Houston International Quilt Market and Festival:
Another Year of Inspiration

Barbara Blankenship © 2009

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This is my first opportunity to share my experiences at the Houston International Quilt Market and Festival. Between the economic downtrend and heavy damages from Hurricane Ike, I expected attendance to drop significantly this year. It is my pleasure to report that our wonderful art form is thriving, despite recent events. This year's attendance was only 1,704 short of the 2007 Festival's record-breaking attendance of 52,542. It is no wonder so many people attend this event that features 556 exhibitors and 1073.5 booths.  There is something to interest any dedicated quilter and fabric art enthusiast.

Julie Yonge and I spent four days prior to the Festival at Quilt Market. The Market is a professional trade show open only to credentialed attendees. We are privileged to attend as press for CQMagOnline. Various classes and workshops are scheduled that provide us with new ideas, concepts and tools to share with our readers throughout the year. We have so much to tell you about and look forward to introducing you to many new things.

I always enjoy the classes taught by Diane Ricks with Hanah silks. She has kindly given me permission to share her pattern for the poppy; please read A Gift From Diane Ricks: Silk Ribbon Poppy, also in this issue.  I hope you enjoy making these beautiful flowers. Hanah ribbon is available online at: http://www.artemisinc.com or through local retailers.

Fran Ortmeyer, Design Consultant, and Carol Porter, Education Director with Clover Needlecraft Inc., taught another class I attended. Fran designed the beautiful needle case pictured here.

The entire class thoroughly enjoyed working with the felting molds. Pictured busy at work are: Gina Becker with Quilters’ Refuge, Decatur, AL; Chandra Lichtenthaler with Memory Lane Quilt Shop located in Santee, CA; and, finally, Fran and Carol standing. Clover products are available at many local retailers or through the Clover website: http://www.clover-usa.com.

Bonnie Lyn McCaffery, renowned quilt artist, taught the final class I attended. We were introduced to her technique called DigiBobbE (Digitized Bobbin Embroidery.) This was done with the design side face down on a sewing machine, using beautiful gold YLI Candlelight threads in the bobbin. As you can see the results are gorgeous.

The fabric is from the Hoffman line. I have thoroughly enjoyed using this notepad cover; it was a wonderful project. I invite you to browse Bonnie’s website: http://bonniemccaffery.com/shop/digibobbe.html.  She has video tapes, many fabulous designs, and all the supplies you will need to do this beautiful embroidery.

Each year I encourage you to consider a trip to Houston, Texas in October for the largest Quilt Festival in the world. The 2009 Festival is scheduled for October 15 – 18 with classes beginning on October 12. Mark your calendars and begin making plans to attend next year. It’s a wonderful experience.


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