|You. Must. See. This. Quilt. !!!!!
"Mother Earth and Her Children" by Sieglinde Schoen Smith won the big kahuna, Best of Show ($10.000!) prize.
I have never, ever seen anything, anything like her quilt! And it was all done BY HAND! As if my and the other attendees' awestruckness wasn't enough...Quilt Show founder Karey Bresenhan said in 32 years she's never seen a quilt so original and whimsical. That's highest praise! (I'm certain if you can't make the show and go to the website above, there will be photos, which will not do it justice, but at least give you an idea what it was all about.)
There's still time (through Sunday) to get over to the Festival at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The hours are 10-7 today through Saturday, and 11-5 on Sunday. Cost is $10, Seniors and students $8, children under 10 free.
I was able to attend Quilt Festival both on Wednesday's Preview Night and yesterday, Thursday. FYI for next year - if you want to be able to get good looks at the quilts, go on Preview Night. Everyone is mobbing the vendor booths and you'll be able to enjoy and take your time admiring the displays. Plus the winners are next to their quilts and it is always so interesting to get the back story from the creator her (and him) self. Parking rumors abounded, as it is true the City of Houston has taken the prime, in the front, parking and is turning it into a park. But if you can get there early enough, there is still $7 parking on the side of the GRB Convention Center.
An earlier review by Joey R was spot-on about the food and the scooters.
If you are a local, bring your lunch and snackies. The lines and prices were horrendous. They even seemed higher than last year. And for out-of-towners, you may want to bring non-perishable sustanance from home (in checked baggage) and then partake of Houston's excellent restaurants in the evening.
And I never saw so many scooters as I did this year! Yikes, my poor, recently injured toes. I wish I had worn steel-toed boots. The Quilt Show outlaws strollers, but allows these? (scooters, they can't dictate footwear). Probably because the stroller occupants don't have Visa and MasterCard!
If they are going to allow and accommodate these scooters, they must widen the aisles. Even at the expense of losing a vendor row. People were getting really pissy with the crowding and tempers short. I said "excuse me" over and over, trying to maneuver around the stoppages, and like Joey, skipped some rows deemed unnavigable. One lady snarled (!) in response to me, "I'll excuse you when *I* finally get some room!" Whoa! People!
Now on to the good stuff/good booths.
Yes, this is a quilt festival,and therein is everything imaginable to quilts and quilting. But there are new trends developing, which I think will invigorate the talent and creativity. Magazines and books such as Quilting Arts and Cloth, Paper, Scissors are allowing you the satisfaction of creating something from everything, but on a smaller scale, more easily attainable and complete-able. Check out their large booth next to Make It University for awesome displays, books, magazines, supplies...to get inspired. I bought a hank of assorted art yarns in red called "Red Hot Chile Fibers!" ArtGirlz across the aisle is another fun booth with charms, dyes, embellishments, ready made treasures, etc. I got a great deal on a whimsical felted mini purse, which my daughter commandeered for her iPod.
I didn't buy any cotton quilting fabric this year, but did find two booths that had cool silk scrap grabbags and buttons -- Silk Road from Austin and Stitch in Time from Sugar Land, Texas. They were pretty, sparkled and reasonably priced. Met my criteria! I suppose I'll use them in an embelllishment or Omiyage way, or maybe a Cloth, Paper, Scissors-type project. Or I'll just look and play with them in the meantime. I like scrap bags, it's a fun way to save money and be surprised with cool fabrics that you can't overbuy and overstuff in your sewing storage areas.
And for vintage beads, jewelry, buttons - Sandy Schor has two booths, at either end of the Festival vendor area. Very popular and cool booth/s. I bought these cool, vintage rhinestones called Rosemontees. (I had him write that on the bag). Then they gave you a free gift coupon for their other booth - a baggie of more cool beads and buttons.
Another area you should definitely check out in the quilt display area is "Fiberart for a Cause" for the American Cancer Society. You can buy 4" x 6" art postcards for $30, with all the money going to the American Cancer Society to fund research which enables the artist and others survive cancer. (Confession note to Monica -- When you weren't looking, I bought one of your "Start to Finish" postcards!) If there are any left, they are really cool - there's car parts attached in a racing car crazy quilt!
Our American Sewing Guild Neighborhood Group has a meeting after Quilt Festival called "Quilt Festival Finds" It always amazes me that even though we all went there, we all find different treasures.
I don't have any affiliation with any of these booths, people and companies. (Well, OK with the American Cancer Society Postcard Fiberart Project. I've got great fun and creative friends!) Just a different perspective from one who doesn't quilt that well, but enjoys good deals and a good time!