On May 2, 2019 Christine Wessling posted in the JordanCon Costumers Facebook group asking if there was an interest in doing a group quilt for the Charity auction. She had experience with similar projects and wanted to give back to JordanCon after being embraced by the Con’s people. Within hours there was a flood of comments and interest. Three days later Christine and Natalie Gehling had developed a plan for the quilt. Each block was to be a book cover using the Tall Tales Quilt Block, but enlarged by 100%. By the end of the following week, all the blocks had been claimed by a JordanCon enthusiast and Joy Allen had agreed to take on the dauting task of quilting the blanket together.
All blocks were turned in by December 31, 2019 so the quilt could be ready for the April 2020 convention. Some blocks were claimed by new people as life hit others. Thankfully all the books were claimed, and a piece was finished for each in time. Then 2020 hit everyone. Allen had finished the quilt, but it was decided the quilt should be held for the 2021 convention when more of the participants would have a chance of seeing the finished work in-person.
Now everyone can enjoy seeing the finished quilt as a preview prior to the July convention. The makers hope many people will appreciate the work put into creating the piece. It was a labor of love by many different people.
Good luck to the winner of the Wheel of Time quilt auction! May it bring you much joy and comfort as you read many books curled up under the quilt.
The bidding will be on Friday and Saturday of JordanCon 2021.
Note on the care of the quilt: Machine wash cold, delicate cycle. Line or lay flat to dry. DO NOT put this in a dryer!!
Full Quilt in all its glory:
Full front of the WoT Quilt.
Full back of WoT Quilt
Below are words written by the creators about what inspired their blocks and a close up image of each.
Please note, there are spoilers for the whole Wheel of Time series in the block descriptions.
Inspiration for the WoT quilt blocks:
Given by those who helped make each block and put the entire quilt together, they share what inspired them to make their portions in the way they did. Minor changes to grammar were made.
New Spring, block by Antoinette Goosetree
New Spring, Antoinette Goosetree: I chose New Spring because I am a Blue Aes Sedai. As I see New Spring is about Moiraine’s journey, I made an excellent, more blue background with her head jewel and the crest of Lan as her bond mate.
Eye of the World, block by Alix Panayotopulos
Eye of the World, Alix Panayotopulos: Because I have always loved the green man.
The Great Hunt, block by Stephanie Jackson
The Great Hunt, Stephanie Jackson: (Did not respond in time.)
Description: Silhouette of three fighters inside a golden horn.
The Dragon Reborn, block by Heather Nathanson
The Dragon Reborn, Heather Nathanson: (Per Facebook post) Inspired to make a gold Callandor against red dragon scales. Was nervous to not mess it up.
The Shadow Rising, block by David Reynolds-Grier
The Shadow Rising, David Reynolds-Grier: (Did not respond in time.)
Description: Nine “Glass Columns” made of beads around a Chora tree at sunrise.
The Fires of Heaven, block by Kate Larson
The Fires of Heaven, Kate Larson:
I really enjoyed how this installment let us learn so much more of Tel’aran’rhiod and its workings. It brought Birgitte, one of my favorite characters, into the spotlight. Her iconic golden braid was something that always fascinated me, so I focused on trying to recreate its complexity in my quilt square.
Lord of Chaos, block by Natalie Gheling
Lord of Chaos, Natalie Gheling: I chose a black Asha’man coat with a Dedicated’s silver sword pin because Rand founded the Black Tower in Lord of Chaos. I chose red with gold flecks for my background to represent the flames and destruction at Dumai’s Wells.
A Crown of Swords, block by Brenna Goode
A Crown of Swords, Brenna Goode: I was asked, as a substitute, to step in and do the block for A Crown of Swords. I had read the books years ago and loved them so was happy to help. Unfortunately, since I’d stepped in late, I didn’t have time to do a more detailed cover, so elected to try some new-to-me techniques to make the block, including printing on the fabric. I chose an image that was a fairly literal representation of the title, trying to make it stylistically appropriate to the books themselves and the rest of the quilt. It was a pleasure to be part of this collaboration!
