An Amazing Experience

Barbara Blankenship © 2008

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Each year the Houston Quilt Market and Festival is held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. This was a record-breaking year with 54,247 attendees over a four-day period. For the fourth year, I had the honor of representing CQMagOnline. To be among thousands of fabric art lovers from all over the continent is an amazing experience and one I look forward to each year with anticipation.

I wish I had the power to pass on just a glimpse of what Julie Yonge, Allison Aller and I experienced. For a moment try closing your eyes and thinking of all the things you would like to have in your studio or sewing room: laces, fabrics, buttons, books, sewing notions, sewing machines, ribbons, dyes, inks, beads, silks, satins, wools, patterns, cord makers, finished quilts, blocks of the month, ad infinitum. Then imagine a massive room filled with all these wonderful things; over one thousand booths! But wait, there is more. There are over 450 classes to teach you how to use all of these fabulous things. There are artists who have mastered the concepts to pass on their immense knowledge of textile art. This is the Houston Quilt Market and Festival, an experience beyond belief!

During the coming year, we will be sharing ideas, concepts, products, techniques, and book reviews with you. There are hundreds of concepts under the umbrella of textile art. Although Julie, Allie, and I have many favorites in common, we also differ in style and technique. Our articles will reflect our differing interests and give you a more thorough view of the Houston Quilt Market and Festival.

Several well-known artists in the silk ribbon and crazy quilt worlds have graciously agreed to write articles for our magazine. I know each of you will enjoy the amazing talent represented in the creations of each of these artists. So bookmark CQMagOnline and anticipate each upcoming issue. You will not want to miss a single one.

I would like to share several photos from Quilt Festival.

A ceremony was held at the “Quilts of Valor” exhibit on opening day, complete with a U.S. Marine Color Guard. I stood among the crowd as the National Anthem rang through the convention center and felt such a surge of pride for my country and it’s people. I couldn’t help but notice those around me standing with their hand across their hearts, some with tears in their eyes and all standing tall and proud as the last notes echoed through the center.

In this picture quilt artists Gail Thomas, Annette Hendricks and Helen Godden pose with their fabulous quilt “The Three Sisters.” They were honored with a first place in their group category. What an amazing likeness recreated in fabric!

Pictured here is a very small section of the shopping floor at Festival.

I would like to invite everyone to consider a trip to Texas next year. Our state offers many wonderful landmarks and points of interest. Number one on my list would have to be the Houston Quilt Festival. Mark your calendars for October 30 – November 2, 2008. Other upcoming events: International Quilt Festival/Chicago will be April 11 – 13th, and the International Quilt Festival/Long Beach from July 25-27th.

d All photos by Kim Coffman

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