So here I am in Houston, and the quilts are amazing. I can't figure out how to post pics from the show, but here's the link to pics of the big winners:
I walked through all of the actual competition quilts today, and just one of the other exhibits, then felt quite overdosed and went to visit some folks I knew were here with their booths. I saw Barbara Switzer at the Suncatcher booth that she runs with her sweet husband Fred. Then stopped off at the Tabitha Quilts booth to say hello to Billie Gunderson from Kalamazoo, MI, who is in the Log Cabin Quilters there. I still miss the ladies there a lot. Billie told me she has a shop in Kalamazoo now. I'd love to see it. Say, that's a really good excuse to take a trip up there--see the grandkids, and see Billie's shop.... Then I wandered on down to the A1 Quilting Machines booth to meet Dwain, who is a member of Treadleon, www.treadleon.net, a group of folks who collect and use people-powered machines. He's just as nice in person as he is on the group, folks.
Okay, I said I would say a bit more about the Storm at Sea quilt that got a 3rd place here in 1999. At that time, the show had started calling people a few days before the show to let them know that they had won a ribbon. They didn't say which one, of course, not wanting to spoil the surprise. Unfortunately, we had left Michigan already, and were in Texas, so I never got a call. I drove on up to Houston from Rockport on Wednesday, and decided to attend the award ceremony so I could get to see the winners before the show opened. They had the first place winners hanging all around the edge of the auditorium near the stage, with drapes over them, and as each one was announced, they removed the drape. The second, third, and honorable mention quilts were shown on huge screens. As each was announced, the quilter who had made it would stand and walk down to the stage. They were all dressed up and looked very nice. So, when it got to the Innovative Pieced Large category, they undraped the winner, then announced second place, and after that prize was awarded, they announced the third place winner, and IT WAS ME! After a moment of stunned silence, I leaped to my feet and happy danced down to the stage, since all semblance of dignity was left tattered under my seat. At this point, I will tell you that I was wearing black cotton pants, orange Birkenstocks, bright yellow socks, and a t-shirt that said, "Does Anal Retentive Have A Hyphen?" Somewhere there exists a photo of me accepting the ribbon from two beautifully dressed ladies. For the rest of the show, people would walk up to me and say, "I remember you from the award ceremony." I had to keep explaining that I hadn't gotten the phone call, or I would have dressed up some. I still blush when I think about that night, but it was such a lovely surprise.