Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Quilt Market - Houston 2014

International Quilt Market was in Houston, Texas this past weekend and I thought I'd take a moment to talk about it.  Quilt Market is an industry trade show that happens twice a year and is not open to the public.  It is where fabric, thread, notions, machine, batting and publishing companies come to exhibit their new products and sell to shop owners and other buyers. It's all business and very big business indeed.

Of course, everything that I'm about to tell you is from my perspective but what I hope to do is give you a feel of what it's like.  For years and years I have sat at home during Quilt Market and trolled Flickr (oh man! remember the good ole days of Flickr?) and Instagram scouring the photos for details of new fabric lines, new notions and books and wishing that I could be there in person to meet the industry people.  I met up with these girls (L-R @csduhon -- Carlie(top) @pukanunu -- Melissa(bottom) and @instaamy --Amy.  Find them on Instagram as they have some things brewing behind the scenes and you'll want to know all about it.) and it was the first time at Quilt Market for all of us so we got to experience it for the first time together.

I was there as a guest of my publisher Martingale to give a presentation (called a Schoolhouse) about my book Imagine Quilts.  Schoolhouses occur all day Friday and generally are in 30 minute increments.  I brought eight quilts from my book with me and Martingale brought the additional three from the book with them to my schoolhouse.  After a brief introduction by Jennifer Keltner, I got to talk about my book and show the quilts from it.

And apparently sing opera.  To a room of smiling, friendly faces which made the 30 minutes pass in a flash.

Schoolhouses go on all day Friday and I was lucky to attend many of them.  It was a great opportunity to hear about products, see them first hand and form a bit of a relationship with those behind the products. Walking from schoolhouse to schoolhouse also allows for conversation, introductions and networking.  Lots of business cards, buttons and promotional materials are swapped on Friday for sure.

Saturday is the beginning of the "market" portion wherein all the booths are open for attendees to look at, touch and feel and meet with sales representatives for buying.  The enormity of the trade floor cannot be understated.  It's actually hard to describe just how big it is.  If you've been on Instagram and searched the hashtag #quiltmarket then you've seen bird's eye views of the trade floor. None of those pictures captures the whole view because it's just too big to be seen through a camera lens.  I spent several hours wandering the floor on Saturday and in no way shape or form saw everything there was to see.

I didn't get to see it all because I spent my time connecting IN PERSON with people I've been working with or come to know online for years.  Like Chen (@mushyhed) and Jacey (@jaceynotjc) who were totally on board with silly faces instead of smiles.

Or Caroline Hulse (@sewcaroline) , Pat Bravo (@patbravo), Maureen Cracknell (@maureencracknell) and Carlie.  Here we are pictured at Sample Spree which takes place Friday night from 8-10pm.  Sample Spree is where vendors sell to the public fabric and notions that either have been recently released or soon to be released.  This allows shop owners to get their hands on fabric, patterns and notions in order to make shop samples to be ready for display by the time the fabric is shipped and available in their shops.  The line to get into Sample Spree starts forming several hours in advance and the energy of those waiting is electric.  When the doors open at 8pm, the crowd lets out a celebratory hoot and the people flood into the ballroom.  It was crazy up in there!

I arrived in Houston on Thursday and flew home late Saturday night.  It was jam packed and has left me with a feeling of inspiration and renewed excitement to do this thing that I so very much love to do.  I want to quilt all the things.  And I want to teach everyone how to quilt all the things.  And I want to use an endless supply of beautiful fabrics in beautiful colors, designs and substrates.

But, before I do all that, I've got to go grocery shopping, clean the house and do the laundry.  My glamours everyday life awaits.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I'll be at Quilt Market . . . will you?

I'll be at International Quilt Market in Houston, Texas tomorrow through Saturday.  I'm doing a Schoolhouse for my book (my book!!) Imagine Quilts on Friday, October 24 from 1:00-1:30 in room 372D.  Please come.  And please tell me if I have spinach stuck in my teeth before I start.

I'll also be signing books Saturday at 11am at the E.E. Schenck booth #1528 and at 12:30pm at the Martingale booth #2113 (advance tickets are required for this one.)

This is such a fun ride.

And I'm totally not kidding about the spinach thing. You will tell me right?


Monday, October 20, 2014

Recent portrait sessions

Autumn is my favorite time of year to photograph people. The scenery and the light.  Oh the magical light!  I always feel lucky to spend a sliver of time with families in a golden hour of light.  I always hop into my car at the end of the session mystified at where the time went and caught up in the world I saw through my lens.

Seven years ago I took a similar photo of these sisters which their parents wanted recreated.  What beautiful young women they've become.


Monday, October 13, 2014

And so we hiked

Everyday has some place to be. Something to do. Soccer practice. Or games. Clogging. And Razor is training for a marathon which requires lots and lots of time running. On this day, he called me over lunch and suggested we pack sandwiches and go for a hike. Oh, I said. It is our only free evening in forever. Wouldn't you just rather stay home? Maybe, he said.  But the skies are clear and we will be able to see for miles.

I'm so glad we hiked.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Recent Clogging Videos

These are two of my favorites that the girls are clogging. The first is a waltz clog and the second is Irish. Hope they make you smile as much as they do me!


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fitting into these days

It looks like this right now. My girls busy with things. And friends. And stuff. Razor busy with things and stuff. Me too. I'm busy with things and stuff. And still we sit down at the kitchen table every night for dinner together.  Every night. Because it's what we do and what, I think, keeps us centered.  It's where I hear about what happened at soccer practice and Razor hears about what happened at school.  It's where we remind each other of tomorrow's dentist appointment.  Or that cat food needs to be added to the grocery list. Or that burping isn't polite at the dinner table but is still hilariously funny even to the grumpiest one there.

At ages 15 and almost 13, the girls have active social calendars.  Which is good.  And exhausting. Sometimes we say no but usually we say yes.

The busy-ness of it all has been building.  And I try to stay in the present.  Try to be right here, right now and not worry/plan/think/dwell on what comes next. I don't always succeed but I try. I look out the window and see my kids when they don't know I'm watching. When did she get so tall that she can jump and reach the limb? When did she become such an animated story teller among friends? Well, lookie there, they can discuss something and work it out by themselves.

I know a lesson is trying to reveal itself to me. I've felt it just out of reach for months. I've tried to sit down and write about it. But I don't know what it is yet. It's wrapped up in the busy-ness. It's why I'm struggling to find a regular blogging routine. It's why I'm trying to figure out what my plan is after writing a book. My kids are busy and filling there time with more of the world. It's okay for me to be filling my time with more too.
Clarity will come.

Until then, there is dinner around the kitchen table. I can always count on that.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Delectable Mountains quilt in solids


This is a traditional Delectable Mountains quilt block pattern made in a rainbow of solids.  And my current favorite to curl up with on the couch.

I don't name quilts.  Do you?