Houston Wrap-Up (and survival guide)

I have been back for a few days and am barely re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere, I was riding so high after Houston.
First off, I want to say hello to you if you are a new reader to my blog.  Hello!

Second, I know you want the show and tell of the remainder of the shopping I did in Houston.  Here goes!

I adore vintage linens.  I especially love getting a great deal on vintage linens, such as half off!  Two lovely crocheted edge pillowcases and a machine lace linen towel with my maiden name initial on it.

More fabric? Of course, and when it’s as adorable as this, HOW can you pass it up?  Absolutely wonderful Japanese kawaii (cute) characters and those little chubby babies!

I walked past a booth with vintage pincushions at least 10 times.  On Thursday I spotted this lovely porcelain one.  I thought “If it’s there Saturday, I will buy it”.  It was, and it’s now going to have a home in my studio, and will look great when my mini makeover is done.

I love mixed media supplies, and this shade of blue spoke to me.  It’s from Seditious Seraphim, and those ladies are a HOOT and a half.  I loved talking with them.

I go to a lot of tradeshows, and I love blingy things.  This zippery thing is a lanyard for your tradeshow badge! So clever!  I got it from the MistyFuse booth. 


This was by far the best giveaway at the show.  Bernina was giving these away and I made immediate use of it and throughout the entire show.  Water fountains were pretty plentiful in the convention center.
Here are my tips for surviving a big show like Houston:
-Wear the best most comfortable shoes you own that you have at least walked or stood in all day.
-Take lots of breaks.  Plan time in your day for just sitting, like a class or make it/take it, because you need time off your feet.
-Drink lots of fluids!  The convention center is very dry, it’s the conditioned air.  You need extra water….
– …which means you should find out where the bathrooms are.  I suggest the ones on the 3rd floor.  They are the least busy and have little to no lines.  The ones on the show floor were the worst.
-If you don’t like being jostled on the vendor floor, go early or go late.  See the quilts during the busy mid morning to afternoon hours. 
-Decide early if you are going to eat at the convention center or not.  If you are not too pooped, walk out of the convention and seek lunch closeby.  There were fewer lines etc. … BUT t’s not necessarily cheaper.  When I went to the LOUD pants Luncheon, the Chinese buffet we had was about $8 not including tip.  The con center had meals that were about $9.  Save yourself the walk for the extra buck and eat inside the con.  I found the food to be ok, and better than ANY convention center I have been to for a comic book show.  At those shows you survive on soft pretzel and hot dogs.  At the quilt show you could get salads, baked potatoes, stir-fry, or even BBQ sandwiches for $9.  Quilters, you don’t know how good you “got it”!

Read More

Houston – Day 4

All good things must come to an end.  So it was with Houston, and I had to cram all of the crap I bought into my tiny suitcase.  Silly me.

A final look out of my hotel window and I was off to drop off my luggage with the front desk and off to the show for my final Open Studios and last minute shopping. 

Open Studios was once again a fantastic time.  I ran out of business cards right at the end.  Lots of kids, younger quilters, quilt husbands stopped by as the light up quilts caught their eye.  I was again thrilled with the response.  Some of the biggest names in quilting stopped by to say hello and see my work, and for that, I am completely honored and humbled.  I was asked often if I teach, lecture, have kits, or offer artwork for sale.  WOW… And all I have to say is “Yes, stay tuned”.

This is a photo of Holly Holloway, my friend who I met in Chicago at the show this past spring.   She’s a fabulous mixed media artist.   After my visit with her, my Open Studios time was over, and I was off to the SAQA booth.  I had been visited at my Open Studios table by many SAQA members who suggested I check them out and join.  Laura Wasilowski was there and she and Frieda Anderson will be out local SAQA leaders.  She said she had heard some good comments about me during the show, and that made me feel really good. 

Well, after picking up my work from the MistyFuse booth, and saying goodbye to my Quilting Arts friends, I left the Brown Convention Center with a high spirit that I haven’t felt in a long time.  The show was a complete success for me, and I accomplished many things.  I’m formulating my next goals, my next quilts, my next adventure, so I hope you will come along for the ride. 