The Path of Daggers, block by Billie Pierce
The Path of Daggers, Billie Pierce:
Aside from the Bowl of the Winds, there is no great triumph for the Light in The Path of Daggers. However, Rand’s failure to use Callandor against the Seanchan army was a pivotal moment for me as a reader, and I believe he needed this defeat to overcome his hubris and realize that he cannot wield tremendous power without the help and support of others. Ultimately, I decided on a detailed appliqué of Rand’s dragon banner, inspired by the original Darrell K Sweet cover, as an homage to this battle and a symbol of the united sense of purpose that begins to emerge in the series as key players take their first steps toward becoming the powerful people who will defeat the Dark One at the last battle.
Winter’s Heart, block by Christine Wessling
Winter’s Heart, Christine Wessling: I picked book nine because it was actually the first book of the series I found… AND it has the cleansing of Saidin, which is just a phenomenal turning point for the men of the series.
Crossroads of Twilight, block by Tina Pierce
Crossroads of Twilight, Tina Pierce: I chose to recreate the ebook cover, majestically created by Greg Ruth. Perrin has always been a favorite of mine. His crossroad shown on the cover is a major point in his character’s growth. This was his first paper piece work I had done, and it was a great learning experience.
Knife of Dreams, block by Maureen Carr
Knife of Dreams, Maureen Carr: My name is Maureen, but I also go by Mashiara and am an administrator for Dragonmount.com. As my chosen name implies, Land and Nynaeve are my favorite characters within the Wheel of Time series. I first read the novels in 1999 as a sophomore in high school, and Lan’s cool calm and amazing abilities won me over instantly. Once it became clear that Nynaeve was his love interest, I latched onto her as well.
When picking a book within the series to sum up my love of Lan and Nynaeve, there were several contenders. The most notable, though, came in Knife of Dreams. I don’t think any fan had dry eyes after reading about Nynaeve’s trek to the borderlands to secure her husband an army. Hearing the phrase, “The Golden Crane flies for Tarmon Gai’don,” is enough to make me weepy still!
I chose to represent this cry to battle by showing the golden crane and lance on a field of blue, like the Malkier flag. For the spine fabric, I chose the fabric I used to construct my own Warder’s cloak. I put so much of myself into this series and into this quilt piece. I am so happy to be included with so many other fans in this amazing project!
The Gathering Storm, block by Edward Pena
The Gathering Storm, Edward Pena: I chose the scene from the Seanchan attack on the White Tower. I feel like it is a pivotal moment in the Wheel of Time, not only for Egwene and the White Tower, but also for the whole world in the lead up to the Last Battle. Plus, it’s just a kick butt scene!
Towers of Midnight, block by Drew Osburn
Towers of Midnight, Drew Osburn: Hi! I chose the imagery based loosely on the cover of the book where we can see Mat drawing the triangle on the tower to enter. To jazz it up a little I chose to embroider the chapter art from the chapters set in the tower rather than just the plain triangle. It’s my favorite piece of chapter art, so much so that I have it as a tattoo.
A Memory of Light, block by Deana Whitney
A Memory of Light, Deana Whitney: I picked late and was rather nervous about having to represent the final book in the series. There are so many moments worthy of depiction; some, to be honest, were beyond my ability to represent in a quilt block. However, the moment Moraine walks into the tent—causing Rand and Egwene to stop fighting—is a pivotal early moment. I remember crying when reading the scene for the first time. I wanted to show the moment from the outside so I could show the trees. I love the Ogier and felt showing the great trees returning to the land honored them as well.
Fang and Flame, block by Natalie Gheling
Fang and Flame, Natalie Gheling: The ancient Aes Sedai symbol was fun to create, with its sinuous line separating the white and black halves. Surrounding the symbol each blade represents an ajah color of the White Tower. The math to figure out each blade’s angle was a challenge!
