I am always on pins and needles this time of year and that’s kind of funny since I’m talking about the Houston Quilt Festival! If you have never attended this EVENT in Houston – it is quite amazing and gargantuan and full of eye candy and inspiration for those that love fabric. Its not just for quilters! I have sewn quilts but I am not an avid quilter – don’t laugh but I get flustered at the thought of cutting fabric into small pieces just to sew it all back together and make one big piece of fabric. I’m not into the process to do myself, but HOLY SMOKES am I into appreciating the talent of those that have a true gift for creating gorgeous art using fabric.
So you’re probably thinking “if she doesn’t quilt what does she do there?” First, I already mentioned all the eye candy – and I’m not just talking about the exhibition area which I have yet to see everything that is there each year! The vendor area is HUGE – the George R Brown Convention center is like the size of 8 football fields and there are over 22 rows of vendor booths. This is THE show to go to and see new products, gizmos, materials, related to the sewing industry. And we’re not just talking about threads, needles and stabilizers – this is where I got to see the Silhouette, Brother ScanNCut and Sizzix fabric cutter machines! Crystals, buttons and embellishments! Printed patterns and actual samples sew of those patterns “in real life”. Sure Instagram and Facebook are great but WOW to see the items come alive and sometimes you can even talk to the designer to get their tips and tricks! All the home machine brands will be there and of course they have their embroidery models! And if you are looking for a deal on a new machine – the class room machines are usually available for a great discount after being checked out and reboxed
So I mentioned class room machines….yes, that’s what I’m doing there 🙂 I am teaching two classes this year on Wednesday before the show officially opens (#356 & #384). Those that take classes on Wednesday can go to preview night with the vendors where you won’t be completely mobbed by those that love to sew. Since I am not working a booth this year at Festival, I plan to use Preview night to make my plan of attack for the next two days. Yes, I am normally working a booth during Festival so I never get to walk the show. This year I have free time to see more than the booths on the way to the ladies room AND I might even sign up to take a class!
Since I’m working on my class notes and streamlining the projects I’m teaching now – always need to start early so I’m not stressing last minute – you may get some sneak peaks of step outs and work in process 🙂 I teach hands on machine embroidery with the Silk Experience- we’re doing in the hoop silk flowers and an embroidered silk scarf this year – two classes back to back for someone that just wants to hang out with me all day 🙂 The students will learn all about how to stabilize, choose designs, needles and materials, and get to use silk thread and fabric to embroider these scrumptious materials. You can find a link to Wednesday’s classes here. If you have never embroidered silk OR you are afraid of embroidering it because it’s so darn expensive and you don’t want to muck it up – this is a perfect way to test the waters and see if it is something you want to do more of. No need to invest in any fancy materials – the kit fee includes everything you need. Plus you may get to use a different brand or model of machine AND get instructions tips and tricks for threading hooping, sewing, etc
So if you live in the Houston area and have never been to the Quilt Festival – think about making a day trip and checking it out. And if you’re not from the Houston area – you will NOT be alone! Over 60,000 sewists from around the world attend this event every year and it is growing thanks to organizations such as the Modern Quilt Guild and The BadAss Quilter’s Society. I love to meet up with the groups that come in from Australia each year – YES they plan their holiday around this event that’s how fantastic it is for anyone that appreciates fabric. I’m not making this up! Check out the Quilts website and Facebook page – and who knows! Maybe I will see you there!