International Quilt Festival 2012… are you sitting comfortably?

Our room was booked a full year ahead. I paid for classes in July and booked my plane ticket soon after. There were weddings to hold, quilts to be made… even other shows to attend but there was no stopping the countdown. One way or another October 31st had to arrive and sure enough Cheryl arrived bright and a few minutes early last Wednesday morning…

My hat was packed, (my fascinator, aptly entitled bird brained)and I was ready to go!

Our flight was on time, the wi-fi was working and before we knew it we arrived at the Hilton in downtown Houston. There was time for a refreshing nap before preview evening at International Quilt Festival 2012.

You would think that I would have taken some general photos of the show and everything but I didn’t… Just imagine 20 aisles of vendors and a lot, a lot of quilts…

We previewed for around 4 hours Wednesday evening before giving up and retiring to the bar for our first drink and something to eat.

Next morning I was out of bed for a great  3 hour class with Caryl Bryer Fallert on appli-piecing, her very own special technique, formulated to construct her prize winning quilts. We sewed on Bernina 550’s which added to the ease of our stitching. We used monofilament thread top and bottom and the machines had no problems at all. She certainly deserved her 5s on all the assessment sheets I collected in as teacher’s pet. I’m not so sure I earned my pin as there was very little I needed to do.

Lunch followed with Cheryl and some of her Baltimore friends and then another visit to peruse the show. I needed to allow plenty of time to get ready for the IQA annual meeting and Quiltapalooza.

I duly donned my fascinator and set off to join the fun, meeting a new friend on the way. You never need to be lonely at a quilt show. There is always someone willing to chat and share stories with…

The IQA meeting was informative but I have to admit it was the Quiltapalooza we were waiting for. Attending the meeting gave us priority entrance into dinner so we were able to go past the long line, pick up our food and find front row seating before the hoards came in…

The 40 or so entrants in the fascinator contest got a chance to walk down the runway and while the judges compared notes there was opportunity to crown 8 queens in 40 minutes… It seemed like a harmless bit of fun but somehow about half way through I found myself on stage in a white cloak and halo being named Queen of Nice… she never says no!

That’s going to take some living down but the prize was great…

Yes that’s EQ7 and Blockbuilder add-on, patterns, my favorite Bohin products, pink and white Minkee and a paintable canvas!! I’ll be “nice” to nearly anyone for that!

My fascinator wasn’t going to win me another prize after all that but here is a bad picture of the winners ready for one last walk down the catwalk…


Cheryl had been out to dinner so when she got back to the room and saw my winnings we knew we needed to celebrate… in the bar for another drink.

I don’t have a picture of me being crowned but Cyndi dared me to wear my regal costume down to breakfast and of course I obliged, and even posed for a picture…

Do you like the wings? The restaurant staff told me I had brightened their day. It can be fun being goofy once in a while…

I took Quilting as 3rd Design Aspect with Hollis Chatelain on Friday. We had had the same class at least 12 years ago at Riverwalk Quilters Guild when my ability did not quite match my enthusiasm. It was very good to participate in the class again. Lots of good information and ideas to be going on with…

After class we took a shuttle to the Hyatt for the SAQA reception, enjoying the chance to reconnect with old friends and make new ones from the world of art quilting.

On Saturday Cheryl had a class. I took a small bag down to the show floor to better look at the quilts and be able to take some photographs. I happened upon Caryl and one of her quilts in the Art-people, portraits and figures section. It’s called Dancing Through the Blues #2. Now I know how she makes her quilts I have to say it is not a quick process!! She makes dancing look fun. I love the red hair.

I had signed up to sit at the Modern Quilt Guild booth for a stint at noon. They were a sociable three hours and I met lots of people, talking about the Modern Quilt Movement and the aesthetic of modern quilting.

More quilt watching followed and then a quick visit to a new event… Mix ‘n Mingle where we did a little mixing…

I mixed more at the Modern Quilt Meet Up sponsored by the Houston Modern Quilt Guild. Folks there were very welcoming. No pictures of the event itself but the prizes were extremely excellent. Each guest was given a goody bag with either a book or some fabric and coupons for discounts at a variety of on-line quilt stores. I ended up with extra from people who for one reason or another decided they didn’t want their present. (Thank you, you know who you are! I will find good homes for everything!!)

Then there were more door prizes pulled as the night went on… and would you know it? The last ticket pulled was mine… Thank you Floriani for an amazing selection of threads and stabilizers.

Cheryl came back from Gala on the Green and we stayed downstairs socializing with the Craftsy crowd… good job the clocks went back Sunday morning.

All at once, it was our last day…

Cheryl was demoing in Open Studios… Here she is Lighting up her Quilts! There was a nice crowd to see how she does it.

Round the corner Pokey was making Mixed Media Postcards.

The Open Studios were a nice feature this year. They were sponsored by Craftsy who were handing out t-shirts and pins as well as coupons for free classes.

I’ve included some other freebies in this picture, including goodies from Moda and a stack of fabric donated by Michael Miller for volunteers on the MQG booth!

You might be forgiven for thinking  that I seem to have come home with a lot of stuff I didn’t actually pay for and you would be right in your thinking. There was a whole load of other bits and bobs in my suitcase gleaned from various vendors, special events and new friends met in the bar…

Good job  I was a very moderate shopper this year!! Probably no more than a total of 6 yards of fabric including the new, bright Cherrywoods, some packets of Paper Pieces, monofilament thread for a class, pins from PinPeddlars, bookmarks and cards from BDD Creations who are retiring and a subscription to the new magazine Modern Quilting Unlimited.

Everything fitted in my luggage quite nicely and Southwest allow two bags so there was no problem with weight. I discarded the empty shoe box I used to fill out my one suitcase on the outward trip (sneaky?). The cab driver was very chatty but she managed to concentrate on the road long enough to find Hobby airport…

Then another on time flight and a short drive home… thanks Cheryl.

IQF over for another year. I’m ready to sew! I’m looking forward to my trip to Home Ec. in Iowa City on Thursday. I’ve still got some preparation to do. I’ll be busy tomorrow. It’ll be all go in the basement!


  1. Stephanie Rose said:

    Looks like you had an awesome adventure! I LOVE the hat. A beautiful piece of work, as usual.

    November 6, 2012
  2. Joanne said:

    Wow!! Busy weekend!! Looks like you had fun though!

    November 6, 2012

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