Quilt top assembly, Natalie Gheling: My favorite part of being involved in this project was getting to see the blocks in person as each maker mailed their creation to me. I got to hand embroider six other blocks’ titles, and it was fun to use different fonts and colors based on each block. I had the pleasure of sewing the blocks to one another to assemble the face of the quilt, and I am so blessed that everyone involved trusted me with their hard work.
Note: Natalie put a huge amount of time into finishing up the quilt top. As in, at least two full weeks of her quilt business was donated to this process. The hand stitching is gorgeous, and her piecing is literally perfect. I’m actually devastated that she can’t see the final work in person; she put SO much time into it. -Joy
Hand quilting, binding, Joy Allen: This project was a huge undertaking. I didn’t actually do any work on it until after everyone else had finished. I felt like a cheerleader for about 6 months, encouraging, giving advice, and sending out so many reminders. From pictures, I could tell that many of the contributors had put an amazing amount of skill and labor into this project, and when I finally got to see the top with my own eyes, I was still blown away. Literal tears of amazement came at being able to add to what so many had already given. I have never been part of a quilt making like this, and I feel very blessed and honored to have been able to work on it.
Chapter headings: Mat’s Dice, Rand’s first Fang, Perrin’s Wolf
For the quilting, I did a minimal amount within each block to highlight the best features of each. And in the generous amount of white space Natalie gave me, I added in my own favorite chapter icons from the books. Each main group/character is represented, Aes Sedai and Asha’man, Andor, Cairhein, Aiel, Sea Folk, and more, along with the main icons for the major characters. Trying to get the details right and convey the meanings in a different medium was a huge challenge and, to be honest, I was afraid every day that I would mess the whole thing up and it would be ruined. I think, though, that the entire quilt came together more perfectly than any of us could have imagined. And I had a dozen or more cheerleaders encouraging me every step of the 6 weeks that I worked on the quilt.
Chapter headings: Aiel Spears, The Great Serpent, The Seanchan
The binding in ajah colors really ties the entire quilt together and the quilt reverse (where you can see the stitching the best) might be my favorite part. The binding is machine stitched on the front and hand stitched on the back. The finished look is nice and clean.
If you want to learn some of the hand quilting techniques Joy Allen used on the WoT Quilt, join her workshop at the July 2021 convention on Saturday.
Care instructions for quilt: Machine wash cold, delicate cycle. Line or lay flat to dry. DO NOT put this in a dryer!! It will damage some of the special threads and 3D pieces on the quilt.
Article Compiled by Joy Allen and Deana Whitney
Photos: Copyright by Calista Perazzo Photography, 2021
A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent
Written by Marie Brennan
In July JordanCon is hosting Marie Brennan as the author Guest of Honor for 2021. For those who are not familiar with her work, she’s currently best known as the author of the Memoirs of Lady Trent, a six book series with multiple short stories set in the world. Brennan has written other novels and over sixty short stories. Her newest novel, Driftwood, is a collection of short stories set within a frame story that came out in 2020. Her series The Onyx Court was released as audible books just this year. They mash historical events in London with faerie enchantment. Find out more about our next guest of honor by visiting her website.
In anticipation of her visit to JordanCon, I finally moved her books to the top of my “to read/listen” pile. The good side of waiting so long is that I was able to rush through the whole Lady Trent series in less than two weeks. The downside is that I just meet Isabella, and it seems like her journey is finished for now. I don’t have more from this world to anticipate reading. As of now. No telling what might happen in the future with the Camhersts.
Before Brennan visits JordanCon in July, I hope to entice more of our family to become acquainted with her work. Over the next two months, I’ll be reviewing the first three Memoirs of Lady Trent books. Let us begin with A Natural History of Dragons, first published in 2013.
The Todd Lockwood cover showing an anatomical study of a walking dragon sets the tone the story delivers. The covers Lockwood created for the entire series are a feast for the eyes. I knew of the series for years due to the covers always catching my eye. A delightful surprise was the interior illustrations and maps. This is a story that cries for a map to anchor the reader. The maps help reader understand the world and the places of interest.
