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Save the Date for Midwest Craft Con 2023!

Midwest Craft Con is back and we have so many exciting announcements to share! 

Who’s speaking at the CON?
Our keynote for 2023 will be: Toni Lipsey of TL Yarn Crafts.


Toni Lipsey, the designer and instructor behind TL Yarn Crafts, strives to inspire others’ creativity through online tutorials and modern, approachable crochet patterns. Toni learned to crochet from her mother as a teenager and has been exploring the possibilities of yarn ever since. Her current design obsessions are oversized shawls and modern home decor. When she’s not crocheting, you can find Toni cuddled with her 2 kittens and husband in her Ohio home, binge-watching the latest true-crime thriller on Netflix. Follow her daily crochet journey on Instagram and pick up her book, The Tunisian Crochet Handbook, and patterns on  Stay tuned for our full length keynote interview.

When is Midwest Craft Con returning?
Never Craft Alone at Midwest Craft Con which will be held March 31 – April 2, 2023 in Columbus, Ohio!

In addition to the 3 day conference, we are adding Craftin’ Outlaws, our annual marketplace on Sunday, April 2 to close the event. 

All experiences will be hosted at the Columbus Museum of Art. Attendees will gain access to the Museum and discounted room rate but it’s not required to stay at our contracted hotel. 

Ticket Breakdown:

  • $299.00 – Member tickets open 9/15/2022
  • $349.00 – Early Bird tickets open 10/1/2022
  • $450.00 – General admission tickets opens 11/01/2022
  • $175.00 – $200.00 Day passes open 1/15/2023

If you haven’t been to our conference, prepare yourself for an endless weekend filled with pom poms and googly eyes, while you build your creative business. Get ready for our keynote(s) to fill you with inspiration, meet your creative heroes you admire online, and prepare to see colleagues you only see across the aisle at craft fairs.  Make new friends who help provide the extra drive you need to keep your business growing, long after the conference has ended. 

Read more about joining us and lodging

Stay tuned for speaker & workshop sign ups, scholarship forms, roommate options, and interviews with our keynote(s) and so much more!

keynotes · News

Save the Date for Midwest Craft Con 2020!

Midwest Craft Con is back and we have so many exciting announcements to share! Grab your ticket today. 

Who’s speaking at the CON?
Our keynotes for 2020 will be:.

  • Twinkie Chan is a crochet designer, author, blogger, YouTuber, and Creativebug instructor known for her colorful, food-themed accessories like cupcake scarves, hamburger mitts, and slushee cup purses
  • Sara Trail is an author, sewing teacher and pattern and fabric designer. A graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, she founded the Social Justice Sewing Academy (SJSA) to be a platform where youth create art that engages and educates communities. craft con 2019 (3).png

When is Midwest Craft Con returning?
Crafting your own adventure at Midwest Craft Con will start on February 28th – March 1st, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio! If you haven’t been to our conference, prepare yourself for a an endless weekend filled with pom poms and googly eyes, while you build your creative business. Get ready for our keynotes to fill you with inspiration, meet your creative heroes you admire online, and prepare to see colleagues you only see across the aisle at festivals.  Make new friends who help provide the extra drive you need to keep your business growing, long after the conference has ended.

Our theme for 2020 is Craft Your Own Adventure. We will return to the concrete cornfields (Google it!) of Dublin, Ohio. Our craft headquarters will be the Embassy Suites outside of Columbus.

Stay tuned for new team members, speaker & workshop sign ups, early bird release dates, scholarship forms, interviews with our keynotes and so much more!

RSVP Online or sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date on all the announcements!


Cool as Kelley Deal, the Rockstar Knitter

kelley deal breeders, crafter, keynote speaker, interview

I’m beyond stoked that Kelley Deal is one of our keynote speakers for Midwest Craft Con in 2018! I’ve been trying to get this multihyphenate Midwesterner to join us since we started, and I have finally succeeded! Even if you don’t immediately recognize Kelley’s name, if you were conscious in the 1990s, you will recognize this bass line:

(That’s Kelley and her twin sister Kim Deal playing “Cannonball” as The Breeders.) In addition to being a rock star, Kelley Deal is an accomplished knitter who wrote a book and sells her upcycled scarves. Plus she’s still touring with the Breeders and R.Ring, and has a zillion other projects. She’s Midwestern and proud of it, living in her hometown of Dayton, Ohio, again to take care of her mom. She also happens to be good friends with both past conner keynote Chris Glass and famous internet cat Lil Bub. Here’s what it’s like living the dream:

How did you get started crafting?

My mom and father are both born and bred West Virginians. I remember my mom always sewing, our clothes, our curtains. It wasn’t considered hokey or kitschy, it was highly respected and an art form that was passed down. That’s how I got introduced to it.

