Party like a Rock Star!

I had an amazing weekend at the IQA Chicago quilt festival. Lots of cool things happened, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I spent each day at the show until it ended, so I had little time to “live blog” the show like last year, but here are the highlights! (Pictures from the hallways leaving the show, because I hate posts without pictures.)
Thursday: I spent the day in a full day class with Maggie Wiess on Thermofax screen printing. It was great fun, and I think Thermofax screening is right up my alley. While I love my Gocco, the supplies are getting more and more expensive, and hard to find. Thermofax printing is similar enough, and there are enough services out there to provide me screens without buying the machine that I can make use of it. I can’t wait to finish my project from class. After class, the show floor opened, and I walked the floor, spent money, and took a Make It University class on Little Windows resin. When Pokey Bolton called my name, she said “Oh I know her!” and even gave me a little hug. Wow!

Friday: Bright and early I got to the show and took the Embellishment Know How seminar, which was about 8-9 demos on embellishing your work. Afterwards, I had lunch with Steff and Catherine, and did some shopping with Steff. I made it through the whole vendor area, and had some time for some of the quilts. The Art Quilt reception was Friday evening, and Steff and I attended. I made a tiara last year that I didn’t wear because I could not stay, but entered the “tiara parade” this time. Now, style counts, so I entered as the “queen of mean” and my skull pendant on my tiara even has a crown on it. Instead of a Miss America wave, I threw up the “heavy metal” horns and rocked down the aisle. Well, I guess this paid off, I was a runner up! Best of all, my co-runner up was none other than Melanie Testa, and we chatted for a bit and really hit it off. We also got a chance to speak with Karey Bresenhan, Bonnie McCaffrey, Laura Krasinski, Maggie Weiss, and many others! Melanie, Bonnie, Steff, Catherine and I went to dinner. Bonnie even taped us doing our “Shopping Show and Tell” for one of her video podcasts!

Saturday: Wow, how could you top yesterday? By hanging out with Melanie Testa for a portion of the day, that’s how! I took her MIU class first thing, and we shopped a couple of booths and looked at some of the quilts afterwards. My friend Amanda and her friend were visiting the show from Baltimore, so I went to lunch with them, and then got to hang out with Melanie a bit more. It was really good to get her perspective on art quilting, and her story on how things in the art quilting wold are going. It gave me a lot to think about. At that point, it was time for Surviving the Runway. It’s was an 80’s Prom theme, and I made my Prom Queen tiara in ridiculous over to top fashion. I am sure You Tube Videos will surface. It was silly, and lots of fun. I didn’t win, but had a great time with everyone. Bonnie McCaffery even gave me some sideline help. So fun!

Sunday: I got to sleep in a little bit (one extra hour). Arriving at the show at the opening, I did the last of my shopping, and got a call from Steff, who was there shopping with our friend Pika. We all took the “good girl Doll” class from Debbie Crane at MIU, did some more shopping, and took one last gander at the quilts. I spent literally my last dollar saved for the show, a grand total of almost $700 spent on the show overall. It was an amazing time. I felt like I really was part of the “it crowd”, and was a bit of the MIU groupie, but had a fantastic time, and can’t wait to see the shak out of the many things I discussed with everyone.

I’ll post my “Show and tell” things I bought on the next post!!

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International Quilt Festival Chicago -Day 3

This morning came bright and early and I was off to the show before you know it. Traffic to the show was much lighter, though it has not stopped raining. I get there and parkin a good spot in the garage. It’s 8:20 am.

I head to the Education Office because I am the “Teacher’s Pet” for this morning’s class on foiling on fabric. Tricia, our instructor, doesn’t like the term “teacher’s pet” so I was the classrom “cat”. Despite the upsetting events at the end of the class (see previous post for the long winded story), I did enjoy the class very much, and Tricia was wonderful and I enjoyed her presence very much. She is a reverend and a spiritual healer, and I think her energy in this area helped me get over what happened and be able to get on with my day. I helped clean up and returned my materials to the education office and recieved my pin for a job well done.
As I walked to the show, I was in shock over how many people seemed to be pouring in. It was amazing. But, there is also a fashion accessory show going on int he same hall as the quilt show, so many of these folks were there for that. I can only imagine what parking was like after 10 am when both shows opened…
Anyway, once I was in, it was not as bad as I had thought. The quilt area was populated about like so:

So, I was able to the entire quilt area in about 2 hours, except for the small journal quilts, which I am saving for tomorrow. I read a lot of the current 2007 journal quilt artist’s statements, so that took the longest. While there are amazing works in the show, it seemed like there are fewer than before, and I mean about the larger works, the bed sized quilts, as it were. Could be my perception though.
I ran into a fellow guild member in the bathroom, of all places.

I ate some lunch and walked to floor a bit more too. The floor was not as jam packed as I expected, so either a lot of people were eating lunch, or the busses of tour groups had left. It mainly looked like this:

I ran into Bonnie McCaffery again. I met Beryl Taylor at the Quilting Arts booth. At this point, I resume my aisle walking and complete the circuit. I shop again at a few booths that I wanted to go back to, but for the most part, my shopping excusion is done. In a separate post, I will do Show and Tell of my shopping treasures. The floor was still frustratingly slow paced, especially when the folks in front of you stop abruptly because something caught their eye. I found a seat and people watched for quite a while, but in the end decided to cut out before the floor closed in order to do some errands at home. While I sat there, I came up with new show floor rules:
1. Like driving, walk on the right side of the aisle, and let the people on the left flow in the other direction. You slow everyone down by “swimming upstream”.
2. If you see something in a booth that catches your eye, be courteous to the people behind you and step into that booth and out of the flow of traffic.
3. This should be a given, but do not take pictures of the quilts at the booths. Ugh.
4. While some bumping is inevitable, there’s no reson to be intentional.
5. Say “excuse me” if you want to get past someone, and acknowlege someone else’s plea to be excused in some way that lets them know you heard them.
So those are my rules. There could be so many others, but this would help immensely.
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International Quilt Festival Chicago- Day 1

I should have thought of this sooner, I don’t know why no one is “blogging” the show. I will do a much better job on this next time, maybe even wi-fi it from the show floor.

Anyways, Day one:
I participated in the Thursday Luncheon “Surviving the Runway”, in which I met a lovely group of ladies, of whose names I am poor at remembering, but who all have this blog and website address and should feel free to email me. The challenge was to design an outfit for our model, who could potentially win a BabyLock Embellisher machine! Well, we danced, we laughed, we designed, and we crafted, and the lone picture of our design is this:
Ok, you had to be there. The mask had a beak on it that flapped up and down when our lovely model Lea shook her head. Yes, we used the tablecloth to wrap her in. Yes, it was ridiculous. Well, WE WON! We all got bags of paint, trims, batting, and a rubbing plate, and our model won the Embellisher! It was a thrill to start off the entire show. I took ephemera scraps for a “recycled” weekly quilt…

Afterwards, I was chilling out to some vidcasts on my iPod before the show floor opened. Well, as I am watching Bonnie McCaffery on the iPod, I look up to see her walking RIGHT TOWARDS ME. I did a doubletake to her face on the screen…it was like out of a movie. I opened my mouth to say something… . Nothing. I couldn’t bring myself to squawk her name out. Darn! I missed a great chance!

Next, the vendors on the show floor, and nothing I can say will do it justice. I will take pictures tomorrow. While I hear Houston is larger, this show tired my 35 year old butt out.

After about an hour and a half, I’m very tired, so I check to see if I can get into a Quilting Arts Make It University class. The deal is this: you put your name into a fishbowl. Only 25 can get in. If you put your name in twice and get caught, BUSTED! You can’t be in it. Once in, the class costs a whopping $10. It’s a great deal, and you have a good chance of being in the class on Preview night. I put my name in, and was called by the effervescent Patricia “Pokey” Bolton. As she calls my name, get this! She says, “I know your name from my blog”. OMG!! PONIES! She knows my NAME??? Besides being called for the class, I could die just from that and be a happy woman. I am able to bring myself to sit, and I am so glad to be off my feet. I make this:

Not wanting to miss another opportunity to meet someone, and after blowing my chance with Bonnie McCaffery, I stop to say hello to Pokey and tell her how she made my day. We chatted ever so briefly per these rules, and off I stumble home.

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