Before discussing the story, I must address the audiobook, which is how I first experienced Lady Trent’s voice. The wonderful Kate Reading does her best impression of the Dowager Countess of Grantham to convey the voice of Lady Trent. Reading’s performances are routinely delightful, but the upper crust edge she gives Isabella makes the character come alive in my mind. The audiobook takes a touch over 10 hours to complete. With Reading’s voice the story flows smoothly until the book ends, leaving me, at least, going “No, I want more!” Thankfully, more is available in the remaining books of the series.
Let’s consider some non-spoiler matters:
In the vein of most memoirs, the story is told from the point of view of Isabella, Lady Trent, addressing readers as she summarizes the highlights of her life and the major episodes that made her famous. The book doesn’t break the 4th wall, but she does instruct her readers to go find more information in publications available in their world that are not in ours. Book one covers her early life and her first major journey into becoming a dragon naturalist. The preface hints at many more adventures, which readers don’t understand fully until much later in the series. The tone and setting share many similarities with stories set in the English Regency era or a Jane Austen novel. The elder Lady Trent does not spare herself or her society in highlighting how foolish many aspects of her life were in retrospect. This book has action and drama but is not driven by action scenes. It is driven by Isabella’s love of discovery and research. Her passion for the subject is infectious and draws the readers in as all make discoveries together.
If you do not want any spoilers, stop reading this article now. Go pick up a copy of the story in your preferred format and location. Come back once you are done.
Now for a franker, spoiler-filled discussion of details from the book:
The worldbuilding – I commend Brennan’s choices in her worldbuilding. The world is mostly Earth, with the geography rearranged, new names, and of course a whole hierarchy of dragons in the animal kingdom. And dragon-like beings, but we only learn about sparklings and wolf-drakes for now. These changes allow western audiences, at least, to be more focused on the cool factor of the dragons, and less about the “well that’s different” when it comes to the world. Many things are familiar to readers, with some serial numbers filed off and some changes made. Lady Trent comes from Scirland, which is equivalent to England. The bulk of the story takes place in Vystranna, which is roughly similar to Imperial Russia. One of the major differences from many fantasy books is that both cultures follow a faith loosely based on Jewish traditions, though different branches of the faith, which creates some tension. There is classism and sexism in abundance—unconscious and conscious. The characters grow but are often not aware of their bias until their views are shoved into their faces.
One advantage of the memoir style of storytelling is the ability to time skip and for self-reflection. Brennan uses these strengths to her advantage by allowing Isabella to focus on the narrative of her story. She hints at other matters, but only shows the relevant situations. Another strength is the way Brennan addresses depression in the story, it feels real. The coping mechanisms Isabella uses are highly relatable to me.
The downside of the memoir style is that many of the other characters feel less than fully developed, which can happen in any storytelling format. Yet beyond Jacob Camherst, few of the other characters come alive as Isabella does in this first installment. Most characters are interesting and have things that set them apart, but I’m not engaged by them in the same way as Isabella.
The story unfolds in four parts, with the first two being the most focused on Isabella’s early life and her interest in dragons, but almost no dragons actually appear. Part one is her childhood adventures and the trouble they cause, along with a Regency-style romance on fast-forward, early married life, and the study of sparklings. Readers meet Jacob Camherst, Thomas Wilker, and Maxwell Oscott, the Earl of Hilford. Each man is important for the narrative of the story, but each in distinctive ways.
Part two begins their expedition to Vystrana to study dragons. Communication difficulties and the lack of a local guide at first hamper the expedition. Readers learn more about Thomas Wilker, Lord Hilford’s assistant. Mr. Wilker is a man born to working-class parents from Niddey who Isabella looks down upon. Conflicts between him and Isabella generate tension in the small party, but they are small background irritation. It’s hard to study dragons when you can’t find dragons to study. Culture clashes and conflicting priorities set the stage for the last third of the story. In part three, Isabella and the readers are finally able to study a Vystrani rock-wyrm in full detail (added by more interior art by Lockwood). Readers are also introduced to the ancient Draconean civilization, which once dominated the Anthiopen landmass. What seems like a side trip at first, sets off a chain of events that leads to the action-packed conclusion in part four.
