Saturday, October 17, 2009

Houston Quilt Festival 2009

Well, I once again took a fun but *quick* trip to Houston for the International Quilt Festival. Here's the lowdown.

I took a super early flight on Tuesday and had lunch with my good friends Jill and Bill. Back in the day Jill and I were both engineers at McDonnell Douglas and were known as "the bookends" - we did just about everything together except quilt. It's always a highlight of my trip to get to see them again.

Tuesday night was the exciting awards ceremony - I was delighted to receive third place in the miniature art category. I of course saw Pokey (who presented my award), and fellow award winners including Sarah Ann Smith, Judy Coates Perez, and Candace West.

Wednesday morning I had breakfast with my good friend Debra Gabel of Zebra Patterns. Debra is both an amazing quilt artist as well as an incredible pattern designer. She'd been to quilt market and also had a booth at festival. Her CityStamp, StateStamp, and NationStamp designs were a really big hit - very unique and clever. I also had the pleasure of meeting her friends (and booth staff) Peggy, Dee and Sandy.

This year the luncheon where the top eight award winners speak was thankfully moved to Wednesday (instead of Saturday). I'd never been able to hang around until Saturday, so it was wonderful to be able to attend the luncheon this year. The tables were quite large so I didn't get to chat with everyone, but did sit next to Barbara Lies and Candace.

One side of festival that I've never experienced before is vending. I had the opportunity to help Debra and company with some last minute booth preparations and it was both fun and educational.

Wednesday night - preview night! For the third year in a row the delightful Lisa Ellis did me the favor of taking my picture next to my quilt. I think the next time I go I'll have to plan a little better and actually eat dinner with her or something.

I did my best to see as much of the show as possible. After wards Debra, Peggy, Dee and I headed out to get a bite to eat. We ended up at the House of Blues, and after all was said and done we now have the recipe for the Best Margarita Ever.

I met many other nice folks, and was happy to reconnect with others I've met at previous shows. My flight home was Thursday afternoon, so I soaked in as much atmosphere as possible before then and took one last look at all the great exhibits and show quilts. Once again a fabulous show and of course lots of friendly and creative quilters!