My mother-in-law (MIL) and I set off on 23 October last year for our almost 2 week adventure. After a long flight to LA, an extended stop-over at the LA airport due to a toilet malfunction, another stop-over in Denver (which is not exactly on the way Houston - note to self: get a direct flight LA to Houston!!) we arrived in Houston very very late at night exhausted but also excited to be there.
The view from our hotel - The George R Brown Convention Center
With some luck on our side we managed to score ourselves some excellent accommodation at the Downtown Houston Crowne Plaza which has a walk-bridge across to the George R Brown Convention Center. This is a fantastic location, as you can walk back and forth to the Festival for a lunch break, dropping off purchases, resting tired legs, and nanna naps. We were also moved up to the executive suites (did we mind?) which included breakfast and evening supper!
Hypnotic Hypotenuse by Maria Shell (Anchorage - Alaska)
My MIL and I are great travel and quilt festival companions. We both like to wander the aisles, but like to do so on at our own pace. We used to meet up at pre-determined intervals for coffee and lunch breaks, shop at the festival booths on our own, but repeatedly browse through the quilt exhibition together.
Capturing the Eye by Inge Mardal & Steen Hougs (Chantilly - France)
Wholecloth painted, free motion quilted
The quilts were amazing and we both took many pictures. Here are two of my favorite foundation pieced Mariner's Compasses:
Seaside Fireworks by Fumie Sasaki
Mission: Impossible by Kumiko Frydl
This is a mini quilt - I don't have the correct measurements but it surely is not bigger than a 24 inch square! The pieces are minuscule, all the points are amazingly sharp!
I also met Kaffe Fassett and Liza Prior Lucy, both great color and quilt artists who have been a great inspiration right throughout my quilting journey.
Seasonal Sisters by Gail Thomas, Annette Hendricks, and Helen Goddon
We also attended lectures by Paula Nadelstern and Philippa Naylor, and stood in awe as we watched Philippa demonstrate some of her amazing free motion quilting.
Flower Power by Philippa Naylor (East Yorkshire, UK)
Best Machine Artistry at the 2008 Houston Quilt Festival
We felt very comfortable and safe in Houston, traveled on the local bus together, ventured out on a quilt shop trip, and walked the Downtown Houston streets late in the evening. We soon learned the local lingo, to wear comfortable shoes, and that organized bus tours are just not our thing, even if they are only for one day.
The Global Village by Bozema Woitaszek (Lodz - Poland)
Despite the fact that the economy and exchange rate were crashing around us, and that attendance was down, we had an amazing time. Would we go again? Without any doubt or hesitation, we would be back on that plane tomorrow if we could. It was an experience of a lifetime, the Quilt Festival is like no other, there are so many booths all with fabrics, patterns and notions, but most of all inspiration. To be surrounded by so many creative and like-minded people was bliss. I certainly hope that if you get the chance to go to Houston, that your experience is as rewarding and enjoyable as mine!
Seaside Fireworks by Fumie Sasaki (Miyagi - Japan)
Hand piecing, Applique and QuiltingRita