Read More

Houston – Day 3

Day 3 was so busy that I didn’t get a chance to blog about it until two whole days later?  Yup, it was.  It was all that and a bag of chips.  It was amazing!  It was fantastic.  It was exhausting…  But let’s start at the beginning…

I made sure to have a good breakfast, especially since they were free because of my room mix up.  I ate breakfast with my roomie Amanda and Toni and Teri who joined us.  I know Toni and Amanda from my Baltimore days.

I stopped by the QA booth and Open Studios to see my new friend Enid, who was in my Traci Bautista class the day before.  She has an awesome sticker resist I plan to try later for a Technique of the Week! 

Judy was also there, and I stopped to say hello as well.

The folks at QA invited me to draw on their graffiti wall, where all the cool products were donated by www.ilovetocreate.com, and I obviously had fun drawing something on the wall. Little big?  NAH!!!!

For it being Saturday, the room was pretty easy to walk through.

I have been to many a comic book convention where people dressed up, but have you ever seen quilters in costume?  Me either! What I will say is that I think these two are collectors or just quilt admirers.  They were seen later with a couple of antique quilts in hand when they were leaving the show.

It’s time for LOUD Pants…  Yup, the Loud Pants Luncheon was on Saturday, and here I am ready to meet up with other folks.  I made these pants on Wednesday.

Here is about half the group with our LOUD pants.  I knew my pants weren’t particularly LOUD.  Some of these are cranked up to 11!    I loved it, and we had such a good time.  

After the luncheon, I stopped by the MistyFuse booth to show Iris Karp my pear made out of MistyFuse.  She asked if she could display it in the booth, and I was only too thrilled to let her. (By the way, everyone LOVED that shirt. I heard many people make comments about it.  I got it from Craftster.com)

Time for OPEN STUDIOS!  OMGPONIES!!!1!!1  I had such a wonderful time demoing for folks and showing off my newest creations.  I gave away about 3/4 of my brand new Moo cards.  I had people say “Amazing”, “So cool!”, and “You must be an engineer!”.  The larger pieces were a huge hit.  The EL Wire jelly fish really drew people in.  I’m so thrilled for the response.

My friends Toni and Teri stopped by!

Then it’s time for Surviving the Runway!  This is an event that Quilting Arts/Make It University does for every IQA show.  You put your name in the fishbowl to try to get picked to participate.  It’s so much fun.  I watched and took some photos from the sidelines this year, but I have had a fun time in the past.

Melanie Testa was there in her inimitable style and form.  She’s so wonderful.  That’s Leslie Jenison and Lindsey Murray in the background, who were having a great time helping the participants.   They are such sweet people.

The judges!  You couldn’t ask for a more creative group of people!  All this amazing creativity in one place!!! That’s Melanie Testa, Judy Perez, Jane LaFazio, Leslie Jenison, and Jamie Fingal.

Pokey Bolton is in motion at all times, and I have to say that this is the most non-blurry picture I got of her!  She’s announcing the winners.

After that, Gala on the Green!  Or rather, Gala in the Ballroom, because the weather outside was very chilly.  I sat at a great table full of new friends, including Heidi Lund, Candy, Linda, Maggie, and June!  

The band was hard to capture on this new fangled camera.  Oh how I wish any of the pictures of the Quilting Arts bunch and I dancing came out.  They would be too embarrasing to show anyway.  Let’s just say that Judy Perez, Helen Gregory, Melly Testa, Pokey Bolton, Lindsey Murray, Jamie Fingal, and I tore that place up! If I could learnt o post video, I took some video of an “interpretive dance” that’s quite hysterical.

Sadly, I had to leave close to the end of the Gala to catch the shuttle back to my hotel.  I said my goodbyes to Judy and Melly who were leaving the next morning, and wished everyone a goodnight.

Amanda and I hit the hotel bar for a couple of these to end a really perfect day.

Read More

Houston – Day Two

Yes, you can hear a fire alarm through earplugs.  I found this out at midnight last evening when the fire alarm was sounded in our hotel, only to have several all clear messages blasted through the building.  That made 6 am arrive way too early!

