I just got back from a wonderful weekend in Houston, TX at the International Quilt Expo. This was my third time to the show in the last six years, and as usual, it was inspiring, amazing, and so much fun!
The only bobble in the weekend was that the Thursday flight I was supposed to take at around 6 pm was postponed over and over again until 11:30 pm, at which time it was cancelled. Thomas was long home and in fact had been in bed for over an hour when I called him, so I took the airline up on their offer of a hotel room near the airport. Was back early on Friday, to discover that my 7:00 am flight was postponed until 10 am. Sigh...although it could have been worse, because it turns out I was now on a flight with my friend Christine and her friend Donna, so at least on Friday I had someone to talk to.
The show is hard to describe. The Houston Convention center is about as big as three or four football fields, and it is filled to the edges with quilty goodness. In one section they have the show quilts. It is almost overwhelming to see the amount of talent, creativity, and skill that is packed in there. There are traditional quilts, appliqued beauties, art quilts, modern quilts, whimsical quilts that make you stop and laugh and peer close to get all the details. Some quilts have serious themes, and the talent that the quilter poured into their work makes you reflect on the message. Other quilts are just riotous celebrations of color and texture and beauty.
The merchandise mall has more good stuff than you can shake a stick at...but most of us seemed to be okay with whipping out our debit cards and our cash money and hurling them at the vendors. "That! and that! and that! I need all that stuff! Oooooh, fabric, and notions, and patterns!" To tell you the truth, I didn't spend nearly as much as I was prepared to. I tried to buy carefully and get fabric I can use for quilts I have planned. I will not lie though, I did make some sweet impulse purchases of beads and some shiny fusible metallics and sheers just to play with.
My roommates were the awesome Chris and Clara, friends from quilt guild. We had good Texas meals - steak on Friday and Mexican on Saturday. In the evenings we visited the hotel bar to talk and drink and do show and tell of all the goodies we got. For me it was three days of no television/dvds, no internet, and a bare minimum of "meet you next to the Brother booth at 5:30" phone calls. I loved that I was so unplugged. I was with people I liked, doing things that made me happy, and that's way better than being plugged into the electronic nipple of the internet.
If you want to see the award winning quilts, follow this linky. Here are two of my favorite quilts:
Crime Scene Investigation
by PAULINE SALZMAN
of TREASURE ISLAND, FLORIDA and
Ms. MacDonald Had a Farm
by LYNN CZABAN and
members of the Hanging By A Thread group
of VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON
You can scroll up and down and look at them...although sadly, the pictures are pale, pale substitutes for the real thing. There is just no way a picture can show you the details and the depth and richness stitching and fabric choices bring to a quilt.