I went to Houston last week, along with Debbie from Bear Patch, to attend the International Quilt Market. This is a twice-yearly trade show for quilters and sewists. The convention center is filled with booths for many vendors of fabric, notions, patterns, machines, etc. There are a lot of miscellaneous businesses that participate, selling things like lotions, lighting, sewing furniture, baskets and even nail files! We also can order shopping bags, labels, ribbons, etc., that we have the store name and logo printed on, and we use them for customers and packaging kits. So it's quite a variety, and takes full attention to get it all done correctly. I use a little wheelie backpack to carry our findings and paperwork and snacks and lunch! We stayed at the Magnolia Hotel, I think about 8 blocks from the convention center. We prefer to walk to and from, to get some more vigorous movement than the standing and ambling that we do the rest of the day. We also get to see a little more of the local color that way, too. This year, we didn't get as much walking due to the weather. Hurricane Patricia sent storms to Houston, and it rained for most of 2 days. We don't walk when it's raining or dark, so we relied on taxi and shuttle bus service.
One of the stops on our walk is the Phoenicia Market, a grocery store/deli/coffee shop/bar/cafe/bakery with a distinct middle eastern flavor. Debbie and I like to just look up and down the aisles at all of the unusual foods. A lot of varieties that we don't find at home! Here's a picture of one of the aisles of pickled things. We like to buy one of their large sandwiches to split for lunch, along with some fruit and water. Sooo much better than the convention food!
Across the street from the Magnolia is a very old Episcopal church. We walked over to take a look around, and because there was no other activity going on, we went in and I took a few pictures. A pleasant courtyard, beautiful stained glass and carved altar.
I have written some reports on our Market experience over on the Bear Patch blog, with more pictures included. Hop over there if you want to see more.
Back on the homefront, I have been happy to sit down at my sewing machine again. After those days of being in the midst of so much quilty creativity, I really longed to get back in touch with my machine! First, I want to show you a great new potholder that my mom gave me---
I had made some sample disappearing 4-patch blocks and gave them to her to make use of. This is one of them. And while we were at retreat together, she wanted to learn to do a little free motion quilting, and potholders made for good practice. Thanks, Mom!
Some things I have been working on:
the Fifties Flare Apron by Atkinson Designs, in Christmas fabrics for the store display.
the Jelly Roll Jiggle table runner by Tiger Lily Press, a work in progress.
and a small quilt from the Diva 2 pattern by Maple Island, with this fun dragon theme fabric
While in Houston, we attended a reception for Bernina dealership owners. Beverages and hors d'oeuvres were served, and I liked this idea for serving jumbo shrimp. With the cocktail sauce in the little shot glass, it was easy and neat to eat.