This past November, I was fortunate enough to be able to go to the International Quilt Festival in Houston. I decided I was going to go several months before and just sort of informed my husband that I was going to fly out of Tyler to Houston on one of the little puddle jumpers and stay in a downtown hotel near the convention center. I think I freaked him out a bit. The last time I went on a trip without him was about 16 years ago and it was to present a research paper in Philadelphia. Although, he goes on trips to Disney World by himself every year or so. The reason he goes by himself is because my son and I are so freakin' sick of Disney and all things related to Disney that we just refuse to go at this point. (Believe me, we've been enough to last a lifetime!) But as I've mentioned before, he's addicted much like I'm addicted to fabric.
Anyhoo, once he realized I was serious about going, he decided to go with me. I think he was afraid that with my illnesses and all the meds I'm on, I would just pass out in the street or something.
So, we drove down there - it's only 4 hours by car and about 45 minutes by puddle jumper. We stayed in a downtown hotel about 6 blocks from the convention center. It took about 10 minutes to walk it. We went on Thursday and came back Sunday afternoon so I had 2 whole days there and the half day Sunday.
I signed up to take 4 classes which were great and I really learned a lot. The instructors were awesome. All of the quilts entered for competition were amazing. But what truly made it the happiest place on earth was the vendor area. OMG. It was like being in heaven completely surrounded by fabric, notions, gee gaws and doo dads. I'm breathless just thinking about it.
Here are some pics of my loot:
It's kind of piled on top of one another and you can't tell what most of it is but let me just say, it's a huge pile of awesomeness. Sigh.
To commemorate my first Houston quilt show ever, I decided I had to have a handmade tote. So, I spent a couple of days right before we were to leave, making this one. I looked up simple totes on google and let me tell you, there are a lot of tutorials. I don't remember which ones I looked at but basically, I just got the general idea from them and then just winged it.
I used about 5 different fat quarters to make it cute and then lined it with red Ta Dot fabric from Michael Miller. I also embroideried my name on it with my new Brother embroidery machine. It's a really big tote and it carries a lot of stuff.
This is the back. Pretty huh?
Locally, we have a really good quilt show put on by the East Texas Quilters Quild (which I'm looking forward to in the spring!) But it's nothing like the Houston show. There were some ladies from other states staying at our hotel and they all said that the Houston show spoils you for all other shows. I had a great time and I'm looking forward to the 2013 show :)