Another Festival of Quilts

I can't believe it's been a year since I went to the Quilt Festival here in Houston.  Suddenly it's that time again.  I heard on the radio this week that the festival draws over sixty-thousand attendees and that quilters spend more money on quilting than hunters spend on hunting and golfers spend on golf, which kind of boggles the mind.  Regardless of the hoopla, I just go to see the amazing display quilts from around the world.

It is bizarre how everything is different in my life than it was a year ago, and it all started just after the festival last year.  Last year I hung around the festival with my camera for hours, exploring and admiring the art.  This year, I raced around the festival with my camera in my diaper bag and my baby in the stroller.  I held my breath for most of the time and finally did a slower, more leisurely stroll only after I was certain that I had seen the highlights, lest I miss anything if the baby erupted.  But he hung in there, and I enjoyed a decent overview.

I was not as taken with this year's quilts as I was with those from last year, but they were beautiful and inspiring nonetheless.  The highlights for me this year were other details, like the fact that the friendly and enthusiastic ticket-taker at the door greeted me with "You must be from Wisconsin!", which was remarkable since I had never seen him in my life.  Even though I'm not from Wisconsin, from down here Minnesota and Wisconsin are essentially the same thing, so I was willing to consider that an accurate statement. Then I realized that he figured it out because I was wearing a sleeveless top and it was only 72 degrees outside.  For Houstonians, this constitutes a chill in the air.

Another aspect of the festival that amused me this year that I didn't notice last year was the husband's lounge.  It was a walled-off area in the back of the convention hall equipped with a big TV and a bunch of comfy armchairs and lounge chairs.  Pretty smart, and thoughtful, in my opinion.

There was something else I noticed this year that had nothing to do with quilts.  I noticed how many people in the world love babies.  As a person who has always feared them desperately, this fact never ceases to amaze me.  A sleeping baby in a stroller is a grandma magnet, and I was in a convention hall overflowing with grannies.  It's really fun walking past people who reflexively smile and get a little dreamy, giggly look on their faces when they look at your tiny companion.

Regardless, there were also beautiful quilts.  Here is a sampling of what I saw: