Hello and Goodbye, Quilt Market

Hey, I went to Quilt Market last week! Between a pregnancy that is slowing me down and a Halloween with a three-year old, it’s been a struggle to get my thoughts together. But I’ve been wanting to share a little bit about my time at the show.

I’ve been to about a dozen Quilt Market shows as a staff member of Martingale & Company. But this time I headed out on my own, knowing I probably wouldn’t be back for a few years. For me, it’s always an overwhelming experience–the new fabrics, the fresh designs, the funky trends, the stunning exhibitions. Not to mention the quilt-world celebrities! It’s like being backstage at Live Aid (or the new generation’s Live 8). If you’re a quilter, that is.

The George Brown Convention Center, downtown Houston (as seen through a construction site–always something new going up in Houston). I think the building is supposed to look like a ship. I think.

For three days at the show, I walked. And walked. And walked. (When I returned home, I weighed myself. Even though I’m preggers, I had LOST WEIGHT from so much walking.) I met with editors from this and that magazine–both were too, too kind to me and shared their savvy advice. I talked with reps from fabric companies and touched base with contacts I had made at past shows. It’s always exciting to meet new people in the industry, and it’s wonderful to catch up with people you usually only "talk" to by email. Which brings me to the two highlights of my trip.

After finding Annie Smith of SimpleArts online–and her great quilter-to-quilter podcasts–we started emailing back and forth. I found out she and her family had once visited the po-dunk town I live in. To me, that’s just too rare to be a coincidence.

Annie is one of those people you can’t help but love at a first meeting–cheerful, energetic, positive, genuine. (Her beautiful daughter? Same thing.) Annie recorded an interview with me Sunday (or was it Saturday?) after the show about The Little Box of Baby Quilts. (I’ll link to the podcast when it’s available.) I just know I said some dorky things during the interview. That’s because Annie put me at ease from the start so I could let the ‘ol guard down a bit. The inherent dork that I am decided to show herself. I tried to hide her. I tried! Darn you, Annie. 🙂

I had a great time with you, Annie. Thank you so much for the opportunity to meet and talk with you!

Me with Annie Smith of SimpleArts.


Annie with her daughter, Kirsten, at their booth. (Loving Annie’s yummy quilted chocolates in the background!)

The other highlight of my Market experience was meeting up with old friends at Martingale & Company. I worked for M&C for 10 years. Up until just last month, in fact. I wish I had taken more pictures of everyone there! But here’s what I got:

In the Martingale booth with my friends Deb and Shelley. I miss you already.

The deliciously hip Cassie, another good friend of mine from M&C. Somebody actually said "You are a vision!" to her at the show. She is so cool and cute it makes me sick. But in a good way.

I think the reason Cassie and I get along so well is that she, like me, is a dork at heart. Here she is, totally dorking it out for the camera. Dork on, Cassie!

It was so fun to go to dinner with the Martingale crew and catch up and be hilarious with each other. I think there were eight of us. We talked movies from passing the bread basket around until the shuttle opened its doors at the hotel lobby. I had such a great time being with you all, one more time. I am really, really going to miss you.

And with that, I’m saying goodbye to Quilt Market for a while. I did what I went to do. I feel like I did something brave, going to Houston on my own. But I wasn’t really on my own–so many old and new friends were there with me. I’m glad I went. I’m equally glad to be back home.

Now on to the next bold undertaking–focusing on slowly rebuilding our nest. This time, with room for four.

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