Friday, November 2, 2012

Return from Houston. Thank you Valdani!

Well, I've returned from the Houston Quilt Market. What an amazing time! This post may be a bit long. I have lots I want to share with you.

However, I must first start this post by sending light, love, and prayers to all my friends, customers, and people in the Northeast. I'm still in utter shock looking at the photos on TV. It's just so incredibly awful.

Here in eastern NC, there are hurricane's all the time. Last year was hurricane Irene. I was without power for six days. Many of my friends lost their homes and had extensive damage. My heart goes out to all those who are suffering right now.


Houston Quilt Market...what can I say? AMAZING! That's the best word. I made my first market friend, Jerilyn, in the Atlanta airport. She and I were destined to meet each other and I know we will stay in touch.

Twenty years of wanting to go to this show and I must say, it was all that I thought it would be and more. Here I am in the Valdani booth for my book signing. Of course I'm wearing my bunny jewelry, made especially for me, by my friend Jo May.


My first book sale brought me to tears. It was made before the show even opened to Ronald, the shuttle bus driver, for his Mama, Louise. Ms. Louise had quilted her entire life, but is now very ill with diabetes and can no longer quilt or travel much. Ronald asked me to autograph my book for his Mama. I was incredibly honored to do so and now my first book sale at market will always be a most cherished memory.


This is the view from my hotel. My room was on the 22nd floor. I kept saying, "Country has come to town for sure!" hee,hee,hee. I've never been in a city this large. I found the people to be so very kind and helpful.


I will admit that most of my time was spent in total disbelief that I was actually at market. Me, the little bunny lady from North Carolina, surrounded by the rock stars of the quilting world. Here is Sue Spargo, her daughter Kelly and her sister (I think) setting up their booth. Dana, of Valdani, introduced me to Sue. Sue went to shake my hand and I told her, "Oh no. I want to get a hug from my idol!" She laughed. I also had her autograph one of her books for me.

This is one of Sue's quilts, which hung in the Valdani booth. She uses lots of Valdani threads in her work.

Here's more detail. Stunning isn't it?


While chatting with a customer, I glanced over to see Robyn Pandolph in the booth! Oh...my...gosh! I just had to get my picture made with Robyn!

I am a huge fan of Robyn's. When I taught quilting classes, I made quilt after quilt using her fabrics. My students were in love with them just as much as I was.

In fact, this quilt was made in 2000 and it still hangs in Bunnyville today. Robyn will have a Valdani thread collection go with her new fabric line. Ooooooooooo boy! :)


Most of the time I was working in the booth, but when I did get a second to roam about the show, I made my way over to meet my friend, the incredibly talented, darling, down right sweet as can be, Gail Pan! I do love my Aussie girlfriends to bits! (I have no idea what I'm looking at in this photo. Shiney object?)

 
Gail and I swapped books and autographs with each other. Fun! One day I shall visit all my freinds in Australia for sure!  Love ya Gail!


Speaking of Aussie gals. I meet these delightful ladies in the hotel lobby. Louise, standing next to me, was so much fun to talk with. She is from iSewAcademy. It is an app that combines traditional crafts with multimedia technology. It was truly amazing to see. The blonde is designer, Sarah Fielke. She will be designing quilt projects for them. Fun! They gave me some Aussie candy, but you really didn't think I would be able to show you a photo of that did you? hee,hee,hee.


While chatting with Gail, this fun lady came up to me and said, "Are you Michelle from The Raspberry Rabbits?" I replied, "Yes, I am." She said, "I'm Tina and I love your blog and the bunnies!" I tell ya, I about passed out. I couldn't believe she recognized me, or even knew who I was. Tina is so much fun and I truly enjoyed meeting her. (I want to see your decorating Tina! :)

I also met several other friends that read my blog. Hi to Karen! Wish we could have visited longer.


This is only 1/4 of how large this show is. To have people recognize me, the little bunny in the great big forest, was beyond incredible.

 
Here's some of my quilts from my book in the Valdani Booth. Don't those little balls of floss and perele cotton just make you smile big? :)


Then here's "Peter and Peter are Pumpkin Eaters" in the National Nonwovens booth. Hi Chisten!


