It’s such a good thing that I don’t go to Houston, Texas for the International Quilt Festival every year. No, seriously, if I made the pilgrimage annually, I’d be in a constant state of quilting induced poverty.
As it is, I’ve certainly gone over my quilting budget for this fiscal year, and it’s highly likely that I’ve depleted my quilting fund for the next few years… yeah, that’s very probable. It’s the last day of the festival that gets me. The day when the vendors give fairly deep discounts so they won’t have to pack up the remaining stock and schlep it back to home base, wherever that might be (and there were all those shiny long arm machines singing a siren song). Lucky for me I have a large stash and plenty of supplies.
The photo above is just a small portion of the vendor hall, and it truly is a quilters paradise. Does the floor look empty to you? Good reason for that. The photo was taken before the opening bell. Try to imagine this with 60-odd thousand quilters in here over a four day period.
Crazy and awesome all at the same time.
It’s the perfect opportunity to stock up on all of the necessary notions, and believe me, you can find it all here: a rainbow of threads, machine and hand sewing needles for every occasion, and rulers, and gadgets, and patterns, and fabric of course. Fabric pre-cut in fat quarters, half yards, and full yards. Fabric on the bolt. New fabric, hard to find fabric, hand dyed fabric. Cottons, wools, and silks. Classes and lectures on nearly any quilting technique that you ever wanted to learn. Conversations being held in English with accents from assorted countries, French, Spanish, Japanese, and a few that I had an inkling about, but couldn’t identify for sure.
There was an ooh-shiny-pogoing-up-and-down-on-the-tips-of-my-toes moment every time I turned my head. It’s nearly impossible not to return home inspired and ready to quilt… and slickly separated from your money.
But it’s worth every penny spent.
Waking up early in the morning humming with the anticipation of goodies not yet seen. Entire days filled with nothing that wasn’t quilt related. I ate, drank, talked, slept, and breathed all things quilty.
Adult beverages and a pizza party in the hotel room in the evening because no one had any energy remaining to decide on where to eat. For dessert? Tumbling out each others spoils of the day so we could admire, and covet, and discuss.
I’d also like to mention that it’s some kind of treat when you wake up the next morning to the smell of leftover pizza – even though after my sister-in-law and her daughter-in-law had toddled back to their own room, I stashed all the detritus in the closet and shut the door tightly.
I’d like to send out a special note of appreciation to one who shall not be named, but whose name rhymes with Donnell, who put up with all the 50s, 60s, and other assorted classic vinyl music on the road to Houston, and who never complained once while Gracie and I sang along at the top of our not-so-tuneful lungs. I sure hope that she’s still speaking to me. I think she deserves a road trip name.
Did I forget anything? Maybe a little something about the juried quilt show itself? I won’t even try to describe the caliber of artistry there, but I will leave you with some images. Have some fun trying to puzzle out what kind of quilting interests me. There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to what caught my eye – as you’ll see, I was all over the board.