I’ve been home a week now – HOME SWEET HOME – after the marathon 2 week trip to Houston for the Quilt Market and Festival. Quilt Market is the wholesale part – where fabric companies, distributors, pattern companies, etc. go to set up booths for the shop owners to come ‘shop’ for stuff for their stores. Here are a few photos to give you the idea of what it is like at the George R. Brown in downtown Houston – and the NINE football fields of displays that this event produces!
Londa’s Creative Threads Booth
My booth focuses on showing off stylish jackets that FIT even though they are created on a comfortable knit that starts out as … a sweatshirt! On the left is my super A#1 assistant – Carol C., and on my right is Carol T – who was a great help AND kind enough to offer her lovely home for us while in Houston! She was a student in my all-day class last year at Festival – and goes to prove that one of the BEST things about this ‘career’ of mine is meeting new wonderful FRIENDS all over the country!
Interstate over parking lot at the back of the George R. Brown!
Uhhhh – yes, that is a truck – on the interstate that goes right behind the George R. Brown, and OVER the parking lot. Talk about noise!!!! And to this midwestern gal – kinda scarey. I’ll never forget my first year – back in 2007 – loading my rented van – it seemed WAY at the opposite end of this lot – at the end of the show – in the dark – and it was VERY lonely! I prayed – and God kept me safe though! That year, I’d had an accident in downtown Houston before it ever began, had a significant theft of stock during set-up for retail Festival, had a jacket stolen from my booth, and my helper had a significant fall. BUT – she also WON a huge wonderful Bernina machine! It’s amazing to me I ever decided to return to Houston, but I did – and always look forward to – at least the retail Festival – at the end of each years’ travels.
The messy set-up of booths…
Set-up of booths takes 1 1/2 days – and it is amazing all the work that goes into setting up – and THEN…changing over from the wholesale market to the retail festival! I kept thinking – “I’d like to see ANY politician come and lug things around and work THIS hard!!!!!”
Signing my book, Sweatshirt Transformations in the C&T Publishing Booth.
What an honor it was to sign my book: Sweatshirt Transformations in the C&T Publishing Booth which was right next door to my booth! They were generous to give away 38 books to those who stood in line. I also got to teach a ‘Schoolhouse’ event – where I helped shop -owners realize how they can integrate my book and sweatshirt jackets into their shops and class schedules. And yes…I make the jackets to fit ME – so here I am, in the jacket from the cover of my book! Say – I just got my first Royalty Check! Smile…Smile…Smile!
Too pooped to peep at the end of Market
And here is yours truly – at the end of market – out on the balcony of the convention center – catching a few winks the day after market ended. What happens at the ends of Market is that all the booths that aren’t going to stay for the retail Festival part – have to move OUT. That means LOTS of lift trucks, noise, incessant ‘beep beep beep’ of the trucks, and lots of prayer that your stuff doesn’t get stolen while you are gone, and waiting to start changing over your booth for Festival. I was lucky enough to stay in the same location – just expanding by another 10 x 20′, but some market vendors have to move their entire booth! Market is always a Saturday, Sunday, Monday – then the big CHANGE happens Tuesday and Wednesday – but then you have to be READY for Preview Night from 5-10 pm on Wednesday! THAT day is a killer! More on that in my Houston Quilt Festival post..