I'm not sure what it is about coming to the Houston Quilt Show that excites me the most.
Of course the quilts and vendors are some of the main things but this is my 16th visit and I just embrace it all. It just gets better and better each year.
I'll never forget the first time I came, I stayed in one of the 'fringe' hotels and came in each day in a taxi. I didn't know one person. I discovered a seedy side to the hotel and was able to shift to the Hyatt at an expense I knew would be hard to explain at home.
I wandered the floors taking everything in and soaking up the atmosphere. It was also a little scary and quite daunting for me to be amongst so many people who occasionally bumped into me in the aisles and almost every one was with a friend. I felt shy and very much alone.
But the seed of delight was planted and it began to grow. I came away with new eyes, new ideas and a sense that this was to be my future world.
I couldn't explain it much at home, certainly the family didn't understand. My quilt group needed to talk about their day to day lives rather than a show of quilts half way around the world and I kept the idea locked in a small package in my heart. It was personal, it was private and it was mine.
16 years later, I can't walk far down the aisles without having to visit or embrace some special friend.
I know some of the hotel staff by name and always stay in the best accomodation.
I certainly know the organizers of the event as friends as associates.
The quilts hold more than just the word awe for me, they hold the wisdom of art and creative expression.
The fabrics, notions and goods on display are part of my world and capture my imagination.
The students become friends and I've had more than my share of opportunities to become a gift giver of ideas.
It's still a package in my heart but has also become a huge part of my life.
AND the family knows how much it means to me and are also planning to visit for a special occasion in 2016. It will be like a dream come true.