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Friday, January 9, 2009

North American Quilling Guild Conference 2009

If you are a member of the North American Quilling Guild (NAQG), you have received information and registration forms for this year’s NAQGCON (The North American Quilling Guild Conference). This year the event will be held at the Sheraton Suites Tampa Airport on May1-3, 2009. This post is for those of you who may not have heard about the conference, or who may never have attended one. This annual tradition started more than 15 years ago, long before the NAQG was formed. It started with a small group of American quillers who found each other through membership in the English quilling guild. I was one of those members. I contacted the then 13 American members and began writing an informal newsletter, and that’s all it was, a newsletter to help us stay in touch. A small group of these American quillers attended the English Guild’s International Festival of Quilling and decided a year later to have a little reunion meeting here in the states. Although I didn’t go to England with the group, I did attend the “reunion meeting” the following year. We had lunch and a slide presentation, and then wandered around looking at each other’s work etc. I was blown away by the diversity of the work I saw, we discussed it and decided it should become an annual event, and it did.

A NAQG Conference is a very special event. In addition to getting an opportunity to meet other quillers from all over the world, you will able to see their work and learn and try new techniques. Quillers from around the United States and Canada are in attendance as well as quillers from Japan and often from England. You do not have to be a member of NAQG to attend, but once you meet all of these quillers, you will probably want to join. Just as an aside, we did decide to make our “informal” organization more formal and became the North American Quilling Guild in 2000. Our conference that year was in Nova Scotia, each year it is in a different location.

Over the years, the conference has grown from an afternoon event to a two and a half day conference. The general schedule of a NAQGCON goes something like this. Most people arrive sometime on Thursday, register and meet & greet old and new friends. Friday is a day of classes/workshops. During most of the conference there is an open “hospitality” room for quillers to visit and quill informally, or practice what they learned in the classes. In the last few years a competition is held for those who wish to compete. The competition pieces are put on display and the NAQG members vote to decide the winners in different categories. Only NAQG members are able to enter pieces in the competition, but they don’t have to attend in order to compete. Vendors usually set up their booths so they are available Friday night and all day Saturday. Quillers set up their individual displays on Saturday morning; the day is spent admiring all of the beautiful quilling, giving & attending demos, and having the public come in to view the beautiful art on display. The voting and announcement of competition winners also takes place on Saturday. Sunday brunch is followed by more open quilling and/or demos and then those quillers who are not extending their stay leave for home.

I encourage anyone who has even a passing interest in quilling to attend a NAQGCON, even if you can only get there for the public viewing hours. It is guaranteed to knock your socks off! For more information about joining the North American Quilling Guild and/or the NAQGCON check out the web site or contact this years NAQGCON host Lois Bandt Weber

1 comment:

Molly Smith said...

I cannot wait to see everyone and be in some sunshine! Trying to get things in order to attend.

Pat, I love this blog. I finally got you on my blog in a separate area :) I cannot believe we've gone from the 20 years to 30 years of quilling experience! Big smile.