I am happy to report I survived teaching at Houston IQF. I was there only 3 weeks ago but feels like a lifetime. In fact the experience was tiring but wonderful at the same time. I was only there for five days but I taught four classes; two full day and two half day, I presented at a 2 hr sampler, did a 25 minute presentation at Meet the Teachers and got some head shots done with Bonnie McCaffery.
I arrived at Houston around noon on Tuesday and was teaching my first class at 8am the next morning. This gave me a chance to book into my hotel, the Marriot Marquis which was wonderful, and I took my teaching stuff across to the Convention Center. I had visited the show before but not as a teacher or a student. I dropped my suitcase off and located the boxes I had shipped a few weeks earlier. The teacher room was an experience in itself, a crazy pile of boxes and suitcases, I should have got a photograph!
That afternoon I was able to get away to the Embassy Suites and meet Bonnie McCaffery for an appointment to get some headshot taken. I had never done that before. The ones I’ve been using I think were taken by my son a long time ago! Even though I really don’t like getting my photo taken It was fun! They turned out great and I would really recommend Bonnie if you ever need any doing. I then had enough time to get a bite to eat and then head back to the quilt show to attend the Winners Circle where all the winning quilts are revealed and prizes presented. It was a fun experience to see and a chance to talk to some of the prize winning quilters.
And I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the “big check”. Not my name on there but maybe next year!!
After some sleep at 7am I headed to the teaching floor at the Convention Center and figured out my room, hung up my quilts and set up my projector and iPhone combination for doing demos in the classroom. According to my students it was pretty neat and did enable them to see more easily my demonstrations as they gathered around my table or stayed in their seats. All my classes were fully booked so that was 25 students! I came prepared with kits for all of the classes which worked out well as it saved people traveling and having to haul a lot of stuff.
My first class was making lizard and frog fabric collage and at the end of the day we were able to line up their work on the floor and get a group photo. This is the only class I did this unfortunately. I took photos of the collages at the end of the day and have been pleasantly surprised that many students already of sent my photos of completed projects. I think that makes any quilt teacher very happy. Festival students were fun to teach, very enthusiastic and some had travelled from Mexico, Australia, Hawaii and Sweden.
After my first full day of teaching Preview Night opened at 5 pm, which I visited briefly, and then I was presenting at the Meet the Teachers area in the vendor hall at 8:30pm. As expected for that time of night the attendance was quite low but the I think half of the people that came did so to see and hear me and not just find a chair to rest after a lot of shopping time!
Thursday, I was again teaching a 6 hour class starting at 8am and that was Dazzling Dogs. I knew the description and photo in the catalogue was a bit misleading and so when I started the class I think for some students expectations weren’t met. I do hope to fix this for next year and teach working on your own pet portrait and not just one of my kits.
So after Dazzling Dogs, on Friday I presented for 2 hours at the Friday morning Sampler which was again tiring but fun! In one of the ballrooms 30 teachers all give short presentations while students can wander around listening to a number of different teachers as they talk about their work and techniques. Once I started I quickly realized I couldn’t sit down, sketch and demo cutting and gluing my collage. I ended up standing and doing my, demo in my hand whilst trying to project my voice so all could hear!
I then had my lunch break, a chance to refocus before heading to my next class Sunlit Sunflowers. This was the first 3 hr class I have taught and wondered how this would go down with students but really it was the perfect amount of time for this kind of project especially when working from a kit. The students loved it and the next day I saw 2 ladies from the class who told me they had spent that night in their hotel rooms and finished their sunflower collage.
Finally Saturday morning came and another early class starting at 8 am. This again was a 3hr class Rocking Roosters which again was the perfect project to complete. Happily my teaching time was done and now I had to get organized and fit everything I had left into my suitcases! I went back over to the hotel, checked out, left my cases with concierge and spent a couple more hours looking at the quilts.
I did have two quilts accepted into the show so that was nice to see them exhibited with such an amazing caliber of quilts. I didn’t get to spend a lot of time at the quilt show and probably only viewed half of the quilts. I did walk around the vendors, met some very interesting people and shared a table at the Teachers Appreciation Luncheon with Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mably and Liza Prior Lucy. We listened to Pam Hollands presentation which was one of my highlights.
I am currently putting together a couple of new classes for next years festival and working on the proposal that needs to be done by the end of the month. The International Quilt Festival is overwhelming as a quilt show but throwing teaching into the mix and it becomes an intense experience but one that I loved every minute. Until next year…