Houston International Quilt Festival
November 2010

Barbara Blankenship © 2011

   
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The Houston International Quilt Festival saw its highest attendance ever – 60,162. Quilters throughout the United States and from all over the world played a part in this record-breaking number. It was another remarkable event and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

I always look forward to registering and receiving my Festival brochure. I love to browse through the pages and find all the vendors whose products lend themselves to crazy quilting. I have my favorites, of course, and always enjoy stopping by and seeing their newest products.

Helen Gibb is well known to the crazy quilt world and one of my favorite vendors. Her Victorian-style booth is always filled with the most beautiful ribbons and embellishments.

Helen has a beautiful new flower design that is absolutely exquisite. You will want to check her website for all the beautiful colors available. With her permission I’ve taken a number of photos to share with you.

She is carrying a line of Maruca Design purses that are just beautiful and her lovely new flower adds a finishing touch of perfection.

Connie James, owner of Fibergoddess, along with her lovely niece had some gorgeous fibers this year at Festival. They were very hard to resist and I came home with a number of really lovely ones. I’ve long been a fan of her cord maker and have used it often in many of my designs. It is perfect for creating tree trunks, branches, and vines. Most of her designs and cords are used in creating beautiful necklaces. When I first saw her booth several years ago, however, I envisioned using all these beautiful things in my crazy quilting. The cord maker is one of my favorite embellishing tools and her fibers, ribbons, and cords are fabulous.

One of the new products I found at quilt festival this year was a lovely magnetic pin keeper by Jacobson Creative, Inc. It’s a family owned and operated business and I enjoyed visiting with Sherry, Corinne, Keith and Jerome Jacobson.

Measuring 5” in diameter, the pin keeper has a very strong magnet allowing you to place pins, needles, and even a small pair of scissors.

If you are anything like me, you are forever misplacing a needle. This is a perfect tool for keeping all those tiny sharp objects in one place.

I look forward each year to the Quilt Festival but I dread the walking and the aching feet that result from such a shopping extravaganza. This year I found “the perfect vendor and I loved their sign: “Nature intended us to walk barefoot.”

The next best thing was a pair of their “Walk the Walk” shoes. After trying them I had to purchase a pair and they are wonderful. More importantly, they are my colors…black with tiny gold squares.

Quoting a small segment from their brochure: “The Walk the Walk shoe is the ultimate in comfort. Extensive research has been done to design a shoe to soften the shock normally imposed on the longitudinal and transverse arches when standing or walking for long periods of time. The unique footbed is made to give your feet the room to expand as they swell throughout the day as well as extra support and uniform weight distribution.”

I invite you to check Bob and Laurie Baker’s website for more information (see link below in resources section).

Among the special exhibits at Festival are two that I would like to mention. I think all our readers are familiar with the beautiful work done by Stephanie Novatski. As a former CQMagOnline staff member and contributor, you have seen many of her articles and creations throughout the past years.

Pictured here is “The Dragon Slayer” created by Stephanie. Congratulation to her for the first place ribbon she won in the 2010 Hoffman Challenge.

It was a special honor to have Victoria Adams Brown’s Way To Women’s Wellness ArtBra exhibit for the first time at the Houston Festival. The exhibit was well received and we sold out of the 2011 ArtBra Calendars.

A number of ArtBra designers came to Houston for the Festival and were available to sign autographs: Victoria Adams Brown, Kathleen Glynn, Mary Fisher, Willa Fuller, Julie Edison, Jan Campbell, Julie Yonge and myself. I apologize for the lack of photos. We were only allowed to photograph during closing hours and it was very difficult to get everyone together.

Many were touched by the creations and the stories accompanying them, and it was a time for laughter as well as tears. What a pleasure it was to visit with the many who took time to stop by. We were amazed at the number who had been affected in some way by breast cancer and were so willing to support the foundation by purchasing a calendar. These calendars are still available online and we encourage you to purchase your copy while supplies last.

The ArtBra wall hanging pictured here was donated to the Methodist Hospital Breast Cancer Center in Houston, Texas in honor of Jan Campbell. Jan’s design, “Are They Real” appears on the cover of the 2011 Calendar. She is a very proud one-year survivor.

Following are several photos taken at the exhibit. Julie Yonge is pictured here with her design “Time For a Cure.”

Four of our Lake Jackson Bee members are pictured in this final photo: Standing: Julie Yonge, myself. Seated: Lynnis Burt, Jan Campbell.

Resources:

http://www.quilts.com/newHome/index.php  Houston International Quilt Festival

www.helengibb.com  Helen Gibb

www.fibergoddess.net  Connie James, Fibergoddess

www.cling-onz.com  Jacobson Creative Inc. – pin keeper

www.TheShoeGuys.com  Walk the Walk

www.artbra.org  WTWW ArtBra Calendars

 

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