A Visit to Houston – part 2

Well, I had less than 48 hours in Houston (we had to high-tail it out of Houston early to beat the storm approaching as a result of hurricane Patricia), so not really enough time to explore the city; but what I did see was interesting. There are lots of tall glass buildings offering some wonderful reflections. I thought the following photo was very cool:

Building Reflections!

Downtown Houston has a wonderful system of underground pedestrian tunnels; not only does it keep you out of the way of the traffic, but keeps you out of the heat and humidity. And, boy, is Houston humid! I wouldn’t like to be here in the height of summer.

A map of Houston's underground pedestrian tunnels

A map of Houston’s underground pedestrian tunnels

However, back to the main reason for my visit; Quilt Market. This event is huge! It occupies the entire conference center in Houston. Quilt Market lasts for 3 days and is essentially a trade event where retailers within the quilting industry source products from wholesalers; but there are also training and education sessions. My friend Becky Goldsmith from Piece O’Cake was there to present at one of these “Schoolhouse” sessions (I played the role of assistant/model for the presentation) and to do a book signing:

QM_Becky_signing QM_Becky

This is a photo of Becky and I at the C&T Publishers booth:

QM_B&C

Below is one of Becky’s designs which a talented quilter (sorry I can’t recall who, so I can’t credit the owner) had entered into the Special Exhibit quilts display:

This quilt is one of Becky's designs - Piece O'Cake on display at the INternational Quilt Market and Festival

This quilt is one of Becky’s Piece O’Cake designs on display at the International Quilt Market and Festival

QM_quiltstalls Quilt Market occupied the entire ground floor of the George R Brown Convention Center. There were 29 aisles with more than 530 exhibitors. It was the largest event of it’s type that I have ever been to. In fact the International Quilt Market & International Quilt Festival (which runs for 5 days after the Quilt Market) are Houston’s biggest event! Thousands of keen quilters descend into Houston for a taste of quilter’s heaven!

QM_aisles

I saw some amazing quilts, crafts, fabrics, notions and embellishments, and embroidery, quilting and sewing machines – there are some truly talented and creative people out there.

I partake in, and enjoy many craft forms, but I have never tried quilting before; I think I may just have been converted after attending this convention and feel I may need to give it a try! Whatever I attempt, you know it will have a celtic theme though!

Anna's Amazing Applique quilts on display at Quilt Market

Anna’s Awesome Applique quilts on display at Quilt Market

There was so much to see – I just can’t share it all – but jump onto Instagram and search #QuiltMarket or Google images from Quilt Market 2015 and you will find plenty to admire and inspire – it’s a feast for anyone who loves fabrics, crafting and especially quilts! I particularly liked this clever design from a very talented (& modest) young designer – Maureen Cracknell from Art Gallery Fabrics:

QM_deerpillow

Attending Quilt Market 2015 was quite an experience (I thank Becky for the opportunity to attend) I had no idea quilting was so HUGE. I also met some amazing, friendly people and some outstanding leaders and big names within the industry. It was quite a privilege really and it has opened my eyes to the fabulous world of quilting! I wish I could have stayed for a look at the quilt festival; but it’s probably just as well I didn’t as I would have been tempted to spend way too much money. Truly a quilter’s nirvana!QM_QuiltwLove

 

A Visit to Houston

So, I am spending a couple of days in Houston with a friend.

Yesterday, after a 5 hour drive from Sherman, we took in some culture and visited the Museum of Fine Arts Houston

I was particularly taken by the Roman Vishniac photographic exhibition and his photographs of Jewish life in Eastern Europe. Many poignant and candid photos giving the viewer a real glimpse into a life that many of us can only image, particularly those taken in post war Berlin. I could have spent so much longer pouring over these images; it was fabulous.

I also got to enjoy some more classic paintings from the masters – Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet & Matisse.

  

I have seen some wonderful art whilst in Texas – we miss out on so much in Australia, where we have to wait for a special traveling exhibit.

Also at the museum is the Shadow Monsters interactive display – we made scary shadows and had fun! Great for young and old! 

  
There was also a fabulous interactive LEGO building exhibit where you could indulge your inner architect or city planner. Everyone is encouraged to add to the LEGO city creation.

  
The MFAH is a very interesting museum and is spread over 2 buildings. Between the two, is an interconnecting walkway which is a piece of art in itself – a light tunnel, where the color changes every 6 minutes.

  

If you get to go, Thursday’s are a great day to visit as entry is free!

Anyway, the reason I am in Houston is that I am accompanying a friend on a business trip – so I took the opportunity to see a little more of Texas and poke around a little in Houston. My friend is a well respected quilter and author (Becky Goldsmith) and is attending the Quilt Market in Houston. Now, this ‘convention’ is a BIG deal – I didn’t realize just how big. More later!