloomy New Jersey, I cannot tell you how happy my heart was to walk around South Congress St. with Sophie. So. freaking. happy.
(yes, yes I was wearing my nametag lanyard in public.)
Talk about boot overload. I’ve never wanted to be filthy rich quite like I felt when I walked into Allen’s Boots. Oh, wait. Yes I have. Every time I walk into a fabric store…
If I had all the money in the world, my baby sister would now own these boots. I just hope that she has a new life goal now that she’s seen them: Make enough money to buy these puppies!
And, then I tried them all on. All the boots in the world.
Because National Geographic was doing a feature story on Austin, and they asked if they could document my boot buying experience. I wish I could make this stuff up.
Never have I ever been more thankful for pedicures and my decision to shave my legs. Especially considering I was at QuiltCon in February. You feel me?!
Life Goal Accomplished:
I bought my designer boots. The only thing I bought. Worth.it.
Every day and night I was able to eat with people who inspire me every day to become a better quilter, person, and friend. These quilters are amazing. See – I got to eat with my Sisterhood ladies (minus Liz!). We just finished up round one of our progressive quilts, and now we’re starting up Round two! Interestingly enough we sat in the order that we’re going to be passing our quilts around this time – unintentionally!
Can we just talk about the food for a second? OMG, the food. I definitely ate everything I could and I don’t regret a bite. It was incredible. In fact, I’m pretty sure I had mac and cheese for lunch on Thursday, dinner on Thursday, and lunch on Friday. No shame.
Michelle and I joined up with Amanda and Kelsey of Everyday Fray. We’ve been friends ever since we all participated in the Let’s Get Acquainted blog hop, and it was incredible meeting them in person. We definitely know too much about each others’ lives from just being bloggy/instagram friends. It was great. If you got to Austin. Eat at this restaurant.
I also got to hang out with the ladies from New Jersey who’ve held my hands through all of the craziness that is learning to quilt. They’ve kept me sane as I’ve faced challenges at work and personally. They don’t even know how thankful I am for their friendship.
Life lessons learned in Jersey: Have other people pump your gas and One can never have too many donuts. Am I right?
In looking through my photos, it’s so obvious how many memories I missed getting on film because I was having too much damn fun. I may not have the selfies to prove it, but if I got to hug you, meet you, admire your work, eat with you, or drink with you, you made my time at QuiltCon the best. Up next: the classes, and the personal.