Friday, November 7, 2008

Shopping the IQA Show

With 1100 vendors, there was plenty to see...and the Quilt Festival in Houston. Despite all the quilt photos, I know what you really want is to find out what I bought!
I know others did far better at bringing home the bounty than I did, but here's the goods:

I was so excited to find a whole booth for the Tambani Project! These are embroideries made by Venda women in Africa. Each one is part of a folk tale, such as "The Hippo Who Swallowed a Girl" and "The Dancing Elephant".
The women make each piece unique by color choice and often their name or initials. Selling these charming pieces not only keeps the stories alive (each one includes the story it comes from) but also helps the women make money to care for their families.
Please visit the Tambani Project (
to read some of the stories, learn more about the women, and order some of these lovely little works (which are washable!).
I can hardly wait to use mine as appliques on some bags and jackets!

I wasn't in the vendors' area more than 5 minutes before I found books to buy!
They all went right into the large shopping bag given to IQA class & lecture attendees (center top).
Check yesterday's blog for details on The Masters: Art Quilts .
Fuse-and-Tell by Laura Wasilowski is more of her work with WonderUnder and shows a journal format for small quilts. I got that in the Artfabrik booth, from Frieda Anderson (another member of the Chicago School of Fusing). I hope I can be her hostess when she comes to teach at QuiltFest next year!
Digital Essentials by Gloria Hansen is written for people like me who are still trying to figure out the difference between pixels and resolution, and where to go once we get it! I was delighted to see one of Gloria's quilts in the competion and realize why she has won so many awards. Pictures cannot do her work justice:
Gloria Hansen's Blushing Triangles 4
I didn't want to make a pyramid of thread to take another photo, but thread is what I was most wanting for this opportunity of having all vendors in one room!
Marathon had cotton "mini cones" on sale, so I got a varigated called Avacado. I also got a reccommended spool of copper color metallic. This company has received a variety of ratings, so I will tell you my own thoughts after I've used it!
Floriani is a favorite of Cherry-Cherry's, so I horned in on her buy-9-get-1-free sort of deal and got a nice dark green called Wreath. This is polyester, and meant for embroidering, so it should hold up well for machine quilting.
Superior Threads, a favorite of almost everyone I know, got the rest of my business. I have 3 spools of So Fine!, a poly that should be wonderful in the bobbin or on top, and 3 spools of King Tut, a cotton thread that is universally loved.
I need to get stitching!!!! And when I do, you will get my honest opinion of all this stuff!
Did someone out there say rick-rack????
Oh, yeah, there was Jumbo Rick-Rack at The Threaded Pear! Any color you want. And the ladies in that booth were dressed up in short red & white striped dresses...they were havin' a good time!
In between is some hand dyed rick-rack, thanks to CC.
The hank of hand-dyed thread for embroidery is from Farm Fresh Textiles and was found in the Quilters Threads booth. I went there especially to meet Diane Harman-Hoog and Beth Wheeler, who have started a Yahoo group for thread sluts...I mean lovers! Join them (us) at the Thread Society.
I also got the ready-for-computer-printing fabric in their booth.
Time for the personal! Cherry-Cherry found wonderful cotton sox...she gave me this blue pair, and kept the ones with cherries, of course.
It was Halloween on Friday of the show, so I decorated an ID badge holder for CC (not shown) and for me. It was already orange & black! All I had to do was cover up the AQS logo (oops!) with some fabric before adding a nice felt cat and, of course, some rick-rack!
In the center you see my Exhibitor (meaning "vendor") badge for Hobbs Bonded Fibers. What a time we had working in the booth! Exhausting, but fun to talk to so many quilters from around the world, and to help them choose a batt for their project. We sold so many wool batts that CC & I had to each get one to take home.
Packing hint: poke a hole in the plastic bag so the air will come out and the suitcase can close!
Since TSA felt it was necessary to dig through our luggage coming and going, I hope they enjoyed my wool batt, dirty sox, and general show papers I packed by the "just dump it in" method.
I have now set a record for links in one blog! Hope you enjoy finding out more about these businesses I have mentioned.
Ain't ther Internet grand?


Pat said...

What wonderful shopping. Like Christmas! All the embellishments. I'd be interested in knowing how the Marathon copper metallic works out. And what you used it on.

Your link to the Tambani Project is not linking!

Sunnie said...

Thanks for letting me know about the link...

is the correct address. It works when I type it into my browser, but the link and on my side bar are not working.
I will keep after it and hope to get it working!
I'll let you know how that thread works out, too!