After what seems like an eternity on aircrafts we finally arrived in Houston, the 4th largest city in the US and for two Aussie girls who love quilts, the most exciting city in the world to be visiting at this moment in time. A big shout out to the staff from Qantas, who took wonderful care of us while we were in the air.
Majella booked us into the most wonderful accommodation, The Hotel Icon. Man can she pick them, it is absolutely gorgeous and just so you don’t feel like your left home alone we will share some photos with you. (When I remember to take them)
One of the dilemmas in travelling is that you never feel that you have enough money so we have been telling ourselves that rather than spend our hard earned money on food we would rather use it for sightseeing and gifts etc. That lasted until the bread arrived at our table for dinner. Once the drinks arrived all previous thoughts were being recalculated. I have to say we had a simple meal but it was absolutely yummy and the drinks were to die for. Majella is not normally one for drinks but this morning lying in bed she admitted it was calling her back. Giggles erupted from her confession, so I would say that another Southern Way will be on the menu this evening. If this continues Sean’s duty free bourbon will be left and exchanged for Vodka. Even though we were too full last night for dessert we still glanced at the menu oohing and aahing over what we wished we could squeeze into our tummies. So being very sensible and not having the same restrictions as our children we have decided to start with dessert first tonight. We can’t wait.
Today we are on a bus trip travelling to three patchwork shops and the Houston Space Centre. One of the shops is in Galveston so I am really looking forward to visiting the Painted Pony. I have been told that Galveston is very pretty. I will let you know what I think when I get back. The French toast is calling from the restaurant so time for a shower – it would be terrible to miss the food, sorry I meant the bus. Be back soon.
We visited the Painted Pony today and what a lovely shop it was. Majella would probably like to send me there for training. The collections of fabrics were together in rooms – reproduction, baby/children, 30’s , pretty, bali – the list goes on. Lovely ladies, lovely quilts. Then we visited the Space Centre in Houston, not a lot to do with quilts you say. I was so pleased that I went as it was a wonderful experience standing next to an original space rocket and learning more about the space race and the Apollo Missions. A must see for anyone visiting Houston. It was a truly magnificent sight to see all the giant American flags flying in the breeze. They were everywhere. We received a wonderful short history of Texas from our tour guide as well – (We could now become adopted Texans we know so much! – everything is BIG in Texas! – we haven’t told them that Queensland is 2-3 times as big!)
Unfortunately I can’t tell you anymore about Galveston as we literally drove straight through it which was a little disappointing as everyone says that it is gorgeous. Next we went to Sew Contempo. We found the most darling (our new word) children’s patterns there so lucky, lucky Taylah (Majella’s little granddaughter). Our last stop was at Quakertown Quilts – oh my gosh there were beautiful quilts there, along with the most beautiful displays. The southern hospitality was wonderful – it felt like we were visiting family. They have the most wonderful programs that we are going to be running in the shop next year – just you wait (cause we can’t!)
So Friday has just finished and we have survived Sample Spree – just. I have never experienced such a wrestle for fabrics. Majella can confirm that I came back to the stall like I had been through the washing machine. Truly a frightening experience. I did manage to soldier on for you all and get to the Moda stand where I purchased the new ranges from Blackbird, 3 Sisters, French General and Minnick and Simpson. I also picked up some wonderful patterns from new designers that I spent time with at Schoolhouse. Schoolhouse was a fabulous experience and it was invigorating to spend time with designers that we admire and be introduced to new designers and quilt makers that we hadn’t seen or met before. You have to be extremely organized to attend Schoolhouse – you arrive at 8.30am in the morning and collect your class schedule which has over 350 classes listed. So you grab a coffee, sit and mark off the classes you would like to attend and when you have done that you read them again, cross off again, read again, cross off again and again until you have one class left in each session. You head off to class and then run all day from class to class to class. We had 15 sessions from 10.00 am until 5.30pm. So a very busy day for two little quilters all the way from Australia.
Tomorrow is the first day of Festival so we will be walking the floor visiting over 2500 vendors. I am so exhausted just thinking about it. It is 1am here now so the photos will have to wait until tomorrow.
Good night to you all. You are all in our thoughts even though we are thousands of miles away. (We adapt so quickly don't we.) Majella is laughing at my last comment because tonight I tried to tell the American shop owners how big a quilt was in metres.
Lisa & Majella