Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Houston 2008

I was lucky enough to go to the Houston Quilt Market and Festival last year, and with all the current chatter and excitement about the Houston 2009 Festival, I wanted to share with you just a few of the highlights of our trip including some of my favorite quilts from the exhibition.

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.

More talented quilters:

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 Quilting


  1. What fantastic memories! We'll all have to save our pennies, think twice about fabric purchases and try and save up for the next one!

  2. Thanks for letting me be there, in spirit, for just a little while! Your quilts always inspire and encourage me and I'm often jealous I don't have the quilting mojo you have...I think it's the glasses...they're too cool!

  3. I want to go ... NOW!!!!!
    Maybe next year .... or even the year after that?!?

  4. Glad to hear you had a good time. I am from Houston and never attended while we lived there. I wasn't into quilts and sewing then.

  5. wonderful quilts and that was good to have the hotel next door with the walk way. I will remember that for if I ever go!

  6. One fine day I shall attend the Quilt Festival! That last quilt with the houses is simply breathtaking.

  7. What a wonderful trip! Thank you for sharing some of the details and quilts with us! I hope to be able to go one day.

  8. What a wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing it. How great that you could travel with your MIL! I live close to LA, and I'm a beginning quilter, but I'm thinking about going next year, it sounds fabulous.

  9. Wow...that looks like it was a fabulous trip!! Our LQS owner is there now, she'll have a sales booth there and is going to look around to see what she wants to order for her shop. I can't wait til she gets back and regals us with her adventures!:)

    I'm new to all thise quilting and I never even knew there was such a thing as these huge quilt shows...boy, they look like great fun and loads of inspiration!! I can't believe some of your pictures are really quilts....by the way, what do you mean by a foundation quilt?

  10. It sounds like you and your MIL had a fantastic time...def on my list of things to do!!

  11. Thank you for taking us on this short trip to Houston, sharing your experience. It does sound wonderful. Maybe one day?

  12. Hi there, you've been awarded 'One Lovely Blog Award'. To accept please go here http://martinamasini.blogspot.com/2009/10/my-first-blog-award.html

    Thank you.

  13. A trip down memory lane, how wonderful. I loved seeing the photos. I'm loving the last quilt, there's so much to look at in it.

  14. I've been there once, as well, I believe it was 2007. Fabulous time, very tiring, but I wouldn't trade it for anything...

  15. It sounds like Houston is the place to be right now. Next year I was planning to go to Paducah, maybe the following year I will do Houston. What about MQX? I want to go to that too! Oh the decisions. Steph


Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! I really appreciate it.

Comments are published after review.

Feel free to ask questions and I will answer either here or by email, as is appropriate.