Thursday, October 1, 2015

Houston Quilt Festival Info

We are less than a month away now from the annual spree, Houston Quilt Show, and I would imagine by now your plans are certainly in the hopper about heading that direction. But, in the event you are still on the fence or are unable to attend this year, take comfort knowing you can still visit Festival in the virtual world of the internet! is headquarters and point of entry of all things quilting. Here you will find links taking you to separate exhibits on display in Houston. Take a tour of the Festival Gallery of Quilt Art: Home for a real treat. These quilts come from around the world and depict 'home' for the artists.

You can read columns by Mary Fons which explore the world of quilt-making from a young perspective. Being raised by a fairly well-known quilter, Ms. Fons brings a unique perspective to news and happenings in this particular art form.

If you've been to "Houston", you've earned your merit badge and know when to arrive, where to park and what shoes to wear. But, if you are attending for the first time and want a few tips, here is a good read from Quilter's Newsletter. And YES, you can bring and use a camera but be certain to read all signs which prohibit the use in any particular display.

One small piece of advice I can offer: The doors WILL NOT OPEN one minute earlier than 10:00 am and you will find quite a crowd gathered in front of the Center. I recommend arriving 5 minutes AFTER 10:00 and you'll sashay right in. You can purchase your tickets online and avoid staying in line at the box-office, too.

While taking classes is mentioned in that article (above), it's probably too late to sign up for any at this time so that will leave you all the time in the world to browse the Shop aisles on the left side of the George R. Brown Convention Center and the Show side on the right side.  The Convention Center is too massive to even describe. There are quilts hanging everywhere; your eyes are not going to be able to take it all in.

The catalogue is a very good way of keeping track of what you find appealing.  Write in the columns and you stand a better chance of finding it later in the day. Tip: If you find something you really really like, get it there and then. You'll tell yourself, "Oh, I'll come back and get it later. I don't want to carry all that around all day long." You may never find it again. You may never find the booth again! I'm talking BIG. This space is enormous. You should also know that there are baggage-checks where you can leave your purchases safely. There are NO carts or wheelie-bags allowed at Festival.

Food: There's a food court to one side of the Festival. You can buy nachos, hotdogs, cheese-steak sandwiches and drinks but you are also welcome to bring your own lunch and snacks. The trick is to stay hydrated and well-nourished because you will be doing a LOT of walking. However, if walking is an issue, the Convention Center has scooters and wheelchairs available for rent.

 Wear a pair of shoes you've already broken in. This is no place to be fashionable.

Bring a friend, for sure, because it's fun to talk about what you find or see. If you are traveling in a herd, separate. It's better for you and it's better for the other participants because trying to stay together means someone is going to lag behind and someone else is definitely going to sprint ahead which means you're going to get separated anyway. There are places you can meet up at an appointed time and regroup.

Relax; If you get tired, there are places to sit down along the back wall. Head on over and take a break. They hide the bathrooms back there as well.

Enjoy: Quilts on display here are the best of the best and you will be astounded at the work that has gone into each one. They are inspiring and amazing.

If you find yourself thoroughly exhausted when you leave, you did it right. Your head may be swimming, your arches aching and you wonder how you'll make it home again or to the hotel. You may even be telling yourself, "I'll never do this again!" But, after a good night's sleep, you'll wake up and think, "Man, was that FUN!"

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