I’ve had my fair share of hobbies in forty-three years, some absolutely free and some requiring the black market sale of a body part.
As a kid, it was stickers and Barbie. Anyone remember Mrs. Grossman’s stickers? I waited for weeks after writing the company to receive one of their trademark red heart ❤️ stickers. And Barbie, she of the perpetually perky boobs and tight tush? As the saying goes, “I want to be Barbie. That bitch has everything.” I oughta sue Mattel for making me believe I’d grow up to drive a pink Corvette, live in a three-story townhouse, and have every job known to womankind…all without debt or under-eye circles. Not to mention what they did to Ken by giving him a man bun. But I’m not bitter. Much.
The women in my family, namely my dad’s mother, my favorite aunt, and my mother, always had some sort of crafty hobby. And eventually I came ’round to it, too. I missed the whole macrame/ceramics/fabric painting thing, but got sucked into cross stitch, discovered scrapbooking on my own, and finally succumbed to the siren call of quilting. Let’s see, if I equate each of those with an exclamatory utterance, it would be dang!; holy crap!; and here, take my spleen!
The only cheap hobbies I have are eyeball- rolling, angst-ridden sighs, and sarcasm.
Which brings me to early November 2017.
I had successfully avoided Houston International Quilt Festival, despite the cajoling of enabling coworkers, for almost twenty years. My mother went for the first time last year and she didn’t wax orgasmic over the whole thing. No cigarettes were smoked, no cold showers taken. Meh. Besides, I am not one that enjoys crowds or being touched in any way, shape or form by complete strangers.
Nevertheless, if you’ll remember earlier posts, this year hasn’t been the hottest for my mental health and so I jumped at the chance to get out of town with my quilting tribe and hit the Festival. It was that or become a clock tower sniper. I’ve never taken a picture I’m satisfied with so I didn’t want to wind up on an FBI most wanted poster.
So Mom and I headed south for Houston.
While this was a fun trip for us, it quickly became apparent that one’s parent never outgrows that whole white-knuckling, butt-clenching aspect of being a vehicle passenger while their child is at the wheel. My driving, while defensive, responsible, and completely lacking in hand gestures but littered with snarky comments about other drivers’ lineage, sanity, and level of intelligence, elicited quite the repertoire of gasps from The Mominator.
May I just say, in my defense, that I do the same thing when she drives.
Anyway, several hours later, we’d made it, foisted the car off on a valet, and headed for the vacuum that would suck the credit card from my wallet. Repeatedly. And with embarrassing speed.
Mom and I pretty much went separate ways as she was stalking the Accuquilt booth and I was doing my damndest not to succumb to a full-blown panic attack over the crowds. And it wasn’t even that crowded yet.
Basically speed walking through booths, head swiveling right then left like I was attending Wimbledon, I scoured the aisles for anything that caught my eye.
Then there it was…
Who sells cross stitch at a quilt show? The answer is Oklahomans. I have patterns to keep me busy from now until macular degeneration.
I treated the quilt displays the same way. Scan left, scan right, stop and gawk.
My favorites were by Danny Amazonas.
Abyss by Danny Amazonas
Swirl by Danny Amazonas
By far my favorite booth and display was The 70,273 Project. Delightful ladies and a worthy endeavor.
Lab geek that I am, I liked this one by Marijke van Welzen called “Do You See What I See?”
Over the course of two days, Mom and I kept to a routine of shop/view/collapse, interspersed by eating and sleeping.
Will I go back? I won’t say “never” because I said that about cross stitch and quilting. I’d say it’s doubtful. For now, I think it’s something I’ll be able to check off my bucket list and consider it done.
What about you? Have you gone? Will you go again? Why or why not? And how long does it take your wallet to relax its death grip on your credit card?
Until next time…