Mar 282012

Craftcation March 2012

Like a stylish and clever freight train, the Craftcation Conference roared through Ventura last week, leaving exhausted and generally satisfied creative types in its wake. From Thursday, March 22 through Sunday the 25, crafters took over Ventura City Hall to learn more about business, take sewing and food classes, and to mingle their hand-stitched hearts out.

I only was able to attend that Saturday, but it was one loaded day: 3-Hour Skirt workshop with Christine Haynes, Reverse Appliqué with Amy Tan (of Amy Tangerine), and Garment Construction Bootcamp, again with Christine. Not to mention a a marketing presentation by Lauren Venell! No wonder my friend/houseguest Polly (of Pollyanna Cowgirl Designs) and I made a quick appearance at that night’s 80s dance party before jetting home and collapsing.

I liked the classes (I made a supercute skirt using superbuzzy fabric!), and had a great time seeing various creations and hearing impressions. The food-making sessions, particularly, had attendees buzzing. Polly liked Cathy Callahan‘s Crafty Ladies of the 60’s & 70’s and Getting Your Crafty Ideas Published presentations. I think most of the business tracks were appreciated — it must have been great for craft business owners to get truly customized information and training.

Craftcation March 2012

Above: Christine Haynes leads the 3-Hour Skirt workshop. Do not miss Christine’s new line of patterns!

There were general irritations and minor snafus, somewhat de rigeur for any conference — such as locked classrooms and scrambles for keys, location confusion, too-small workspaces and some too-short session times. However, the biggest confusion for me was where were the quilting presentations or classes?

I encountered a couple quilters who asked the same thing. I suspect the organizers thought quilt workshops would be a space and time logistics nightmare, so didn’t pursue this track. I think it would have been fabulous to have a presentation on the history and evolution of modern quilting. There could have been simple workshops about quilting techniques and/or composition, or how to plan colors and fabrics for a quilt.

I managed to miss the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild’s small exhibit at the Crowne Plaza, but I hope it was enough to spark interest in our exciting and growing movement!

Although Craftcation may have been a little light on the quilt love, the experience has shown me how much I have to learn about sewing in general (and how psyched I am to do just that) and that my kindred-spirt community is always expanding.

— Becky Haycox

You can see a few more of my Craftcation pics at this link.