Judy L's UFO Challenge

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Houston Highlights

I rode to Houston with a friend on Thursday. The trip was uneventful which is a good thing. Sometimes you worry whether you will be comfortable with another persons driving but there was absolutely no issue there. I didn't even think there would in this case as I trust her on so many other fronts.

We arrived at our hotel around 9 p.m. We stayed at the Embassy Suites and what a find to see there was a pair of live swans that lived in the fountain in the hotel lobby. I meant to get a picture but did not. We joked that they had their own pool boy as we watched a hotel employee scrub their fountain in the morning.

We were offered free board to stay with a friend, Leann that I know from quiltchat. Her hubby had points and got the room for free for her. We also had another quiltchat friend, Robyn, that came over from Victoria Australia that stayed in the room. In fact Leann moved over to stay with her hubby who was also in Houston on business. We had two double beds and a pull out couch at our disposal. Very nice accomodations although tirane found the couch too hard and opted to sleep on the floor in her sleeping bag.

Friday a.m. we were up and at the show in pleny of time for the doors to open. I chose to start in the quilts and at the very far right. This was the Hoffman challenge. There were many pretty quilts there. In fact I will load them to my picture site and post the link in another post. I chose to share this quilt you for one reason only. This lady is from my home town. I am always happy to see those connections. I don't know her but am still proud of her. In fact I said something outloud and a lady said "Oh I am from Syracuse" which is just 30 minutes north. I walked over and shook her hand and said nice to meet you. That moment made me smile.

I spent the first two hours of the show looking at as many quilts as I could. At noon I headed over to the cafeteria area to meet my friends from quiltchat. This picture is actually from the second day but shows everyone that I eventually met.

Back row: Me (swooze), Sharon (purplefiend), Ellen (scooter), Pat (Chutem), Leann (skipper)
Front row: Lorraine (Lorraine), Irene (Jemo), Shirley (doddlingdora), Robyn (romika)

I had met Sharon, Ellen and Leann before. So it was fun for me to meet all the other ladies in person. After we ate I went to the vendor area with Irene and Shirley. There were so many vendors. I don't think I made it half way through them in the 3 or 4 hours I spent there that afternoon. My happiest find came as I was leaving the building to go to dinner with some other friends. I found FQs from the Fresh Squeezed line at $2 each. I asked for all they had in that line and they found 31 FQs. Ooops, a few more than I had planned to get but I will put them to good use. I have my plans for them already!

After leaving the show I met up with Dorothy Young. She is the mystery designer on the yahoogroup A Pocket Full of Mysteries. I failed to take a picture. There was 6 of us in all. The other five knew one another from before but I seemed to fit in fine. They took me out to a chinese restaurant and we ate family style. Good food and lots of it. One of the ladies, Leslie, gave everyone 3 pieces of Sees candy and a little "sign". I chose the one that said "Housework whenever, Quilting forever". What a nice little surprise. Dorothy took me back to my hotel and we said our good byes. Another highlight for me to get to meet Dorothy.

Houston Day 2

On the second day I decided I would make a list of vendors that I really wanted to see as we planned to leave at 2 p.m. We went into the Hilton across the street to have coffee and wait for the show to open. The Hilton had beautiful lighting fixtures and carpet that had what I considered quilt blocks in the design. I wondered how old that carpeting was and thought how appropriate for the event taking place across the street in the convention center. I will see how my friends pictures turned out and post a link to them in another post.

I finished looking at the quilts and was surprised how few were left to see. The part I looked at last were all marked as "No Photography Allowed" so I was able to get through them pretty quickly. Every once in awhile I would pop back to rows that I had been though before as a quilt here or there caught my eye and I had not recalled seeing them before.

When I finished there I went to see Sharon Schamberg. I got to shake her hand and thank her for her generous sharing of her techniques. She was very nice to anyone that spoke to her. Her winning quilt was gorgeous. I then went to see Eleanor Burns. She was teaching class that day so I missed her. My loss. I meant to go see Marie Osmond but I think I forgot to go to the Janome booth. Just too much to do.

I went and met with the quiltchat gals for lunch again and then hurried to finish up my shopping. I will close with two more stories and then share more in other posts as I am sure I have lost most of you by now.

I saw Alex Anderson Friday but decided to not stop and say hello. I had an impression that she might be a little snobby and chose to not find out. On Saturday she was talking to two people and stepped around the corner to hug them. I said to her "Seeing how you are handing out hugs I will take one". She gave me one of the nicest and most sincere hugs that I have ever received from a stranger. I asked her how the show was going for her and she replied. She then asked me how I was enjoying it. In fact as I responded she asked more questions. What a genuinely nice sweet lady! I was so pleasantly surprised. I walked away smiling over that one.

Another booth I was interested in going to was the Bohin booth. My initial interest was because they are a French company and I hoped to hear them speaking French and possibly participate. When I got there I realized that I owned many of their products and how much I loved them. One of the items I own is the mechanical marking pencil that has half white chalk and half colored chalk that you can interchange. I had used the orange and was unable to remove it from the quilt. I asked the man there how to remove the colored chalk and he asked if I had tried the fabric eraser. I said I had not as I did not own one. He apologized to me for my trouble and handed me an eraser and said for you, free of charge. Another happy event.

I called my friend around 2:30 and we met to leave. We got on the road and made it home in good time with nothing eventful occuring on the way. I will go back but allow myself a little more time. I may sign up for classes as well. I am glad that I went because when other friends come to the show I know what the layout is and will be able to hostess them for their first visit.


Babs said...

Thanks for the report. I'm glad you had a good time and a chance to meet your friends.

I'm jealous that you got so much of the "Fresh Squeezed" line. I wish the stores around here had it. I'll gladly buy any of it you don't want...

Greenmare said...

what a great time you had!!! I'm glad you got to meet Alex Anderson, we met her in Chicago and I thought she was so genuine, and totally gorgeous in real life too. I'm jealous of her for sure!

Ele said...

Hey, Swooze, I would love to have you show me where to go, if I ever get down there. I know you would do a bang up job of that. I might even wear my yellow or aqua hair!!


Anonymous said...

Swooze, sounds like great fun!! It was so lovely for you to post a photo of the chatters and who they are. It is nice to put a name to a face. I would love to see a quilt show, I have never been to one.....

Molly Mandeville Fryer said...

I sometime wish I had gone to Houston instead of retreating--NOT
Thanks for your insight. I sometimes get the feeling Alex is a little snooty, but maybe I am wrong. Great blog--I enjoy visiting.