My friend Kathy, of Koolkat Quilting, and I visited the Houston Quilt Festival. What a wonderful event! The quilts were spectacular and the Texans are friendly and welcoming.
There were many aisles of quilts and hundreds of booths selling everything the quilter could desire. I felt the quilts had a strong conservative trend with the major winners all being traditional in design and heavily, intricately machine quilted. There was a lot of "bling" with use of crystals attached to the quilt surface and use of metallic threads.
As for the booths, the Americans are strongly into the country look with dark reds, blacks, khaki greens and mustard, and plenty of booths selling wool fabric for applique. Compared to American quilting, our Australian quilters tend to use brighter colours. I had trouble finding any "cowboy" or Texas " fabric as a memento of my trip. Maybe American quilters find it a bit "kitschy" in the same way that we feel about kangaroo and koala fabric in Australia.
We attended the Quilt Market also, and I think the general feeling was that sales were down in the wholesale Market but that the Festival retail market was very strong. One booth holder told me that there may not have been so many quilters attending but they spent a lot of money!
There were quilting ladies all over Houston, filling the hotels, riding in the elevators, beating a path to the George Brown Convention Centre every day with their handmade tote bags and their enthusiasm. There were a small number of men, most of whom took refuge in the Husbands Lounge with armchairs and sport on the TV.
I came back refreshed and full of new ideas for all sorts of projects.Every quilter should try to get to Houston at least once in a lifetime.
You can view Kathy's blog at