Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Highlights of Houston 2018

Not surprisingly, I hit the ground running after returning from my 13 day trip to Houston--classes to teach, bills to pay, mail to sort through, and laundry to do. Now I'll try to give a glimpse of what my time is like there, working for Quilts Inc.

First, my favorite view of the city--from my room at the Hilton Americas Houston. The George R Brown Convention Center is the white building on the right with the iconic red "thingies" on the roof. Straight ahead is the Marriott Marquis hotel, and just behind it is the Astrodome baseball park. Discovery Green, a lovely park, is in the foreground, left.

My bed, featured by Hilton Americas Houston on Instagram and Facebook:

I hurried to get the binding sewn on before I left, figuring I would finish stitching it down in the hotel--rarely touched it there, finished the binding when I got home. Now I am adding lots more quilting--it is coming along nicely.

The first day on the job, my primary responsibility is Faculty freight. With 130 teachers, there is a lot of freight--they have to ship it weeks in advance to be sure we have it in the office when they arrive. I check in each box, on two master lists, one for me and one for the Tex Expo folks who handle the shipping. We go from an empty room to a full one--it takes all day. Before:


 When the luggage starts to arrive, it gets really crowded. This is the last time the carpet was visible for days:

The next day I was told my Red and White quilt was the "Photo Op" quilt. People take photos in front of it to share with friends at  home:

There was a special tribute exhibit to our beloved former boss, Judy Murrah, who passed away December 8, 2017. It was a lovely tribute to her with a wonderful slideshow full of great images from  her more than 40 years with Quilts Inc.:

It's not all about quilts. How about quilted leather saddles? They sure are beautiful:

There are thousands of photos on Instagram and Facebook, much better than mine, find them here:
My favorite quilt and the one I was hoping would be awarded "Best of Show", Eternal Beauty by the amazingly talented and even more humble Sherry Reynolds. This is its' 6th Best of Show award:

Speaking of talented and humble, one of our guild members, Teresa Rawson, won First Place, Applique', Small for her terrific quilt, Contentment, made to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary--all hand done. It, too, has done well in previous shows:

This quilt was photographed thousands of times, from the Special Exhibit: Antique Quilts from the British Isles. It was for sale, I did not inquire about the price, if you have to ask, you can't afford it:

 45,000 1/4" hexagons, Circa 1845. Maker Unknown--PLEASE label your quilts, so you will not be anonymous.

Other quilts that caught my eye:

From certain angles, the face was not visible, it only looked like bubbles. Entitled Kora, by Carol Morrissey, Double Oak, TX. 
Two of my favorite antique vendors had remarkably similar quilts for sale in their booths. Cindy Rennels, Cindy's Antique Quilts, had this one:

Julia Kelly-Hodenius, of Pique', had this one:


The red solid was very similar as were many of the fabrics. The maker fussy cut most of the hexagons, and they appeared to be the same size. The white hexagons were all the same fabric in each quilt so the maker had a sizeable stash. Cindy told me someone with much more knowledge than I have has taken lots of photos of both and will study them to see if it is reasonable to guess they were made by the same person. Again, a label on each would be so helpful. Cindy's was sold before the end of the show so I am glad I got to see it early. I don't know if Julia sold hers, but I hope so. Sales is the reason vendors are there.

Some days I don't get off the 3rd floor nor outdoors. The days are long, the nights get shorter, but it is wonderful to work with a great team. Here are some of us in the morning group photo:

For me, the job is mostly about the people, faculty friends I enjoy catching up with, student/guests I look forward to seeing each year, vendors who have become friends, and my closest team friends, who mean so much to me--friendships developed over the 20 years I've been part of the Education Team.

This year about two dozen people recognized me or my name and came up to tell me they follow and enjoy my blog--that is truly rewarding.

Two ladies from the Friendship Quilters of Downer's Grove, IL came by for a quick "hello"--I am teaching for them November 2019:

I was also able to hand off the Secret Stars sample I made for the Lakeview Quilters guild in the Houston area, I'll be teaching for them in March 2019. And one of the members of the St Andrews Bay Quilt Guild in Panama City, FL, made a point of telling me they are rebuilding and fully expect to have me come in April 2019 for the two great scheduled workshops. Hurricanes only slow quilters down for a bit.

All too soon, the 13 days come to an end and it's time to pack up. Everything is inventoried, labeled, packed and crated, going to 3 different storage locations. I never cease to be amazed at the organization necessary to make our shows work:

There will be more to come, but this about wraps up the overall experience I have in Houston.

Let's quilt,



  1. Always good to see you, Barbara! It is a lot of hard work that's for sure!
    Isn't it great when people let you know they are blog readers?? Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. When I saw the picture of the 'teacher' room I actually laughed. I was in there once and I almost didn't see the other teacher in there much less see the floor!
    I like to think I did my part to help out by not shipping my huge load this time, but instead brought it in myself. Y'all do so much without me adding to it. Thank you!

    1. Wish I had taken a shot of the room when it was in "total chaos" mode--there is a new and better plan for 2019. And you, and a few others, help by storing all their boxes in their classroom--not possible for everyone.

  3. How fun that your wonderful red/white quilt was the "Photo Op"!
    I enjoyed your perspective on the Houston experience--especially behind the scenes.

  4. Your R&W is such a special part of Houston and it always looks fabulous as a backdrop in photos. amazing organization - wow!
    I've booked my hotel room for next year.

  5. Wow, wow, wow. What an amazing set up.
    Those quilts are gorgeous too.

  6. This post was the next best thing to being there, Barbara! Thanks for sharing all the fun. What a lot of boxes and bins! WOW! There's just so much eye candy, it's hard to take it all in, in just one read! The assorted hexie quilts caught my eye, of course. I'd love to have one of those someday, somehow! So glad you got to say hello to your dear friend, the R&W quilt! :)

  7. I am impressed with your use of nature (the Rooster) Since I like blues and greens family, I am going to try and use my parrot for color inspiration as you used the rooster. great lesson!

  8. I am impressed with your use of nature (the Rooster) Since I like blues and greens family, I am going to try and use my parrot for color inspiration as you used the rooster. great lesson!