While this may be a spoiler review, I don’t want to give away the ending. I’ll just say that tears were shed even while justice was served.
No man may wear the Amyrlin’s stole. Fine. This isn’t a stole. It’s a scarf. I came up with this pattern as a quarantine “thinking of you” gift for a friend. I liked it so much I made one for myself.
Here is what you will need to make one:
US size 8 needles on an 30” chord
About 65 yards of medium weight yarn in each color. I used Loops & Threads Impeccable and have yarn left over on all 7 skeins after making 4 scarves.
Brown (18920 Soft Taupe)
Grey (01757 Classic Gray)
White (1005 White)
Red (1532 Claret)
Yellow (01616 Gold)
Green (1242 Deep Forest)
Blue (35011 Lapis)
Suggested but optional – stitch markers
Start by casting on 250 stitches in brown. They will bunch up and probably twist a bit on the chord, but that is OK. I put as many stitches on the needles as I could fit. You can place markers to help keep count while casting on, but you don’t need a specific count and will want to remove them once you start kitting. This is the length of the scarf so don’t be stingy. But since there is no repeating pattern to the stitches, you can make your scarf with as many or as few stitches as you want. If you want more length and can find longer needles, I say go for it.
Start by casting on as many as you wish.
The pattern is 6 rows repeated once per color.
You’ll end up with two strips curling in opposite directions – one facing the right side, the other the wrong side. The purl bumps will be on the wrong (back) side at the color change.
Color change line.
Color change line reverse view.
Work from the bottom up in color order
Color two change.
2 color change, reverse view.
Three colors, the scarf is starting to flatten.
At first there will be gaps between the color strips. As they come off the needles and the overall shape of the scarf flattens, the curls will constrict together.
Halfway done with loose end.
Almost done with 6 colors.
After completing the pattern in blue, bind off knitwise.
I averaged about one color a night while watching TV and knocked this out in about a week. Yes, that probably means I have been watching too much TV while social isolating, but I take productive where I can find it these days. That leaves weaving in the ends. As you can see, I had a break in the white yarn and had bonus ends to weave in. But no blocking is required. The end result…
Hello First Timers! The New Member Services team has searched the internet and picked the brains of previous attendees to gather all the information a newbie might need and put it into one handy dandy guide. We have included some of the highlights here.
Don’t worry, hard copies of the full guide will be available at the registration desk or you can download one HERE.
This blog is broken down into three sections; Terms, Noteworthy Events & Locations, and Helpful Hints, Guidelines, and Words of Wisdom.
Terms: For many of our new members, this not just their first JordanCon, but their first Con in general. In that light, we’ll start out by talking about some terms you may hear or see:
Tracks – A track is the name given to a specific room or rooms generally being used for similarly themed panels.
Panels – A panel
is a staff or guest led discussion about a particular topic.
CosPlay – A portmanteau of the words Costume and Play. It is a mix of dressing up as a character and role-playing as that character to some degree.
GoH – Short-hand
for Guest of Honor. We have an Author and Artist Guest of Honor each year.
Ribbons – For a variety of reasons, you may be gifted a ribbon that can be adhered to your badge. These are little trophies that can be collected as you wander around the Con, and you should always keep an eye out for new ways to earn ribbons!
Team Jordan – The
term used to describe the group of people who made this all possible: Harriet
McDougal, Maria Simons, and Alan Romanczuk.
Noteworthy Events and Locations: Download the official JordanCon App for all this information and more!
Speedfriending – If you’re new to JordanCon, you may not know too many people. If you’d like to change that, this is the place for you! Don’t be fooled, this isn’t just for new members! Many of our Con veterans, including volunteers and other staff, attend this event every year so we can meet each and every one of our members!
