Thoughts of Houston

International Quilt Festival is on my mind today…my quilt is now in FedEx’s hands and on its way to be judged (πŸŽ‰πŸ˜‰), while I sit here with the (fabulous) new-format 2016 edition of the IQF catalogue (best train reading ever). 

As I read it, I find myself feeling very grateful to be a part of our quilty community! The first time I went to Houston, my friend Clare O’Donohue (whose books you must read if you haven’t) told me, don’t worry, in a couple of years you’ll feel as if you know everyone. While I’m not quite there, it is such a pleasure to read through the faculty pages and see folks who are now my friends. My experience of the quilt world had been one of incredibly kind, generous (and of course insanely talented) people.

So…if you’ve not taken the plunge because the sheer size and scale of the event seems daunting…I say, go for it. For your entertainment, here are my journal entries from 2013, when my adventures really began πŸ™‚ —

June 13th

“Congratulations! Your quilt ‘Neon Kitty’ has been selected for inclusion in the special exhibit Festival Awareness Project 2013…”

Sitting on the train home to Connecticut, I see this email pop into my inbox. Oh. My. God. Houston. Really? My someday-I’ll-go-there dream was coming true. Of course, if my quilt was accepted, I HAVE TO go! The people sitting around me are no doubt startled by my trying-to-be-quiet squeal, followed by a rapid fire text to my (very patient) husband and my best quilting buddy. Only fellow quilters could really understand…

Ok, next….hotel room secured – check…JetBlue flights booked – check.  

June 13-20

And now…to construct the hanging sleeve. Hmm. Ok, read instructions…wonder about that “pleat”…re-read instructions…my, these guidelines are awfully…technical. Perhaps written by the flight engineers at Mission Control? Read again, measure a dozen times, email the (very patient) Special Exhibits folks for clarification. Try to ignore husband who is hugely entertained by the spectacle of his Harvard MBA spouse praying that she doesn’t get disqualified by an illegal hanging sleeve.

Whew. OK, sleeve done…label, check..pack in enough bubble wrap to cover my entire quilt studio….and off my baby goes. Get back to work on Pet Postcards!

July 31

Aha, class catalogue is out, ok here we go. Wow. Lots of classes. LOTS. Huh, no supply lists. Ohhhhh….in the back. Wow, long lists…this will challenge even my ability to NEVER. CHECK. A. BAG. Amazing list of instructors!!! Snag an all-day class with Noriko Endo…lectures with other amazing art quilters…want to take every class. Wonder how much time I should leave to shop? I mean, look at the quilts? So excited…driving spouse nuts as I can’t seem to talk about anything else. Is it October yet?!

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