I attended Preview Night last night at the International Quilt Festival
in Houston. I’ve been going for decades and this year was absolutely the best! It is so fun to go and shop and fall in love with the new quilt trends. But to do it with your great friends was the buttercream icing on the cake! Loretta and Toni moved away some time back and came to Houston to join Tina and Gwenn and me for an epic adventure.
If you have never been … let’s just say it is five days … 60,000 people from all over the world celebrating quilting. There are classes, quilt exhibits, demos, lectures, tons of shopping (1,100 booths) and more eye candy quilts that you have ever seen under one roof! I really should have taken more photographs but I was concentrating on those future potential projects to purchase.
Trends I noticed … lots of primitive quilts, modern, and so much more! I snagged Edyta Sitar’s “Elephants” quilt pattern and stencil (awesome design), a pillow kit for Fall, a cowboy boot quilt kit, and the most important was a chunk of Minion fabric for my grandson’s Jake’s future I Spy quilt.
The International Quilt Festival ends on Sunday, November 1, so get your walking shoes on and head on down to the George R. Brown Convention Center.
This is a story about Emma’s Autism quilt. If you look close, you will notice there are only two kinds of fabric in the quilt top. The one fabric brightly-colored with a puzzle piece design, the symbol for Autism. The other fabric, a solid, used to quiet the other. Emma is like the solid fabric in her quilt … quiet and encouraging. She has always offered practical ways to apply behavioral and social training encouraging those with Autism to thrive and belong.
It was earlier this year when Mary came to me with the idea for making Emma a quilt and two yards of the puzzle fabric. She wanted to in some small way thank Emma for years of encouragement, friendship, and her willingness to share her expertise while working her daughter, Michelle. Actually, Emma has over the years touched many lives in our community. How do you thank someone like that?
While my own daughter, Mimi, doesn’t have Autism, we have our own happy memories with Emma. Years ago Emma came to our home to care for Mimi so my husband and I could go on a date. Emma gave Mimi the nickname of “Meemers,” which is what many at the day center still call her.
Of course I was “all in” on the project! It took me a while to figure out a quilt block to complement the busy Autism fabric. I figured whatever quilt block we used, the black fabric would make it pop. The churn dash quilt block was simple enough and worked well with the busy Autism fabric.
Mary and I even scheduled some time together so I could show her how to piece a few of the blocks. Once the quilt top was finished we went to a local quilt shop, Quilts & Creations, and picked out a backing. The bright green worked perfect! Next we met with Kim Norton, of A Busy Bobbin, to pick out a machine quilting pattern. We all loved the variegated thread and swirly quilt pattern. Personalize It Kingwood made the quilt label and we were finally ready to give Emma the quilt.
After bouncing lots of options off each other, Mary came up with the perfect name for the quilt. “Emma’s Gift of Hope” was our way to say thanks to a very special lady who has spent a lifetime giving to people with Autism.
Our Nativity quilt was one of the items featured in the live auction at St. Martha’s Fall Festival on Saturday. It was a wonderful event for the whole family filled with fun, food, games for the kids, craft booths and fellowship! And yep … this is my final post about the Nativity quilt!
The live auction started at 7 pm. For a few ladies who stood off to one side closest to our quilt, you could cut the tension with a heavy-duty rotary cutter! After a full day of working our craft booth, several of Martha’s Quilters were in attendance for the live auction. Finally, our quilt came up for bidding. Our demeanor turned anxious as our quilt was finally brought forward. The minimum bid was $1,000. I held my breath. Would anyone in the crowd even bid on such an expensive item? Five long seconds passed. Finally, a lady raised her hand in the front row. Then a lady on the second row raised her hand. They battled back and forth and when the dust settled … our Nativity quilt … the one seven ladies worked on for three months … 843 fabric pieces and over 250 collective hours … the same quilt I had dreams about … what if we didn’t get it finished in time kinda dreams … the auctioneer announced “sold” … for $2,200! A very happy ending to a long journey.
Martha’s Quilters have been busy since July creating lots of one-of-a-kind handmade items for St. Martha’s Fall Festival. Our booth will be overflowing so come on by and check it out! Let’s see if I can list a few things we have for sale … college quilts (A&M, UT and LSU come to mind), lots of lovely quilts (fabric and crocheted), Christmas tree skirts, ornaments, seasonal table runners, fabric purses, felt purses, small rosary zippered bags, aprons, mug rugs, embroidered baby items (new this year and absolutely awesome), wine bags, designer fabric checkbook covers, rolling pin covers, and so much more we are going to knock your socks off!
St. Martha’s Fall Festival is this Saturday from noon to 8 pm in the church parking lot. Lots of food, drink, activities for the kids, and oh … there is a live auction where, among other items, our fabulous Nativity Quilt will be auctioned to benefit our ministry and the parish!