The ConSuite – Please visit our volunteer-driven ConSuite! This is a great place to rest and recharge. Grab a drink, grab some food (including gluten-free and vegetarian options!), and chat with some new friends! Located in Room 301, open Friday 4pm-8pm, Saturday 8am-8pm, and Sunday 8am-1pm.
Accessibility Quiet Room – There’s going to be a lot going on, and that can be overwhelming for some people. We’ve set aside some space for people who need to unwind, and just need to recharge their social batteries. The Accessibility Quiet Room will be located in the Dekalb room Friday 4pm-5pm, and Saturday 1pm-3:30pm.
The Art Show – Come see the work of our talented artists on display! Some of the work on display will even be up for auction, and some may even be available as prints! You also can vote for your favorite pieces. This is one of the best ways to let the artist know you appreciate their hard work (well, besides purchasing their art)
Dealers’ Hall – Here is where you’ll find a variety of exciting merchandise. In the past, we’ve had leatherworkers, costume companies, collectibles, and more!
JordanCon Charity Auction – The items here are rare or unique items, donated by our members and guests. This is a great way to grab something special for your collection, while also helping a good cause! This year’s cause is very close to us, proceeds will be donated to Hospice of Mercy in honor of our beloved Steve Godecke. Located in Maplewood B. First door on the left as you go down the Track Room Hallway. Our auction will run from 9 AM until 7 PM on Saturday.
Workshops – The workshops will take place in the Gardenia room. When you check in at registration, make sure to check out all the workshops we’re offering this year, and sign up early! Fees may apply, be sure to inquire at registration!
Seanchan Hold’em Poker Tournament – Ok… maybe we just rebranded Texas Hold’em, but it doesn’t matter because it’s still a blast! This event runs on Friday night, and proceeds go to charity! $20 buy-in.
Costume Contest – There is never a shortage of Cosplayers and Costumers at JordanCon. Some just enjoy dressing up and portraying their favorite characters, but some actually enter into a competition for us all to enjoy! Stop by and check out our incredibly talented group show off their hard work and dedication!
Shadow and Light – Our Darkest Timeline Themed Saturday night dance! Everyone is welcome. Attendees may dress up, not dress up, dress to match the theme, or even come in cosplay! Located in Dunwoody A, B, and C. Saturday Night from 8:30pm-11:30pm.
Helpful Hints, Guidelines, and Words of Wisdom
The 3, 2, 1 Rule – For every 24 hours, try to get a minimum of 3 hours of sleep, 2 meals, and 1 shower. · Drink plenty of water.
Wash your hands. Please. You don’t want to get Con Crud, which is our fun little name for the plague that befalls those unlucky souls who don’t follow this tip. People come from all over to go to the Con, and they bring with them their own special regional illnesses. You don’t want to leave JordanCon and then get sick, your boss will be very mad and blame all of us and that’s just not fair.
· VOLUNTEER – I can’t stress this enough,
you should volunteer. This is absolutely the best way to get to know other
people at the con and get to know your way around. Once you start, you won’t be
able to stop, it’s so much fun being a part of the process! Haven’t signed up
yet? Here is the link: https://signup.com/go/dwJmsTw
Dress Comfortably – it sure is fun to dress up! Just remember that you’re going to be walking around and on your feet for the entire day. So, wear comfortable shoes whenever you’re able. Keep in mind, you’re going to be inside most of the day, and the weather may be warm outside… but inside? That’s another story. Easy to remove outer layers are a good call here, so you can transition easily if you get too cold or too hot!
Write it down – Remembering details in all the hustle and bustle can be difficult. Write things down! Start a note on your phone or use this handy folder we’ve provided and store notes! You don’t want to forget your friend’s room number, or where the ConSuite is!
Are you a hugger? That’s awesome! Some of us aren’t… so just make sure you ask before you go around grappling everyone! It’s not that we don’t love you, but some people just aren’t as comfortable with this even with people they do know well.
So that is the quick version of the 2019 New Member Guide. Be sure to pick up the full guide at the registration desk or download it today.