Whew!! Reflections on Houston

Wow!! I’ve never been to the IQF in Houston before, so the opportunity to go down to Houston and work the Quilts Beyond Borders booth allowed me to cross an item off of my bucket list. I arrived on the 28th of October, so that I could talk with manufacturers about making some donations of fabric to us when they left Market. They were very generous, giving us salesman’s samples and table drapes, which will allow us to make many quilts, kits, and backs for the children in Ethiopia. As we make up tops and quilts, we’ll share some pictures of those with you. Lots of cute new fabrics!

Carolyn and her sister, Cathy, and I put the booth together on the Tuesday after Market, so we’d be ready to go Wednesday night for the preview. Carolyn has done this several times, but this was the first time for Cathy and me, so we got some great direction from Carolyn, who has learned the best way to put the booth together to allow for the sit-and-sew as well as sales to flow smoothly. Cathy has a real eye for displaying products, and really did an awesome job of setting up the products to great advantage.

Hong (from Adelaide, Australia) and Donna S. (from Buffalo, NY) arrived in time to help us out working the booth Wednesday night, and on that night and the following days we were joined by more volunteers, including Karen and her husband Paul (from Washington), Donna L (from Lincoln, Nebraska), Billie, Kristine and Phyllis (all from Houston, I think), Ann (from San Antonio) and Richard and Martha (from New Braunfels). Everyone did a terrific job, and our sales exceeded our expectations. Profits from our product and quilt sales all go to finishing up the quilts, sending tops and backs to longarmers, printing information (brochures, etc.) about our charity, paying for taxis in Ethiopia, paying booth fees and other operational expenses like that.   We have no paid staff, so our volunteers are really valuable to us.   Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

During the week we had more than 70 completed quilts brought to us, and more than 100 tops returned from kits sent out the prior year.  It’s always wonderful to see what volunteers have created from the kits – lots of imagination and hard work goes into these wonderful results.   We also had several great volunteers stop by and create tops for us during the show, including a few that were trying piecing for the very first time.   Here are some of the pictures I took in Houston of the booth and our wonderful volunteers!

One volunteer, Jane D., who stopped by our booth and worked on a top for us, left and forgot her pincushion-scrap bag.  We turned it into Quilts, Inc. Lost and Found.  Jane, if you’re reading this, please contact Quilts, Inc.  at 1-713-781-6864, and ask for Anne.  She will be able to reunite you with your lost article.

Thank you to everyone who made this such a memorable trip for me!  Especially Carolyn and her husband, Mike, who both  extended such hospitality.   It was also really wonderful to meet Donna S., Martha and Richard, “frequent toppers” with whom I have been corresponding over the last year.  Thanks, Everyone!!




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