Off to Festival, and the day I took a class!  I will admit being in an all day class leaves little for photos, my dear readers, but I tried!

I took a class with the wonderful Traci Bautista called the Spilling Canvas. 

First we sprayed fabric paints and doodled on it. 

Then we doodled some more. 

It was a fun class and Traci is so wonderful.

At lunch, I toured the quilt show part of it.  As much as I would like to post photos of the quilts here, I do not have the names of all of the artists, so I will respect their copyright and not post them.  

Not to mention I am still learning my camera’s functions and they mostly turned out crappy. I did ask someone to take this for me…

I returned from lunch to go back to class.  Did you know I am afraid of escalators?  Well, not really phobic, but at least 3-4 steps will roll by before i can bring myself to step on.  They just creep me out.

After class I went to the Art Quilt Reception, and I met some wonderful art ladies and had a really nice time. So many artists: Robbi Eklow, Jamie Fingal, Judy Coates Perez, Pokey Bolton, Lois Jarvis, and so many more that I can’t type them all. A couple of glasses of this helped me get ready for show and tell.

At which I generally giggled TOO much and was WAY TOO NERVOUS for what I was doing, but I showed my new light up quilts (the ones from the gallery) to positive reviews and got to plug my Open Studios appearance.  I’m very pleased.  

We mingled and it was all very nice.

Then my roomie Amanda and I went out for dinner and more of this.

At which point I’m super exhausted and now getting ready to sleep.  Tomorrow is another BIG day, with the high attendance day of the show and my Open Studios appearance.  I’m so excited.

Read More

Houston – Day One

I am super excited to be at the big show, here in Houston. There’s so much to tell you… there’s so much to show you!  Let me begin…
I was up wayyyy too early to get on my plane to Houston.  I love flying over Chicago at night, but when you leave so early that it’s still dark out?

My camera broke the day before the show, so I bought a new one yesterday and I am still trying to figure it out.  Sorry that some of the pictures are blurry.
I arrived and didn’t have a hotel room yet, so I dropped off my luggage and was off to see the show.

The vendor area is enormous.  The booths are spectacular.  Having only been to the Chicago version of this show is like the Sadie Hawkins Dance versus Prom.  I’m definitely at quilt prom.

I stopped by the Quilting Arts booth to say hello to my buddies and scope out the Open studios section.   Look at this!

Look at this close up! My name in lights.  Well, not quite.

The QA booth is awesome as always, and my little “10” postcard is even hanging on the wall!  Awww, isn’t it cute there?

The show floor was typical IQA show floor, and it’s THURSDAY.  Which means if you don’t like getting stopped, bumped, banged with a bag or scooter by now, then Saturday should be this times 1000.
I did take a class today too, because I’m just silly that way and have to put everything possible into one day.  It was a mixed Media Miscellany class that was with 15+ teachers and you went around the room spending a few minutes with each one.  I learned some neat stuff, including a thing I HAVE to try with Sharpie markers.  Judy Coates Perez had a jumping table that was always full of students.

I was duly separated from my money in a prompt way… so let’s do Show and Tell!

It’s not an IQA show without a new issue of Quilt Scene.  I’m on the Quilt Scene, are you?

Thread is like candy.  Expensive, addictive candy that cost $7 a piece.  Those packs are a show floor special.  $10 for 2!

My love for Cherrywood fabric knows no bounds.  I only wish I could cut it up.  Worse, they have a line of thread now.  That’s my wallet gasping.

This is some kind of discharge paste/colorant.  I don’t know fully WHAT it does, I just know I had to have it.

Ah, miscellany… I love anything Japanese, and the first thing I bought was this banner of the 7 Gods as cats.  Kawaii!  The Dresden came from my class that I took today. When you find hankies with your name on them, you should buy them.  And as an avid hankie user (really… I have tissues at home for guests and the husband…I rarely use them) I thought they were too cool.

So that’s only Day One!  The Hyatt almost didn’t have a room for me and the buddy from Baltimore who is staying with me, but it all got straightened out.  I’m tired, hungry, and giddy all at the same time.  My friend should be landing shortly and we’re going to scrounge for food and I have to go to bed so I can do all of this all over again tomorrow! 

Read More