Recently the International Quilt Festival was held in Houston, TX. It followed on the heels of Quilt Market (a vendor only event and not open to the public) and lasted for a full week. Enthusiastic quilters around the globe know it as the “Super Bowl” of quilting. All roads lead to Houston each year for this one, incredible week. I was honored to have been selected to teach there for the second year in a row. I taught a total of nine completely full classes in six days and I got to spend time with many students throughout the week. To say the week was like running a marathon is an understatement.
Thank goodness my sweet husband, (aka Mr. Kim) was able to accompany me and help me with all the schlepping, etc. Teaching so many back-to-back classes without a break in between was certainly (as one of my student’s put it) “intensely fun.” But honestly, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I was blessed to meet many incredible people throughout the week. Their smiles, their stories, their laughter lifted me up and engaged me beyond anything I could have expected. Kent and I prayed each morning about the classes and the students we would encounter with our only request being that we might be a blessing to each of them in some way. It is incredible that we end up being the ones who are blessed by getting to know each of them, if only briefly, during a three or six-hour class. God’s ways are so much higher than our ways.
The good folks at Janome really rolled out the red carpet for me; they had a life-size banner made which was displayed outside my classroom. Mr. Kim had some fun with the banner and teased me he had found another “girlfriend.”
The classroom I taught in was equipped with fantastic, Janome 9400 machines which is the same model machine I sew on at home in our cabin and I love it! The machines all sewed brilliantly throughout the week and many of them were adopted by happy students eager to take them home. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the fantastic Janome educators; they were all so helpful in assisting my students and it is always a pleasure for me to be with them at these big quilting events.
My brand-new line of fabrics by Timeless Treasures, SOLID-ISH, debuted at Quilt Market. What a thrill to be able to see quilts made from these luscious new lovelies in the TT booth! Many of the sales people told me that customers were excited about this new line — which thrills me to pieces! It still is a “pinch me” sort of thing to think I can now add the title of Fabric Designer to my list of accomplishments. Holding the color card in my hands is a bit surreal.
I met with Lisa Denney and Hayden Lees of TT, and was given one of only three new Design Rolls currently in existence, although they told me many cases of these 2 1/2″ strip rolls have been ordered and will ship to shops everywhere in early December. I think these Solid-ish Design Rolls would make fantastic Christmas gifts for your quilty friends (hint, hint.)
As for fat quarter bundles of all 30 different fabrics, I have a very limited supply of these bundles available NOW on my website. Click HERE to order yours. You will receive thirty fat quarters of all the Solid-ish colors bundled together (which were all hand cut and folded by me!) for a very limited time for $90 plus shipping. I only have a few so when they run out, they’re gone. These fabrics won’t be available in stores until sometime in mid-December, so get yours now while you can! I expect these will ship right after Thanksgiving.
While I was at Quilt Festival, several folks emailed or texted to ask me to “pick up this thing or that” at the Festival vendor booths. The truth is, due to my crazy teaching schedule I never once set foot inside the vendor area of the convention center nor did I see any of the award-winning quilts on display. This year, I simply didn’t have time. I arrived in my classroom early in the morning and with the exception of a few bathroom runs during the day, I never left that room. We stayed until late each evening and then walked back to the hotel room to regroup and prepare for the next day’s class or classes. My simple goal for the week was to give 200% of my attention and energy to my students and make sure they had a fabulous day in class full of stress-free, productive sewing.
However, I did get to see some friends and wonderful people who weren’t in my classes while I was there. I ran into the talented Marcia Baraldi, of Brazil! I just love her special quilting “gloves” — and she gifted me with another pair. Thank you, Marcia!
And several sweet students brought their completed quilts from last year to share!
I received some of the loveliest gifts from students who were so kind and thoughtful to bring me some special treats, including these hand beaded straight pins, from Pat Conover. And a mother-daughter duo from Denver and Hawaii brought Mr. Kim and I the most yummy treats from Hawaii!!!
Since I’ve already been asked to return to teach at Quilt Festival next year, I will plan my schedule to allow a bit more time for me to see the hundreds of quilts in the contest and on exhibit and to spend at least a little time visiting the vendors. But that’s next year.
Since I returned home I’ve been getting myself settled in our cabin for the foreseeable future while we wait to fully transition out here to the West Coast. Our home in Virginia hasn’t sold and heading into the holiday season is certainly not the best time of year to try to sell a house in the DC suburbs. We’re standing firm in God’s promises and peace knowing that the sale will come in His time, not mine. We’re asking for some prayers and would welcome any you would care to say on our behalf.
But for now, I’ll make myself comfy in our cozy cabin and enjoy the mountain air, walks in the cool, crisp air and bright sunshine, and get back to something I haven’t done for quite a while; stitching. I want to make a quilt using my new Solid-ish fabrics, and I want to take time to do some hand stitching. With the clocks set back to standard time, it’s getting dark earlier in the day. I have seen so many people posting on Facebook about how they dislike the shorter days; but not me. I’m enjoying every moment. It makes me want to hunker down and enjoy the indoors. I light cinnamon scented candles and the fire in the fireplace, and wear my warm, cuddly socks. I love late autumn and early winter leading up to Christmas. Our boys will soon be coming out to the cabin for Thanksgiving and I’m truly looking forward to cooking for them and enjoying family game and movie nights. I guess I’m really a homebody at heart.
As the holiday season is almost upon us, I wish you a very good rest of the week and an early happy Thanksgiving. There is so much for which to be grateful!