Tag Archives: Road Trip

The Marquee Should Have Read: Welcome Back

Welcome Quilt Festival Houston 2013It’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.

vendorhallaThe 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.


Houston, Texas Sunrise Quilt Festival 2013It was such a treat to be back in a city again.  All the people, the traffic, the noise, the restaurants, and don’t even forget the posh hotels.

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.

PicMonkey Collage1bonesPicMonkey Collage2

Froggy Went A-Courtin’

I’m in the mood this evening for old folk songs.

I like to say that I grew up in a car, and that’s really not very far from the truth.  My family crisscrossed the American southwest when I was young and we nearly always went by car.  My very first memory of a car was our family Nash Rambler.

Over the years, as both our family and the concept of American transportation changed, the family “beater” changed with us; we eventually graduated to a full-size Country Squire station wagon.  But before we acquired that behemoth, I can remember times when my sisters would stuff me up into the rear deck of the sedan so they could ride more comfortably in the back seat.  (Note: seat belts were not in common use at this time)

In those days AM radio was king.  This was long before the FM band came standard in a car, and the music and chatter would fade in and out as you traveled along the highways.  After sunset was the best.  It was then when many of the AM stations would boost their signals and you’d be able to hold a station far into the night.

SaucierOccasionally there would be times when we couldn’t find a station at all.  At these times my dad would chime in, keeping all of us kids quiet by singing old folk songs in a very acceptable baritone.  Froggy Went A-Courtin’ was definitely the front runner, with The Crawdad Song and Bill Grogan’s Goat finishing in the money.

Personally, I always favored the latter (nothing like a little blood and gore to get, and keep, a child’s attention).

I don’t know why I started thinking about those songs tonight.  All I really wanted to do here was to let you know that I’ve got the final part of Henrietta’s Story posted.  I won’t say that this is the last of Aunt Hattie’s stories, new items turn up from time to time, plus I’m constantly surprised by things that I’ve squirreled away and forgotten.  For now at least, you can find the latest segment here, Henrietta’s Story: Part Three.