Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Houston, we have a problem...

Last week was the International Quilt Festival! 
Quilters travel to Houston, TX from all over  the world to share their passion! 

luggage carousel welcoming us for IQF

Last year my week was jam packed and seemed to fly by "seamless"ly.
This year was different...
It had its highs and lows, 
It's excitements... 
and its frustrations. 

I was envious of the excitement of all the first timers... (proudly wearing their first time at festival show ribbons), dazed by the inspiring displays, and seductive shopping! Their widened eyes taking in every angle... and not knowing where to look next. 

I tried to borrow some of their energy & enthusiasm since sleep deprivation had left mine lacking.
But try with all my might...
It was just different for me this year.
I was alone... and in a convention center full of tens of thousands of people- it was a hard feeling to shake.

Prepping was harder this year because I have been so busy in my life elsewhere.
Some of the fabrics were overly specific and hard to locate. 
But I finally got them all prepped... packed... & thankfully all my bags arrived in tact in Houston. 
And then, opening night of festival- I zoomed through the vendor area to buy the last few fabrics I needed but could not locate locally.

So, what of the supplies & all my prep?

Each bag contained everything prepped 
on the workshop supply list

One workshop teacher prepared full kits for each of us and said there had been an "error" in the festival printed supply list!
Another brought the flesh colored fabrics I had searched hardest for along with her to share with us all- because she knew they are always hard to come by! 
And the third admitted she had told us to bring far more fabric than we would need so we would have choices.

Don't waste my shopping space!!!

We put the selfie puzzle together with freezer paper...
mix & matching reformatted pattern pieces...
and personalizing all we could 

stitch in the ditch... putting it all together

Ready for quilting!

My Whimsical Selfie Quilt created in workshop
displayed with Laurie Ceesay

I am especially proud of my eyes!!!

Pattern traced on to Steam-A-Seam-2
Individual pieces traced on to freezer paper and 
placed on adhesive over their assigned number

flower builds from inside out,
 as petal numbers increase & I slowly swap out fabrics

My Prismatic Flower created 
in my workshop with Barbara Olson---
to be continued

 Cute little project...
cute kit full of stuff I gathered for no apparent reason... (oh wait: it was on the supply list!)
for so little coffee!!!

Cutting the Main Fabric for Paper Piecing Foundation Piecing:
          M= Measure Width & Height
          A= Add an inch to each measurement
          C= Cut this size for each piece the same size
Different Rules for Different Shapes
          M= Measure longest side of the background triangle 
          A= add two inches
          C= Cut a square that measures 2" longer than the longest sides. CUT THE SQUARE IN HALF AT THE DIAGONAL.
          Do it again (or) Done = PTSD!!!!
Little Goose, Fly Away 🏡 Home with Gail Garber

An amazing collection of original quilts by Gail Garber... 
each with their own story tell.

and 6 hours later: MY TREE!
Looking like something right off the page of a Dr. Zeus book!!!

Curved Flying Geese 
forming a tree against sky

There were many stunning quilts & exhibits on display... most of my pics were out of focus  or don't do them justice. Thankfully, lots of other folks have posted their amazing images on line. One thing I was excited to see back in Houston was a quilt from the NASA Astronomical exhibit.

NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg 
displayed beside traveling Astronomical Quilts 

The Astronomical Quilts came together as a result of a collaborative call between 
NASA and the International Quilt Festival. 
Each of the quilts feature images that represented 
space exploration &/or NASA astronauts. 
This particular quilt includes the block created by 
NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg 
while she was 
on board the International Space Station in 2014!
In total: 2,260 blocks were used to create 28 panels!

my block on top Row- 
Second in from the right!

Houston construction... political mood... financial concerns... The World Series...and many other reasons 
probably all contributed to the lesser 
than previously experienced crowding...

A lucky spin of the wheel & a visit with GUS!

Sunday the bad weather headed our way...
My amazing husband surprised me & drove 4 hours each way that day without ever being asked. 
(Before I even knew for sure my flights would be cancelled & I wouldn't make it 🏡 home Sunday).

I think I will take a break from attending IQF for a while... I have gotten in to a predictable rut. I want that excitement back. I want to feel what the first timers & long distance travelers feel. The magic is still there... and I will go back when I can once again give it my full imagination and challenge me creatively. 
But for today... I will settle for an end to the laundry!!!

August 2018:
Rescued from the WIPS stack 
& completed nearly 2 years later:


  1. You did a lot of applique! I really like your self portrait. Glad you made it home safe!