This was the showcase in the front entry. It was truly an honor to have my work displayed next to Sue Spargo and Carol Waugh.


My friend and fellow designer, Missie Carpenter of Hallbrook Designs, also had some of her gorgeous punchneedle patterns displayed in the booth. I told her she was lucky I didn't keep those coasters! Looooooooove them!


My sincere and heartfelt thanks to Dana and Daniela, of Valdani, for inviting me to be in their booth and to Carol, author of Stupendous Stitching for joining me for lunch and for giving me advice.

I will be doing the happy bunny dance for a very long time. :)

Have a fun weekend. Join me and the bunnies back here Monday for some very exciting news, a new pattern and a giveaway!

xx, Michelle and the Bunnies

p.s...Jerilyn remember "Failure is not doing it."  ;) Hugs!

41 comments:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Oh, little bunnie - you shine girl!!

brandi said...

Got tears in my eyes for you, Bunny Lady from North Carolina!!!

Jules said...

What a fantastic time for you, you must be on cloud 9. So thrilled and delighted for you - you deserve every bit of it. I'm proud to say "I knew her before she was famous"! xxx

Madame Samm said...

OHHH you just the sweetest designer.....we all know come to love congrats on everything

Createology said...

Your genuine excitement at having been a part of this pours forth in your post. Your work is exquisite. Being honored for your talents is very deserved. Blessings dear...

Rachel said...

Fabulous bunny adventure! I love how excited you were to be there, so refreshing!

Missie of Hallbrook Designs said...

Congratulations on such a successful trip to Quilt Market! I am so thrilled for you! Thanks for the picture of my goodies!

Carrie P. said...

I am so happy for you. What fun. It is so cool to see your quilts hanging with all that fabulous thread.
How exciting you got to meet all those people. So glad you got to attend the show.

Jacqueline said...

I am so happy for you.. and thanks for sharing the pic's. I love your work.

Sheila said...

So happy for you Michelle , all of your hard work and beautiful designs have made it to market and rightfully so !!

speedyrabbit said...

Fantastic Shell you are all a glow from your trip,Speedy is doing a happy bunny dance for you,but some of that is because he's missed you too!Hugs from Speedy and Rach

sunny said...

What a wonderful time for the little Bunny lady. Thanks for sharing with us.

Heather said...

Thanks for the fun tour of Houston's market. So happy for you and just a little bit jealous. :-)

Lyn said...

Thanks so much for sharing! Sounds like you had a wonderful time. What a great experience. Hugs to you and the bunnies.

The French Bear said...

Shell, that is sooooo awesome!!!!! You go girl!!!!!
You look so relaxed and serene in the photos, I loved seeing you there and I am sooooo happy for you, wow look how far you come and all that accomplished.
You got to meet Sue! Yeah, isn't her work incredible, right up there with yours my dear, all the beautiful stitches and inspirational designs! You both are so talented...sigh, wish I was there with you, just to see all the eye candy everywhere. I do love thread and embellishments, lol.
Hugs,
Mags
xxxx

Susan At Glen Oaks Primitives said...

What a beautiful show! And Houston looks lovely, too.
What an honor for you to be in the Valdani booth.
You're amazing, little bunny!
Hugs,
Susan

Jeanette said...

Glad to see you had a fabulous time Shell. Great post. Loved to read of your visit to the Houston Quilt Market. Hugs,

Christine M said...

What a fantastic time you had Shell. It must have been so exciting. I hope you do make it to Australia one day. I'd love to meet you too!

Debbie said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic time there, Shell. I'm so happy for you and I'd love to meet you too! Wish I would have known who you were about 7 years ago, I was in Bern NC for the Post Office and ate at a little sandwich shop there.

shez said...

wow Shell what an amazing time you had and the fascinating people you met also,this is an adventure to remember for a long time,so glad you enjoyed it.xx

QUILTING IS BLISSFUL, DI said...