Now my mother has full-blown Alzheimers. But recently I pulled out the quilt that she and I made when we went to Ben Franklin’s in the 1980s and took quilting classes because she wanted to learn how to make quilts better, and I didn’t know how at all. So I laid this quilt on her lap, and I knelt in front of her, and we were looking together, talking about the different parts of the quilt we made together. It’s just such a wonderful gift to share that. There’s something about this crafting thing that brings people together in a way that I don’t fully understand.

I was in Amsterdam in the mid-’90s, and I was sober at the time, and nothing was good on TV and I couldn’t read anymore. I had to have something to do with my hands. And the girlfriend of the drummer of the band we were touring with taught me how to knit. I made this really weird sweater, and I never really finished it, but it got me hooked. It was comforting. It was something my brain could deal with when I was starting to overthink. And then later when I was living in Minnesota, a roommate of mine was having a birthday, and I thought I’d make her a felted bag. Obssessed again! Later I met Vickie Howell, and she invited me to do her show, Knitty Gritty, and my project was this purse I knit and felted. And after that we kept in touch and she helped me work on a book that got picked up by Lark Books. Now it’s coming full circle, and I’m going to be on Vickie Howell’s new knitting show!

What’s your favorite thing about the Midwest?

The people. They’re good at work. Less talk, more work.

What would you be if you weren’t a musician?

I would be an artist. I’d have a studio and an easel looking over a river and covered in paint. I say that as a dreamscape — I can’t draw. Or I’d be a forensic coroner.

What’s it like being a rock star?

Serendipitous. It’s weird, because I don’t know. People say, “What’s it like being a twin?” And I’m like, “What’s it like not being a twin?” It’s hard to answer. I remember when MTV was playing Cannonball all the time, it was very different being a rock star on MTV then, with Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins. People came up and said hi. You were in the public awareness. Rock stars today are sports people or real housewives.

What three things would you recommend to makers?

  • I really like the Sartorialist because he makes me rethink texture and color should be.
  • The artist Paul Klee. His color work is breathtaking.
  • I love podcasts, especially one called American Fashion. I love hearing about other people’s processes and learning about fashion and how it’s changing. It makes me think about things differently. I also love The Conversation, this guy who talks to fine artists about process and the art economy.

What will you talk about in your keynote session?

Chris Glass said the crowd at Midwest Craft Con was amazing, and that you were so receptive. I’ll be talking about me and my journey — music and crafting and selling stuff online. I’m looking forward to it!

Rock out with Kelley Deal at Midwest Craft Con in Columbus, Ohio! The event is Feb. 16-18, 2018, and early bird tickets go on sale August 1!


Sponsor Love: Esther Hall

Get to know the makers, businesses and faces who are helping us create Midwest Craft Con! Today we meet Esther Hall, a Columbus-based shop owner, fiber enthusiast and all around crafty gal. She’s the mastermind behind Yarn It and Haberdashery, which is a stop on our crafty bus tour of Columbus!

Megan: How long have you been in the creative scene? How did you get your start?

Esther: I’ve been actively involved in the craft scene since 2005 when I did my first craft show with Craftin’ Outlaws and Tiny Canary. I’ve been doing crafty things since I was 8, when my mom first taught me to knit and crochet clothes for my Barbie dolls. I have been making things and involved primarily in fashion since then. I attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a focus in fashion and sculpture, and after college I found myself going back to knitting and making things, and I needed an outlet to sell them, so I joined the Columbus Crafty Cotillion and started applying to craft shows, and here I am years letter assisting in running craft shows and owning my own yarn store.

Megan: What services do you provide to your community?

Esther: I consult with festivals and other craft groups on how to set up and run shows or do calls for vendors. And my store provides classes for knitting, crochet, spinning, needle felting and weaving.

Megan: What are you most proud of when it comes to your business?

Esther: The community and positive influence we have brought through our store. There are a lot of old-school yarn shops that can be hard for a new knitter to break into and get to know, and we like to think of ourselves as the open arms and educator store where no one feels left out, no matter what their skill level.

Megan: What is one big mistake you’d suggest others avoid when entering the handmade arena?

Esther: Being a one-trick pony, just because it is popular one year does not mean it will be the next year. Also NEVER talk down about your craft or items —you are your own worst judge, and no one wants to buy from a vendor who is negative on their own wares.

Megan: Any big goals for the new year?

Esther: Expanding to more specialty yarns and branching out online to increase our social media presence.

Megan: What are you most looking forward to at Midwest Craft Con?

Esther: We will have unique yarns that can be used not just for knitting and crochet but to show off the colors and versatility of yarn that can be used in crafts, such as Loopy Mango, Noro and Ewe Ewe. And just interacting with like-minded crafters and small business owners and discussing our struggles and victories.

Meet Esther and so many other makers at Midwest Craft Con in February!