Quilts on display at a past QuiltCon.

Photo courtesy of the Modern Quilt Guild.

QuiltCon will be a virtual event in 2021. The global gathering of the Modern Quilt Guild (MQG), QuiltCon 2021 was initially planned to take place in Atlanta, Georgia February 18-21, 2021. COVID-19 has caused concerns about hosting an international gathering of thousands of people and led the board to decide on an online event next year instead.

The event will be called QuiltCon Together and will still be held in February. It will include the same components that QuiltCon attendees have come to expect including education, quilts, shopping, and social gatherings.

“The MQG has a history of being an active online community. While QuiltCon has brought some members of that community together in person, we are excited for the new opportunities QuiltCon Together has for bringing a wider group together at one time,” says Karen Cooper, Executive Director for the Modern Quilt Guild.

The MQG was founded in 2009 in Los Angeles and developed out of the thriving online community of modern quilters. The inaugural QuiltCon event was held in Austin, Texas, in 2013 and has been held in person seven times across the United States.

QuiltCon Together will include a juried virtual quilt show with hundreds of modern quilts. There will be some modifications to the submissions process for the show. Quilters will not be asked to send in their physical quilts, for example. Quilts that are juried into the show will be allowed to be exhibited at other shows.

QuiltCon Together will also include a virtual vendor hall with QuiltCon Together exclusives and deals.

Elizabeth Dackson, Director of Events for the Modern Quilt Guild, promises to continue providing attendees with quality workshops, saying, “QuiltCon Together will feature top-notch education in various formats, including hands-on sewing education, design techniques, and more. Much like in years past, QuiltCon will continue to bring world-renowned quilters directly to our members and attendees, this time just in a new format.”

Co-founder of the MQG Alissa Haight Carlton had this to say about the decision:

I’m proud of the staff and board for making this decision which, while initially very sad, was inevitable. They have to think about the health and safety of everyone involved in an event of this scale. And making the call this far ahead of time allows the MQG staff, and everyone involved, to plan ahead and create a wonderful virtual event.” 

Calton also pointed out some underlining strengths of the organization that she feels will lead to a successful virtual event. “And there are many silver linings to it! So many of the MQG’s 15,000 members who, for any number of reasons, can’t get to QuiltCon in person, will be able to attend this time around. That’s such a fantastic thing. Also, the organization has been run virtually and it has been very focused on creating community and content for online use since its earliest days. The MQG’s community found each other and flourished online, so I’m certain that it will do the same for QuiltCon Together!”

The QuiltCon Together Catalog and further details will be released in June 2020, with registration for MQG members opening in July. The MQG has set up an FAQ page for the event which can be found here.

QuiltCon 2022 is planned as an in-person event in Phoenix, Arizona.

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