Note: My visit to Houston was in November 2018 so these blog posts have sat half written in my drafts for quite a while! Oh well, better late than never...

The Grand Houston Trip!!

For me, the Houston Quilt Show was the show I most wanted to experience. People would describe the amount of quilts being large enough to fill several stadiums and that there were a million shops where every quilt thing you ever wanted would be for sale. Then I would see photos of the amazing quilts in magazines and shared online and wish I could see such amazing quilts in real life..

I always say wishes have a way of coming true, and one day my dream of going to the Houston Quilt Show did came true. In fact it was a whole list of dreams come true rolled into one.
  • Going to Quilt Festival/ Houston Quilt Show
  • Attending the trade show, Quilt Market!
  • Having 3 quilts in the show, 2 were non judged exhibits, 1 was in the judged show.
  • I had been informed that I had won a prize for my quilt!! (oh my golly!)
  • Plus on top of all of that, there were the long wished for dreams of catching up with blog friends, meeting famous quilters, and just travelling overseas which is always an adventure. 

Now I know that a photo of colourful nails is an odd place to start the story but it was when I was sitting and getting my nails done that it began to sink in that I was actually going on the trip.

It's very rare that I get my nails painted but for special occasions its fun to have extra colour. The Houston Quilt Show, now that is the sort of occasion that needs pretty rainbow coloured nails. I picked a fun combinations of colours and it wasn't until after I was home and I looked over at my Chunky Blooms quilt and saw my nails matched rather well. They're obviously my colours.

My travel buddy was Helena. I couldn't have picked a better travel companion. We were on the same wavelength and both had the attitude of taking things as they come, let's do it all and have fun along the way.  

It was a cruisy flight, direct from Sydney. It took about 18 hours or so, but the plane was only half full so we got to stretch out. It didn't seem too long before we'd landed and were saying 
"Hello Houston!!".

We collected our bags and went through customs. We chatted about quilts to the Customs Officer. She told us her mum used to make Yo-Yo quilts. We laughed because I was able to say I had 2 Yo-Yo quilts hanging in the Show. 
Then we boarded the Super Shuttle and headed off to our AirBnb.

We settled into our apartment, Once the quilts were on the beds it felt like home.

There was a huge church across the road. Somehow it felt comforting to have it there watching over our little home away from home.

It started to rain when we arrived so we didn't go for a swim in the rooftop pool.
In fact the rain got heavier and heavier.

We needed to go and buy some groceries and we waited a little while but the rain continued to get even heavier. In the end we said " let's just go, it's just rain" So off we went, splashing through puddles, getting soaked in the rain, watching cars swim by.

It wasn't until the next day that we found out that Houston had been hit by tornados and airplanes had been redirected and delayed. Helena I had been lucky with our flight and we'd walked to the shops in the midst of it all. 

I stopped for a moment to take photos of these pretty blue birds that we later found our were called Grackles, probably for the noise they make. They are such a gorgeous shade of blue.

It's fun to see unusual vegetables at the supermarket.

At night the window of the Church across the road had a giant sacred heart that shone over us each night as we slept. 

The next day was clear and sunny.

Seeing the Texan flag helped remind me where I was.
Also these wonderful murals that are placed throughout the city.

Helena and I walked through the city, enjoying the feeling of stretching our legs after being on a plane the day before. and admiring the sights.

Smile and the world smiles back.

A pretty graffiti heart. A week later I passed by again and the heart had been painted over. 

In the afternoon we picked up our special passes for Quilt Market. We wandered the aisles as people were setting up their stands. And not just people, but all of the big super stars of the quilt world were there with their sleeves rolled up building their stands, assembling furniture, painting sets, doing all sorts of magical things with fabric. I didn't take photos as I felt it would take away from the magic of seeing the finished booths the way they are meant to be seen. 

We did however stop to talk to Julie Silber and admire her antique quilts. Oh my goodness!! The vintage quilts, swooonn!!
This could very well be the most beautiful hexagon quilt i've ever seen. The colours and mix of fabrics are a dream!

The next day was the first day of Quilt Market when they have school house sessions showcasing the newest, and most fabulous fabric ranges, upcoming book releases, new rulers and gadgets.

Helena found my quilt in the Buyer's Guide, promoting the " In the American Tradition" exhibition.

We chose which sessions we wanted to see and the rest of the day was spent being inspired by people talking about their products. In between each session there would be a busy scramble around a maze of corridors to go from room to room.

Here are a few sessions that I enjoyed.

Robyn Ruth has revolutionised Mariner's Compasses with her special rulers. 
Her husband Dave is showing the impressive bundle of circles her rulers can make from small to large.. 

Victoria Findlay Wolfe was talking about her newest range of fabric. 

I was in the front row at this presentation by Jane Davidson and Pat Sloan talking about the Splendid Sampler 2 book. I had designed a block for the book, in fact its right there on the cover under the word "Splendid".

Here are my Around The Corner blocks..

It was wonderful to see the quilts in real life, and to spot my block in each one.

The next school house session was Kaffe talking about his latest book and fabrics. 
Always such beautiful use of colour, simple but very clever quilt designs. He really is a master of design!

And then to top of a fabulous day of amazing presentations it was Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession fame introducing her Stems and Seeds range.

There's my roomie Helena holding up quilts...
And Wendy Williams on the other end. I love how much they are both smiling. It goes to show it was a happy and wonderful show and tell...

In fact I'd say it was bags of fun!

Then Tula Pink came out with her awesome quilts.

At some point during the day I found this carpet. I'm in the photo to show the scale of the pattern, giant big mariners compasses and swirly circles and all sorts of amazing patterns!

What an amazing few days!! but it gets even better so stay tuned for the next part of the Grand Houston Trip.