Fall Quilt Market in Houston, Part 2

Mary Lou at the Dear Stella booth with her free shopping bag.

Back to work in Houston…

Each season the fabric companies seem to outdo themselves with color, design, originality & splendor – the “wow” factor.  This booth was just charming, with fabric reps wearing dresses made from the season’s prints.

One of my favorite fabric booths, Echino, always showing inventive products made from their cloth.


Kokka & Echino (by Etsuko Furuya) prints are wonderfully hip and the colors bright.  They make many “cheater” prints, offering a variety of colors and motifs, with the look of seamed cloth.  It’s a great way to add interest to your quilt, home dec project, or wearing apparel.  I bought two huge bundles on sample sale night and have many ideas cooked up for both.

The great thing about market is, you can make your presence big or small: here’s to BIG hair!

I had a great conversation with this gal (& her hair!)  Lisa Anderson with a Fabby creation from Fabric Fanatics is selling “add ons” -  fun items to increase sales at quilt shops.  She had a winning smile and really made me laugh.  Not always easy to do when you are SERIOUSLY at work.  Their motto on the web is “Born to Quilt, FORCED TO WORK.”

Everyone had a shot of Mary Jane’s “Glamping”camper. She embraces an outdoor lifestyle with her own magazine, too.

There were probably more photos of this camper than any other pic at Houston Market this year.  Her website is nostalgic, modern, fun and practical, all at the same time.  She truly lives her lifestyle, not just for show.

Melody Miller’s first market booth – a winner by all scores (Christmas tree is fabu). Just look at the gawkers!


Melody Miller (in the kerchief) has better pics on her website than I can show here.  Many detailed closeups for the products made by friends, too.  She was located right next to the Echino booth and also designs prints for Kokka.

“The Button Box” by Rebecca Navarro of Sugarland Texas

Back to the quilts… isn’t this cute?  Look at all the buttons she used and how she constructed her background of many fabric bits.  The girls remind me of youthful kids drawings.  Rebecca stated the idea came from a figure drawing class.

“The Candy Shop” by Miyuki Hamaba, Japan

What a great mix of pattern and color!  Note the border quilting of the flower continuing into the stripe sashing – beautiful.

“Chasin’ Waterfalls” by Cindi Goodwin, Naples, Florida

What a fantastic scrappy quilt.  Looks like she “designs as she goes” fitting in blocks  without a care.  The bright inserts of blue really move your eye around.

“Tea Fairy House” by Jamie Fingal, Orange, CA

This artist is fun to watch – I read her bio and she quilts on felt, then adds another felt layer as backing – genius!  She also liberally uses buttons and zippers in her compositions.  In the description, Jamie says, “Have a cup of hope and joy in the tea fairy house, nestled amongst the ranunculus in the garden.”


Global AIDS Memorial Life Stories in Fabric, by Cheveron Employees & Volunteers

And speaking of hope, nothing says it better than belief in humanity.  Back in the early 90′s when I worked at Gap, Inc. headquarters in San Francisco, I had the opportunity to work on a group quilt for the  AIDS Names Project.  It was before I really thought of myself as a quilter.  The tee shirts span from 1993 to the present – a history of service. There were many quilts in this exhibit, all memorializing a loved one lost.

“Stokrozen” by Ans Schipper-Vermeiren, Haaften, The Netherlands

This artist said that Hollyhocks remind her of England.  Look how she incorporated the tiny hexagons into the flowers & leaves.

“Green Blue Planet Under Siege” by Marja Matiisen, Harjumaa, Estland

This artist wants to raise awareness of waste and garbage (too much stuff) but also to remind us to recycle.  She incorporated clothing labels, waistbands, belt loops and all parts of the jeans fabric in her awesome piece of work.

Dinner away from the fray, at The Grotto, on Westheimer.

Inspiration is everywhere… Mary Lou and I took a shopping and lunch break in the Westheimer district.  We were rewarded with detailed views over a quiet meal, at The Grotto Ristorante, just catching up.  Look at the paintings long enough an you will find many humorous subtleties, like the woman about to sit on a squirrel, or the dressed up dog, or the canal-boat driver throwing a pizza.  To top that off, we had Sprinkles cupcakes for desert.  Who new the Beverley Hills icon had a satellite in Houston?   It was so good, we came back the next evening, for a farewell dinner with friends.

Richard and Marti Michell, market regulars & standouts.

Quilt Market is always a time to catch up with friends.  Sometimes, we only see each other on the road, grabbing a bite and filling our hearts & heads with news of the year.  This market, I reintroduced myself to Marti Michell and her husband, Richard.  They have Iowa roots, just like my husband.  In fact, both attended Iowa State, in Ames, about the same time as my in-laws.  I discovered this in a recent bio of Marti, in American Quilters Magazine.

Dear friends in quilting: Mary Lou, Mel & Brenda.

We all met in Mary Lou’s Asilomar class, in 2005… being at Quilt Market gives us an opportunity to speed through a year of events and developments.  Case in point, Brenda’s oldest son is getting married next week (the 2nd one to pick Thanksgiving as the time to do it!)  Brenda works with Marti and handily demos all her products, often on the Road.  Our next chance to meet is Road To California, in January, where Marti will be a featured teacher.  Until then, get inspired and get sewing & quilting!