Thursday, November 17, 2016

Twelve Days in Houston

Where to even begin about my trip to International Quilt Market and Festival? Many of my friends have already written blog posts, FB updates and shared pictures. I'm finally getting back to normal and processing my thoughts.

Let's start with the biggest and most thrilling news! I won first place in the Art Quilt Miniature Category!
I was particularly thrilled that it was sponsored by Janome! I've sewn on exclusively Janome machines for years. I'm a Janome girl!

The awards ceremony was such an impressive, exciting event. You can tell I was really happy to be there. And this is even before I won.

As each first place quilt is announced, a curtain is lifted and a spotlight shines directly on the quilt. In this photo, you can't see my quilt, but you can see the spotlight.

After all the winners are announced, everyone circles the room looking at the quilts. You can see the black curtain above the quilt that was covering it before the announcement.

I was able to squeeze in for a photo. I'm so red and squinty... and I was actually a bit weepy. It really is absolutely thrilling and humbling to think that the fabric, paint and stitches that I put together to create this small quilt were appreciated so fully by the judges. 

The next day, the quilt was back on the show floor with its ribbon. Do you also see the red dot on the label? It sold! 

Later in the week I was invited to attend the winners lunch where the top seven big prize winners each spoke about their quilts.

I'll share just a few more things and people that made me smile during my time in Houston. 

Cindy Grisdela and I arrived early to promote our books at Market.

We did a "school house" presentation the books to shop owners and offering suggestions for classes and events related to the content of our books. 

 We presented with Fox and Case authors of Transfer, Embellish, Stitch.

It was a delight to talk with Carrie Bloomston. Her gypsy caravan tent/booth introducing her new fabric line was amazing!

I loved these two little vignettes.

Also really fun to see Valori Wells and watch her print from this wonderful hand carved camel stamp.

The Dinner at Eight exhibition is always one of my favorites! I was thrilled to be included. 

Do you remember the beetle pin cushions I made for Leslie Tucker Jenison's new fabric line? Her booth looked amazing. You can see three of my little beetles pinned to the wall.

I did a book signing at the C&T Publishing booth. It was pretty exciting to have a new release just in time for Festival!

Kristin LaFlamme came to Festival too. I picked her up at the airport and we went straight to our favorite Tex-Mex place, Ninfa's. 

It was my first year on the faculty for Festival and I loved all my teaching gigs!

The students in my Small Stitched Landscapes workshop really made some wonderful little quilts!

The bunch in the Creativi-Tree Art Quilts class were also amazing!

I had a big surprise on Thursday of Festival week.  I was doing a book signing at the book vendor on the show floor...

... and I looked up to see my husband, Jeff! What a wonderful surprise! He's a Southwest pilot and had the day off, so he just jumped in an empty seat on a quick flight from Dallas to Houston to take me out to lunch. We walked the show floor looking at my quilts and several of the other amazing quilts! We walked through the vendor hall just a little... I don't even know how he found me, it's so massive! I don't even really know how he knew where I'd be or when. He's pretty crafty.

My trip to Houston was the culmination of lots of time and effort ... my book release, teaching classes on the national level, winning a big prize! He knew it was a big deal and wanted to be by my side even for just a few hours. It was a great afternoon.

Over the weekend, I did two "samplers" where I demo'd a technique for two hours and participants rotated around the room.

The first was Captivating Compositions.

The other was Creating and Printing with Foam Stamps.

Here you can see my demoing a new technique I've been perfecting using a toilet paper tube and a paint roller. Kristin LaFlamme was a big help at both of these events keeping me on track, engaging the audience and selling books.

Here's Kristin and Susie Monday enjoying a margarita!

Kristin's quilt got lots of thoughtful viewers at Festival along with others from the Quilt National exhibition.

I didn't take too many pictures at the special dinner for Dinner at Eight Artists. Just one of this lovely light installation, one of my smiling friends, one of the (spectacular) menu, and one of my dessert.

I was invited to shoot a short interview with Ricky Tims about my quilts and my book for The Quilt Show. So fun! I knew Ricky was a big Hamilton fan and we had our own little sing-along and gushed about how awesome it is before we got back to quilts.

Yes! Big thumbs up to the whole event!


Gene Black said...

What a trip!
Congrats on your win......
I would have totally chosen the Chocolate Tart for dessert also. :)

Anonymous said...

I loved seeing each photo and your enthusiastic comments. Thanks for sharing the joy of the entire event with all of us! And, a bonus for me was to spend 10 days with Claire, Ben & Lincoln and Jeff too! ❤️

mumbird3 said...

Awesome trip! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

Very exciting trip and congratulations. I went to grade school with Jeff and have admired your work since connecting with him on Facebook. I have shared your book and pictures with my crafty friends here in Atlanta and they are always quite impressed.

Jeanne Marklin said...

I'm excited from just reading your blog! Next year I'll have to go to share it in real time. Your husband is a sweetheart to surprise you like that - so thoughtful! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

MarianneD said...

Congratulations! I was one of the lucky girls to receive your book...;-)What a surprise from your could have be mine...;-)

Alicia Merrett said...

What a wonderful trip! Congratulations on all your achievements!

Deborah said...

Congrats, Deborah!! It's been so cool to see your rise to "stardom", beginning when I snagged a copy of the 12x12 book! So happy for you! Can't help but comment on all of your fab dresses that appear in the festival photos!! Are you willing to reveal your sources? Have you made any of them? My fave is the short-sleeved grey one. Might you tell us where to find such treasures?

Carol Morrissey said...

I'm so happy for you! How sweet of Jeff to surprise you.