Quilt Market – Where Friends Meet

What’s better than Disneyland? Why Quilt Market and Quilt Festival of course!

Today was the first day of the vendor mall at the Fall International Quilt Market held annually in my “hometown” of Houston Texas. Yesterday was a sneak preview fondly called Schoolhouse – where attendees have hundreds of “classes” to visit and see the newest products and fabrics being introduced into our industry. In case you missed #thequiltramblerontheroad photo reporting of schoolhouse then you just need to visit my facebook page as it was well documented (grin).

Sew-lebrity Sightings:

Today was my socializing day….okay, so perhaps every day for me could be considered “social day” but today was well planned…and some of it not so planned…

What’s a Sew-lebrity you ask? Well, I borrowed the term from a gal I met today – I shared that I was taking photos of my “celebrity friends and she said, “you mean SEWlebrities don’t you?”  Of course I do!  So let me introduce you to a few folks I visited with today!

Longarm Sewlebrities and Local Sewlebrity:

As soon as I walked into the exhibit hall who would I see but Jodi Robinson! If you don’t know her you might know her quilts! Jodi has been quilting for many years but in recent years “found herself” in the Modern Quilting world – and is she ever rocking that world!  It’s been my privilege to taken longarm classes with her. Jodi, thank you for your continued inspiration!

Jodi Robinson of Jodi Robinson Designs

A few steps later I ran into Cynthia England, who I’m sure if you are a quilter you will know as last year’s Best of Show winner (3rd-time winner actually!). Cynthia happens to be “local” and one of my hometown friends. Not only is she a fabulous designer and teacher she is a total hoot as a guild speaker! It’s always so much fun when Cynthia is visiting the Island Quilters Guild. By the way, Cynthia lives in my in-laws’ hometown of Dickinson Texas – the same Dickinson that was all over the news with Hurricane Harvey, and yes, Cynthia’s studio and home took on water. She’s #TexasStrong and it is so good to see her at market – she will be here next week for festival too.

Cynthia England needs no introduction – her quilts are simply amazing

A little later in the day, I stopped by to visit with my friend Helen Stubbings. Helen is neither a longarm quilter or local (grin) as she is from Australia! But I’ve known Helen for a number of years as I met her online through her sister Tracey Browning who is an A1 Quilting Machine Dealer (one of my previous adventures was being the Texas rep from 2008  – 2014) and a few fall markets where we really got to know each other. Helen does amazing handwork and makes it look so inviting and easy. She has some really cool paper piecing items for my friends who find this their passion.  I highly recommend her just because she is so sweet – and it goes without saying she’s gifted in her area of expertise! Always good to get an Aussie hug from Helen!

Helen Stubbings of Hugs ‘N Kisses from “down under”

I also ran into Gina Perkes, whom I’ve known and followed since my early days as a longarm quilter and have had the privilege of taking a class with her. Gina has to be the most photogenic woman I know. Her smile radiates in her eyes and I believe it’s because it resonates from deep within. She’s always so happy and so encouraging. Gina, I wish you much-continued success with your longarm quilting and design tools. It’s always good to see you at shows!

Gina Perkes, visit her booth for longarm inspiration and tools

Island Batik Sewlebrities:

I have been counting down to Quilt Market for months! It is truly a magical time of year for me, but more so this year as I couldn’t wait to visit with my friends from Island Batik!  If you are a regular reader of my ramblings you will know that since January of this year I have been blessed to be counted among the Island Batik Ambassadors, quilters who share the same passion for Island Batik fabrics and who participate in a monthly challenge and blog about our creations using this fabulous fabric line! Well! Several of the gals were coming to market and some to festival – we just had to make arrangements to meet up!

First of all, there’s Nan Baker. Not only is she the keeper of the birthdays for our group but I find that she’s an encourager and a very talented lady. She has a passion for critters and keeps us all involved in Kennel Quilts – in fact, she taught a class to shop owners this weekend to spread the word on how others can get involved.  Nan also had a signature collection of fabric with Island Batik called Northern Woods, of which I was privileged to create a quilt to add to the collection, Mint Chocolate Chip.

