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Houston is Ready…

If you’ve been hesitant about heading to Quilt Fest next weekend in Houston, don’t be, come on down!  The George Brown Convention Center is in pristine condition after serving as host to Hurricane Harvey evacuees. This weekend is Quilt Market, the industry’s largest convention to the trade, and attendance appears to be up as quilt shop owners flock to Houston.

But that’s not the only reason to be in Houston this weekend. Just a block away from the convention center, the Houston Astros are in the World Series at Orange Maid Park!  It’s not very often that you stumble across a display like this:


Here’s a closer look at each showcase:

Quilt Market 2017

2017 World Series

What’s so great about Quilt Market?  This is THE event to see new product, new fabric lines and beautiful quilts. What we see here this weekend will hit be hitting stores soon – sometimes immediately or a few months down the road.

The day before the show floor opens, Schoolhouse classes are staged in every available classroom on the second floor (this place is massive!). I assisted Deanna Springer in Nancy Zieman’s class, I Sew for FunTwo of Nancy’s granddaughters appeared on the PBS Sewing with Nancy show and the book that highlights that series is titled, I Sew For Fun.

It’s a new line of product geared at the younger generation and includes child-friendly notions from Clover.  Check out this retractable seam ripper – perfect for little hands (and big ones!).

Martingale published Nancy’s charming illustrated child’s book.

Easy in the hoop embroidery designs from Amazing Designs make computerized embroidery fun for little techies.

You’ll find a user-friendly software program, Click, Print and Stitch.  All of these products will be available at your sewing machine dealer or Nancy’s Notions very soon.

This whole concept from Nancy is focused on teaching adults how to teach children to sew.  After all, it’s common to have a young assistant in the kitchen but you wouldn’t let them loose with needles, knives and hot plates.  In the sewing room, the little stitcher needs a big stitcher to get started.

Today, the Quilt Market officially opens and I’m excited about visiting with our cherished machine advertisers: Baby Lock, Bernina, Brother, Elna, Janome, Viking and Pfaff. They spend hours and hours designing their booths and samples to inspire shop owners.  I love seeing the samples they make to highlight new machine features and accessories (hoops, feet and more!).

This is often the only time of the year I get to visit with designers in person instead of over the phone or email.  I’m often humbled with the amount of work that goes into creating their displays.  I know how difficult it is to be a one-woman show!  Their samples and product bloom with creativity as they pour their heart and soul into every stitch.

On Monday, the doors of Quilt Market will close and the floor will be transformed to accept thousands of quilters for Quilt Fest.  By then, the World Series will be over and the town will be ready to host it’s favorite convention – Quilt Fest!  So come on down, Houston is waiting for you!




  • LisaKnight

    Oh you make me want to come. Shows like this are my county fair.

  • Karen Poole

    I can’t go to Houston since it’s too far away, but I am Fortunate enough to attend the Road to California Quilt show!! I live just minutes from the Ontario Convention Center! I can’t wait for the kid friendly items in today’s blog to be available, as I’ve taught my grandsons to sew but the two younger ones are not allowed to use the sharp tools! I have been able to make a few changes and buy safe tools for them but really like kid safe stuff!!

  • Carolyn Hauber

    Would love to come there just once.
    Nancy Zieman sure is a busy lady for someone who retired.

    • eileenroche

      Oh Carolyn, as you can imagine, large product introductions like the I Sew For Fun line, are about two years in development – all of which occurred before Nancy’s retirement.

  • Bev

    Are the Stitching Sisters still working together for events? I read reference to “stitching sister.” Same question re; the magazine “Designs in Machine Embroidery. I love being a subscriber!

    • eileenroche

      Hi Bev, Marie and I, aka The stitching Sisters – are not currently traveling. We’re still sisters though, we talk on the phone everyday and look forward to many future joint projects!

      • Bev Weis

        Thanks for your reply, Eileen.
        I definitely enjoyed the program you two presented thru Smocking Shop in Louisville, Ky. Carol Kapsalis has come miles in her sewing & quilting since she got her big Brotber machine then! Hope you enjoyed visiting the AQS show in Paducah on our guild’s bus jaunt. Love yr blog & yr magazine.