Saturday, November 8, 2014

Houston International Quilt Festival

Oh  my word!!! One of the things I really really really wanted to do, now that we are back in the Houston area, was to attend IQF with my bestie. I've attended exactly one quilt show in my life, in a small city in Brazil, and it was overwhelming with the amount of vendors and quilts on display.


You would laugh if you saw my photos from that day...the comparison....oh my goodness. Hilarious.

I was struck absolutely speechless when we walked into the hall on Preview Night and saw All.Those.Quilts. Row after row after row, just waiting to be walked through and looked at, ooh'ed and aah'ed over.....oh my word. Speechless. Not a state you'd often associate with me, at all.

We took a brief walk through one section on Preview Night, then went to the vendor hall and Stuff everywhere. Luckily for me, my bestie is a pro. She'd not attended Houston IQF before but has been to Paducah several years, has had a quilt in the Des Moines show, and, well...she knew enough to go through the vendor list on line and decide what booths she wanted to visit, and then direct me immediately to the booth where we could get the show book and find the map and locate said vendors and formulate a plan. Good thing, 'cause otherwise you could wander aimlessly for ages and ages and not find what you wanted.

We spent a few hours on Preview Night, then returned on Saturday morning with a few other friends and spent the entire day, opening to closing. We still didn't see it all.

I can hardly describe the event.....some quilts stopped me in my tracks, from way across the hall. Some left me shaking my head. Some were not my style, but amazed me with their complexity all the same. Color and movement and detail.....oh my goodness.

I learned that I can appreciate the hard work that goes into even the styles that I don't particularly like; seeing some of those up close.....holy cow. Amazing.

I learned that I have a very long way to go to become a truly good quilter, let alone great. Yikes. Inspiring, and intimidating, and amazing, and

I skipped the miniatures, on purpose, because the level of workmanship on the regular sized quilts was making me feel inferior enough. I decided I didn't really want to see that level of awesomeness, in miniature, when I am mediocre at best in full size. Vanity, yes, but as we couldn't see everything anyway, it seemed a logical way to choose what to skip.

I learned I prefer seeing quilts with people, not by myself. We split up to go tour different sections, and I kept wanting to turn and talk to the people gathered around whatever quilt I was looking at. Of course, they were mostly with their friends, so random comments from strangers...not high on their list. After the third or fourth time I did that, I left to go find my bestie and just look at what she was looking at; much more fun that way.

I got to meet a pair of my quilting idols, Alex Anderson & Ricky Tims (as well as his partner Justin Schulz), from The Quilt Show. Ricky was demoing his freestyle feathers......I've watched that on video several times, but seeing it in A lot of what I've learned has been from the DVDs of their on-line quilt show, and from their forums, so it was really fun for me to stop and say hi, watch Ricky sew for a bit and just visit. Starstruck just a tiny bit, yes, but not too much, I think....
Ricky Tims, demoing his feathers

me and Ricky!

me and Justin
I cannot wait to go back. I'm already planning on more days next time, and maybe taking some classes, and my bestie & I have agreed -- annual event, if at all possible. New tradition born this year.

my bestie, and our own Proclomation:
We will repeat this, every year! So proclaimed. 

I am so glad I live close enough to make this happen, every year. I hope my budget can keep up!

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