Nan Baker and her fabulous fabric collection and patterns!

Another one of the Island Batik Ambassadors whom I spent time with today is Tina Dillard, her quilt is the “cover girl” of the Island Batik Fall Catalog! And she has a fabulous new block of the month called Rambin’ Star. We had a lot of fun visiting together, sharing ideas, and now will have a stronger Facebook friendship due to meeting in person! So sad that you have to fly home so early. Safe journey my friend!

Tina Dillard – Block of the Month – Ramblin’ Star
Yep, Tina made that Funky Friend!

I might as well throw in the photos Tina took of me with my quilts….

The Quilt Rambler with Mint Chocolate Chip made with Nan’s collection Northern Woods
The Quilt Rambler and Illuminated Journey – made with Paisley Dot Precut Strips

Just a few more Island Batik photos and Sewlebrities…

Caleb Willis, company president, and all around good guy! Can you see Tina’s cover quilt on the catalog!
Kathy Engle, VP and Design Specialist – she pulls together all the designer collections – such talent!

Among the designers, I was able to meet Tammy Silvers and Jackie Kunkel both of whom I’ve been following on social media. I am amazed and inspired by their collective creativity and design. Their new lines with Island Batik are Elementz and Blue Moon. 

Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis
Jackie Kunkel of Canton Village Quilt Works

Studio 180 Design Sewlebrities:

Oh my, the day just kept getting better! It was a huge reunion to get to visit with Deb Tucker, Sue Tucker, Sarah, and Hailey! I’ve missed Tuckerland. The only thing that would have made this better was getting to visit with Jeff Tucker, but someone had to stay home and take care of the cats….er…warehouse!

Sue Tucker, Sarah Furrer, Karen Overton, Deb Tucker, Hailey Tucker – Studio 180 Design!

Becoming a Certified Instruction (CI) with Deb has been the best career decision I have ever made!  Not only did I get adopted by this fabulous family, but I’ve been adopted by 79 other CI’s, many of whom I was able to meet today (and a few I neglected to get photos with – but hopefully there will be another opportunity!). Here are just a few of my Sewlebrity CI friends!

Phyllis Fay and Beth Sidley, with Tucker University
Running With Scissors gals: Ellen Cicak, Kathy Webb, and Heidi Chase
Shanena Fredricks, Linda Wirtz, Deb Tucker (photobombed us), Karen Overton, and Brian McCoy

These guys and gals are ready, willing, and able to come teach workshops or lead Tucker Universities in your local quilt shop – of course, it goes without saying that yours truly can do that too. Here’s the listing of all the CI’s 

But wait, there’s more!

As my day was wrapping up having  juggled between the Island Batik booth and Studio 180 Design (I seriously didn’t go anywhere else today besides the food court and to see my friends at FiberCo, but that’s another day’s story) I was walking along when a lady stopped me and said “oh, I hoped I run into you!” Well, low and behold it’s my text editor Leslie Meltzer whom I’ve only talked to once via email! Leslie was recommended to me by my graphic designer Lindsie Bergevin and we will all be working together to get my patterns into print before the fabric ships to quilt shops the first of the year. For fun I thought our photo should be black and white, kinda reminded me of typeset years ago in the newspaper (dates me I know). Well…it’s late so what can I say…

Leslie is going to make sure my pattern directions are free of typos and easy to follow, Can’t wait!

Thanks for hanging out all the way to the end…there’s so much more I wanted to say, especially about my CI friends but the clock just struck 11 PM and I do need my beauty rest so I can drive back downtown tomorrow for more Quilt Market adventures. And yes, to all my Island Batik Ambassador friends I will do my best to go around the booth and a get really good close-ups of all the quilts. It’s an honor to be counted among you! Your designs are inspiring. To my S180 CI family – what can I say but I love you ALL – you have been so overwhelming good to me and supported me through all the “Harvey mess” that I can’t truly voice my feelings because I tear up, and it’s too late in the evening for that!

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, reporting in from Fall Quilt Market! More Hugs and Photos Tomorrow!

Like and follow me on social media ~ there’s photos and such all across the internet ….this rambler loves to be #TheQuiltRamblerOnTheRoad

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