|Houston: a little sewing and the really big show!
||[Nov. 7th, 2010|09:49 pm]
So the photo today is about half of the total number of blocks for the current Sea and Shore quilt. Only 80-mumble more to go. The sashing that goes along with these blocks gives a sort of nine patch effect at the corners, so that’s getting worked on too as leader-enders to the blocks. Hopefully if this week goes well, next week I will be able to post pictures of the fun part: actually laying the blocks out and arranging them in pleasing combinations. This past week there wasn’t too much sewing happening, but it was for a good reason, as our travels took us to Houston and the IQA quilt festival.
We didn’t expect to be able to come to Houston this year. We looked into it, but our big winter trip had already eaten the budget and we had other plans. So it came as a surprise to me when our planned route through Texas, diving into the southern region and back north again, took us right past Houston at the right time for us to be able to go to the show. Well, me, at least. J had a training class come up and had to fly to Boston for three days, which was another good reason for us to be in Houston with the convenient airport and all. J and I do not love quilt shows on the same level, so it’s always a good thing when he can honestly say: “Aww, honey, I can’t go to the show with you, I have to work,” which is usually what he does say and mostly it’s true.
P did go with me, and I was really pleased with how the IQA handled tickets to preview night, in that buying a ticket for the preview event got you a standard admission on any other day of the show. That was great. It meant that we could go on a less crowded night, with fewer hours available so that I wouldn’t feel like I had to leave early (and waste time that could be spent seeing the show!) just because P was done early. But if he turned out to be a bigger fan than I thought, we could both go another day, too. Win-win. We got into town just before 7 pm, and I was startled to find that the supposed reasonable parking lots all had signs saying “Event Parking” and showing prices two or three times what I had been led to expect. Ouch! We passed by the $20 parking and found a lot charging $15, where the attendant very nicely guided me into a good space for the big truck. (It’s great to be in Texas, where you can actually park a dually downtown.) On the walk to the show, a guy on the corner was asking if anyone had spare tickets. I didn’t think they would resort to scalpers and outrageous parking fees for a quilt show; must be a bigger deal than I thought. It was only after we got home that I realized that the arena was right next to the convention center and there was a basketball game starting at 7:30 that night. I wonder what the gentleman looking for tickets would have done if I had actually produced an extra ticket... to the quilt show.
The show itself was great. I meandered around looking for the Baltimore Album display which was the especial reason I had wanted to go to this year’s International Quilt Festival. That proved to be a lovely exhibit, with many quilts I had not seen before, though my favorite remains the “By the Bay” quilt with the maiden taking time off to go fishing in the center medallion. After that exhibit, I went looking for Nancy Kern’s quilt, which was supposed to be in the juried show. It wasn’t in with the traditional appliqué, it wasn’t in the special exhibit… It wasn’t until I rounded the corner and saw the quilts right up front that I saw it. It was in pride of place as the winner of the Founder’s Award! (YAY!) The top three awards at this show are Best of Show, the Founder’s Award, and the World of Beauty Award, so it was really thrilling to see her beautiful Baltimore Album in that company.
Sharon Schamber’s Mystique won Best of Show. It was exquisitely quilted, and had inset cording intricately lacing the sections of the quilt together. To be honest, I didn’t like it quite as much as her earlier work; that latticed cording just isn’t my thing, I suspect.
P enjoyed the show on the preview night and so did I, and as I’d thought that was just the right amount of time for him. It took me all day Thursday and Friday (when the parking was much more reasonable) to go through the rest of the show exhibits and the vendors. The show was fabulous; I especially enjoyed the juried entries, which started at great and went up from there. And it was HUGE; two days and a bit barely sufficed to see the whole thing, and my dogs were surely barking at the end of each day. As is traditional, the vendors area cost me too much; I was lured, lured! by the artful arrangements of fat quarters at more than one stall. And how could I pass up a book presented by the author herself? Not to mention the bead seller with the beautifully carved netsuke-like baubles. The vendors were all pleasant and eager to deal; anyone who was out of stock of an item volunteered to ship it free, so there’s a book and a warming pad on the way by mail.
All in all it was a great time; I was really glad our schedule changes allowed me to attend. It will definitely go on my preferred trips list going forward! Also as usual, going to the show has inspired me with a few project ideas, some old and some new. It’s as good for that as Judy Laquidara’s Design Wall Monday; head on over and get inspired with what everyone is working on this week!