Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Trip to Quilt Market in Houston

Finally!  I get to share a recap of Houston International Quilt Market 1 week ago.  Due to some "technical difficulties" I couldn't get this written and posted while I was there, but I did get some pictures for you.  I actually did write a post but it vaporized into thin air.  Once we got home Tuesday, I was right back in the middle of homelife without time to put my thinking cap on to write.

International Quilt Market is a trade show for everything about sewing and quilting.  It is only open to people "in the business" in one way or another.  It is followed by a quilt show and marketplace for the general public.  From machines to fabric to tools and gadgets, this is the place to be to keep up with the constantly changing ideas in the business.  There are also classes and seminars for shop owners to learn and discuss ways to make our stores better places for customers.  And there is a lot of networking and connecting going on at the same time.  There are hundreds of vendor booths in the convention center.  We spent 3 full days on our feet, walking up and down the aisles to find the latest and greatest for Bear Patch.  
And when it was done, we felt like we hadn't had enough time to see it all.

Now, to review:
We stayed at the Magnolia Hotel in downtown Houston, within walking distance of the convention center.  It was a few blocks, but doable, plus Debbie was counting her steps so we needed to get the total boosted.  These pretty colored lights were hanging in the hotel lobby.

Here's a look at some new tools and templates for miniatures of traditional blocks.  Miniaturization seems to be a big trend, possibly less here in the midwest than in other locations, but still a popular technique.  I put that business card in there to show you the tininess of this sample.  (Is that a word?)

I even got to sit down and sew a couple of seams under the guidance of Darlene Zimmerman in the EZ Quilting booth.  Many of the makers and distributors of sewing notions partner with real live quilters to develop and promote their products.  Darlene has several specialty rulers and templates with the EZ Quilting label.  And since she's a Minnesota quilter, we always are glad to see her!

The little seam I sewed above goes into the quilt below.  I didn't get very far, just enough to know that it is easy to sew this curve without pins.  Become liberated and sew without pins!

 We paused at the booth of Whirligig patterns, also a Minnesota connection!  

Since I had just finished teaching an English Paper Piecing class (Paper Pizzazz) with much smaller pieces, I was interested in this quilt called Hump Day.  These clamshell pieces are about 5.5" across and are machine sewn.

Whirligig has another pattern called Full Moon Rising which I have seen done in dark colors, but when I saw it in these pretty light prints I said to myself, "Self, what a good idea to go to the light."  Would love to use some of our pretty Art Gallery fabrics at the store to make this.

Full Moon Rising

 We found a new-to-us company, Lumenaris, supplying kits for wool applique.  We did some picking and choosing of just the right things to stock at the shop.  These are going to be a great addition to our selection of wool supplies.  The boxed kit contains the precut wool felt pieces, thread, directions and even a needle, I think.  I picked one ornament kit to carry home with me and I opened it up and started stitching right away.  Then I checked my sister's blog, and found out she was one step ahead of me!  Since she is way out there in California (probably still hoarse from cheering for the Giants), I can only say that it must be in the blood!

So that's the beginning and I will continue to add more pictures and information in the next few days.

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