2004 Quilt Market and Festival in Houston, TX

Barbara Blankenship 2005

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Each year with the arrival of Fall, I look forward with great anticipation to the Houston International Quilt Market and Festival. This year marked it's 30th. Anniversary and what a wonderful experience it was. With more than 1000 booths selling an unimaginable array of "goodies," more than 400 classes, and 147 experienced teachers; you can just imagine the fabulous time Gwen and I had. Two sections had a special appeal: "Embellishments" and "Victorian Era."

Bob Ruggiero, Manager of Publications and Public Information, along with Peggy Neff and staff provided an excellent media kit that helped immensely in preparing our agenda and marking our favorite booths. The pressroom was a nice respite for reorganizing. The comfort, quietness, and genuine hospitality were very welcomed and appreciated. Gwen and I have acquired yet another name given to us by Bob - "The Dynamic Duo." I'm not sure of its exact meaning but I'm convinced they were not prepared for the two of us!

Gwen Frazier visiting the exhibit of Jenny Haskins embroiderer, quilter, fabric designer and author   

We arrived at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Friday morning. This great Center has recently expanded to include the Hilton Americas, a beautiful hotel connected to the Center by a covered walkway. Together they provide an excellent setting for what is said to be the largest quilt show in the world. Gwen and I spent six days shopping and attending some fabulous classes. We look forward to sharing some of our more memorable experiences with you and hope you will enjoy seeing the Houston Quilt Festival through our eyes.

Throughout the year we will feature different artists who will share their talent with you. We know you will enjoy reading the articles and making many new and beautiful things.

  Mary Jo Hiney pictured here, is one of the many who have graciously agreed to write an article. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who were so kind and willing to share their talents with us at CQMagOnline. We will make their websites available to you in each article and encourage you to visit and shop with each one.
The group from Pasadena dressed for the show.    

One of my most memorable exhibits was the ABATAKA (Community) II, featuring the work of Mary Fisher. I would encourage you to visit her website: www.maryfisher.com dedicated to HIV/AIDS awareness.

Mary is an internationally known activist, author, and founder of the Mary Fisher CARE Fund at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, as well as a talented artist. It was my privilege to be in a class she also attended. I've not met a more lovely and gracious woman and will have wonderful memories of the time I spent visiting with her. I purchased one of her books: Sleep With The Angels. It was such a compelling book - I had read 120 pages before I realized it.

I look forward, along with Gwen, in sharing our experiences, the fabulous shopping, classes, beauty, and inspiration of this year's Market and Festival. We will both share ideas along with some tools and projects that were of interest to us. If you are looking for new places to travel and sites to see, I can certainly recommend Houston, Texas in the Fall of 2005. You would enjoy every single moment of the Houston International Quilt Festival.

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