In exactly 44 hours and 19 minutes I’ll be on a plane, headed for Houston and the International Quilt Market. I’m not excited, no, why would you think that? This will be my fourth trip to Fall Market and I’m still like a kid at Christmas. I can’t sleep, the anticipation is killing me. And I’m trying to play it cool, you know, like your older brother or sister tried to when you talked expectantly about Santa and Rudolph, and presents under the tree, and they said, “It’s no big deal, I’ve done this before.” But the truth is, I can’t wait…
I can’t wait to check into my hotel room, with a king-sized bed all for me (no husband, no dogs, no sharing a bathroom, no laundry)! I can’t wait to get over to the convention center, get my media and exhibitor passes, and check the lay of the land (is everything where I left it last year? The Starbucks, the classrooms, the restrooms?). I can’t wait for Sample Spree–a mini sneak peek at the coming weekend–a chance at some great bargains. I can’t wait for Saturday, when I rise at a ridiculously early hour, hit the shower and the Starbucks in that order, then head for the Quilt Exhibits, to ooh and ahh and drool over the fantastic quilts that will be hanging. World of Beauty, here I come!
I can’t wait to see old friends, meet new ones, and catch up with all the really cool people in the industry that I email, call and have the honor and pleasure to work with on a regular basis. I can’t wait to see all the newest fabrics, patterns, designers and products. What about the evening receptions? Handi Quilter, Moda, Clover… the list goes on and on. I may not get to every party, but that won’t stop me from trying! The night I met the lovely and gracious Jane Sassaman I got dizzy with excitement. When I finally met Claudia Clark Myers and Karen McTavish (after lurking around the APQS booth all day), then Marilyn Badger sauntered up with the latest quilt she had collaborated on with Claudia, I thought, “This is it–if I drop over right now I won’t care–I will have met some of the rock stars of the quilting world!” My personal rock stars, standing right there, talking to me like they’d known me forever. My next thought was, “Shii…take mushrooms! The battery is dead in my camera!”
At the end of it all I’ll be slumped in an airplane seat, buzzing with ideas, overflowing with creativity, itching to get home to my little Janome, and yes, exhausted. I’ll have articles to write, contacts to follow up with, products to order, quilts to design, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll make a quiltmaker’s day when I call them and say…”Hi! I’m Joli with Quilters Newsletter. We just saw your fabulous quilt in Houston and we’d love to have it in our magazine.”
Hmmm, maybe I should try out for Elf Duty? Only 43 hours, 23 minutes to go. After all, for quilters like me, Christmas does come more than once a year, and I am–you guessed it–excited!