Shell--I am so very happy for you and that one of your many dreams has again come true!!
Hugs, Di and miss gracie

TINA said...

Hello Shell. It was a pleasure to meet you. I am still in heaven. I only regret that I didn't know that you were doing your book signing with Valdini. I would have been first in line. I also love their threads and use them all the time. Congrats on your book and your first Houston show. You are so talented and I look forward to your future projects. Hoping to get the remodel moving and posting pics to my blog tinastouchquilting.blogspot.com Thanks again for spending time chatting with me. I'm still smiling.

Raewyn said...

Sounds like you had an absolutely fantastic time. I love your story behind your first book sale at market. Loved your post.

kc said...

Don't let her fool you - she was holding her own juuuuust fine! She's just a tiny little thing, but what a powerhouse & talent she is!! I loved getting to meet you & it warmed my heart that you brought the bunnies with you (she had a picture of the two bunny butts up on the wall, right behind where she was sitting).

May this be the first of many successful markets!

Karen M said...

I'm so glad to hear that the trip was as wonderful as you hoped it would be. Did the buns cause trouble while you were gone? Big party, maybe?

Jacque Wright said...

Michelle - so glad we could show you our Texas hospitality!! I was at Market but missed seeing you in the Valdani booth. You must have been out visiting when I got there. So glad you had a great first Market. Here's to many more!

Kris said...

Oh cutest kid o' mine!! I am so proud of you, and your stay in quilt heaven here on earth looks like sooooooooo much fun!! Now that you are famous, will you still lovvvvve me?? Tee! Hee!! Hi to the little ones!!

Terry@ a quilting blog said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time...loved the pics you shared :o)

Lesley said...

Congratulations for achieving your dream! It was so nice of you to share all these wonderful pics. Your story of the little bunny in the big city is so special...sounds like it was a wonderful experience for you. Well done!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Well - You're famous. Now back to cleaning bunny doos.

Just kidding - what a trip and a great report. I am most fond of trip reports!

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Way to go, my ever so talented friend!!! \o/
SOOOO happy for you. :-)
Hugs
Jenny
xxx

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

MICHELLE! I am finally here my sweet friend! This has got to be such a thrill for you my dear! YOU ARE JUST DARLING....you are so tiny, but then, I too often find myself towered over by others! My goodness, you are on top of the world and I am there with you! HUGS and many congratulations! I am finally making my way into the local scene and sold to my first retailer here in town yesterday. It felt GOOD!!!!!!

HAPPY DAY AND LOVE TO YOU and the bunnies! Anita

bunnits said...

What a wonderful experience. Your work is awesome and you deserve this. I know you had a great time. Hugs of joy to you!

Karen said...

Congratulations on your Dream Come True. When I lived in Saudi Arabia I had a Texas quilting friend that planned her home leave around that quilt show. She would have a three week break and the family would have to have a early Thanksgiving while she was there.

Sherry said...

I am so happy that you had a wonderful time and you deserve to stand with those other great designers. You a one of my favorites.

Jessica said...

Wow! How awesome for you! Thank you for sharing, I loved reading about it!

Love Bears All Things said...

Wasn't that a fun show....I went years and years ago......a friend from my club was there most of the week this year, working. Haven't talked to her since she returned but she was excited.
Blessings,,
Mama Bear

Jade said...

Feh, how could they NOT know you--you're a rockstar in your own right!

Looks like you had all kinds of fun, too--you'll be a seasoned pro at all this before you know it. :)

Joanne said...

Wonderful and beautiful. The fair looks fantastic!
I so wish I could have been there with you, Shell.

Thank you for the kind mention. You look lovely! ;-)

Hugs and best wishes,
Jo. x

Jeri Landers said...

The show looks fabulous and your booth does too! I nearly went to this show when My fabrics came our years ago, now I wish I had. I am so very happy and proud for you, you really have succeeded in your genre and it is because you are clever, imaginative and a very industrious lady! 3 cheers!

Erica - Peppa Jo Patterns said...

Wow, looks like you had an incredible time and you look so relaxed! Well done, I am sure this is the first of many to come!

Take care