Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Scary Times at the International Quilt Festival in Houston!

I have been looking forward to attending the Halloween-week event of the year for months, or maybe for 14 years, depending upon how you do the math. This extravagant trade and retail show for the quilting industry has happened on the frightful Halloween week for as many years as I can remember. My first trip to this landmark event happened in 1987 and this week's trip will mark my 10th year of attendance!

The gap between my last trip to Houston, to play with all of my quilting peers, happened in 1999, and during the space between then and now, my fiber art passion has decidedly moved away from the heritage fine craft of quilt making into other hand needle art techniques like embroidery and felting. My street cred for quilting expertise has long-since worn off. I am looking forward to seeing how many other mixed-media and felt-loving fiber artists will be represented at this annual show. I expect to be stunned by the variety of offerings and all the talented artists and businesspeople represented. That's what always thrilled me about this event in years past...the unbridled creativity in this huge convention center.

My beautiful Mom, Bonnie Leman
A bit of anxiety is bubbling up for me regarding my opportunity to meet with many of the wonderful folks who have been friends of my mom's over the years...folks who have had personal relationships with Bonnie Leman and were often featured prominently in my family's stellar publications, Quilter's Newsletter Magazine and Quiltmaker Magazine. I have contacted Karey Bresenhan, the driving force behind the International Quilt Festival, and one of my mom's life-long friends, and I am looking forward to catching up with Karey. There is a little scary feeling about seeing so many women whom I often saw standing side-by-side with my mom. We lost mom 3 years ago this September, and this will bring back tons of memories for me. I want to feel strong about all of this, but I will admit to you that I am teary just thinking about it all.

Cruella Inspiration
The last Halloween-type scare I just know will happen Thursday, October 31st, is the impact that my three fantastic friends and I will make as we enter the Quilt-a-Palooza ballroom in Texas dressed up in our costumed-best!! Now, it's been about 20 years since I last dressed in costume for Halloween, and that right there tells you how much I look forward to this sort of thing. Regardless, I have created, along with my pals, a Beauty Contestant Costume theme
that will just knock your socks off, or so is the plan. Yes, the four of us are each going as beauty pageant contestants, tiaras and all! When my son saw my costume, his response was, "So, you're going for a little Cruella Deville, huh mom?" Well, yeah.

This little Halloween journey began when the four of us visited a Goodwill store after lunch one day, in the hunt for prom dresses we could embellish. I found a striking black and white Jessica McClintock gown, which would have pleased Cruella Deville to death! My costume takes that strapless taffeta gown and with some fiber-friendly embellishment, and a little inspiration from the brightly-colored spiders of Australia, I will present my interpretation of Ms. HighFiber. (I thought that was more appropriate than entering the contest as Grandma Colorado...) You know, beauty contests are pretty silly, even by those who take them seriously, so we figured, let's have a laugh.

And you know what, when you are laughing, no matter what kind of challenge faces you, it is easy to celebrate. I hope to blog later in the week...along with a photo of the International Quilt Festival in full swing. It will be a homecoming for me of sorts, don't you think? I'm really glad I found a fantastic prom dress to wear.

Thanks for stopping by,

No comments: