This is Part 2 of a few blog posts I’ve written recapping my experience at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas in Nov. 2018. To read part one, click here (you can still come back and keep reading 🙂

These are the most popular questions I get regarding the International Quilt Festival:

“Is it just a bunch of old grandmas?”

“Quilting is just a small hobby for me. I’m not a professional. Why should I go?”

And of course… “What did you buy?”

Today, I’m going to answer those questions and more!

Thinking of going to a Quilting Festival? These 8 Tips are going to prepare you for your super fun adventure! Make sure to read through these so you don't forget anything important :)

“Is it just a bunch of old grandmas?”

First of all… haha… and second of all, there are totally some sweet old ladies (and men!) in attendance, but it isn’t JUST grandmas!

Us modern quilters like the think that we are in a league of our own and while we collect and use the skills and wisdom of generations before us, our styles do not always mesh well together. (I shall never buy fabric with chickens on it for myself. I just can’t bring myself to do it even though several of the local quilters that I idolize can’t get enough of them!)

I was really surprised to see just how the numbers over the last few years have grown to include the younger generations of quilters. Because of the rising numbers, vendors are stepping up and including a more modern focus on the products that they offer while still maintaining the balance of the old quilting charm that drew us all in, to begin with.

It is a delicate balance – seeing the two worlds (traditional and modern quilting) collide in one big place is such a magical and inspirational thing to behold!

“Quilting is just a small hobby for me. I’m not a professional. Why should I go?”

The simple answer is that it is so much fun!

Do you have to be a professional to attend? No! Quilting does not have to be your job at all! I met several women at the show who have never even quilted a day in their lives. They were just mildly interested in quilting or just getting their toes wet in sewing and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. –I asked for research purposes, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM said they were having a good time and was happy they decided to attend!

It is totally a party day that is full of energy for quilters, knitters and crafty people of all ages. A bonus is that most mommas do not bring their kids (I actually did this year because he wanted to come!) But as a younger mom who just needed a “Me day,” this was really nice to just hand out with mostly grownups.

Thinking of going to a Quilting Festival? These 8 Tips are going to prepare you for your super fun adventure! Make sure to read through these so you don't forget anything important :)

The main reason you should attend the International Quilt Festival even if you are the most novice quilter on this planet is that you will walk away with so much inspiration! So much!

Also be open to visiting and talking with people while you’re in attendance. I’m a total introvert and talking to people all day exhausts me, but I have met so many nice people at the quilt show. People that I still stay in contact with years later. It is a wonderful place to make contacts and see new techniques!

There are fun little events taking place all over. I saw several booths had gift certificate raffles going on… (though I’m still waiting on the call to see if I won.)

We found a cute little photo booth that had NO line. To be fair, it was tucked outside the main booth area and kind of in a corner… bet we just had to play with it and get a few good pictures out of it! – I’m glad he is still at the age where hanging out with your mom is totally cool 🙂

Ok so… “What did you buy?”

Yay! This is my favorite part because being a big convention show with so many booths… so many companies are offering show exclusive deals and sales! I love a good bargain!

Last year, I purchased so many fun fabric finds. I still haven’t used all of my stashes actually… and with our recent trip and fabric shopping in Paris… this momma had to hold a little tighter to the money in her wallet this year. Boo. Note: I’m totally not complaining here. I have such a love of fabric, and I want to buy it all and hoard it all… but not at the expense of ruining my families budget. It is more of a warning that one could easily blow your budget with the enormous selection of fabric/gadgets available without any self-control!

I found a lot of really great deals at the AdornIt fabric booth. Just look at this little 6″ layer cake I found! It is so girlie and happy it just had to come home with me!

If you’re looking for an easy layer cake pattern, make sure you download my favorite pattern for FREE! Its super easy and beginner friendly! You’ll love it!

There was also a large tray with fat quarters for $1.50 each. Several of them were not fabrics that suited my tastes on their own… but with the help of my son, I managed to create this combo that would make an adorable baby quilt for a little boy, don’t you think?

I found several other yards and half yards of fabric that I picked up.

I spent a while digging through the fabric and talking with the booth owners. Such sweet people!

They let me pick out a free pattern book to take home as well. It has several patterns in it that I’m dying to try out!

I also realized that have a (not so secret) love affair with a fabric designer that I just can’t ignore anymore. There isn’t a thing that she has made that I didn’t immediately fall head over heels in love with. Carrie Bloomston, you are my design twin in spirit.

I highly recommend her fabrics, and her book as well. There are several designers that I like if you check out my FaveFabric Friday series… but I think its time I add another post because I LOVE Carrie Bloomston.

I found a panel design that I snatched up so fast a made the saleslady jump a little bit 🙂

And here it is after I got home and put it with just a few of the other Carrie Bloomston fabrics that I collected a few weeks ago…


OK, I know this is getting long. I have one last little find to share. This sweet woman was my absolute favorite person at the show to meet because she talked for several long minutes with my son (who thought it was so cool that she was interested in everything he had to say when it came to quilting. Quick note: He is seven years old. He has opinions on everything from quilting to super-heroes and endangered animals! And he isn’t shy around adults… so if you ask, be prepared for at least a 10-minute conversation.)

Debbie Wendt of Wendt Quilting is an absolute angel of a quilter. She has a blog where she posts “Two Tip Tuesday” articles with lots of helpful advice for quilters!

After about 10 minutes of talking to us, Debbie made my son’s day by letting him pick out of her patterns to take home as a gift – JUST FOR HIM. He is still planning out the colors for his quilt that we will work on together (I’ll post pics of course, but it won’t be until after the holidays when things have slowed down a bit more)… He has not forgotten her sweet charity. It is very much appreciated by us both! Thank you, Debbie!

What other questions do you have about the quilt show? – I know that I’m so lucky to live in Houston and have the International Quilt show right here in my backyard (almost)… Do not let any distance be the reason you don’t go though. There are hotels and hordes of women who make a whole weekend trip out of the quilt show!



I seriously start planning for my trip to the International Quilt Festival 365 days in advance! Yep, as soon as I leave the festival, I’m already excited for the following year!


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