The largest convention in Houston each year is the Houston Quilt Festival. Quilt Mecca. That is what the locals call the last 10 days of October each year. I moved to Texas over 10 years ago, and have been attending Market and Festival every year since then. What is it?
Well, Market is a credentialed trade show, not open to the general public. This is a whole different animal and is for quilt shops, book writers, pattern designers, longarm quilters and other quilting professionals. While there are several quilt displays, this is just the preamble to Quilt FESTIVAL.
Aaahhh, Quilt Festival. This is the best of the best. I remember my first Quilt Festival in 2003 (the first weekend that we had moved to Houston, the moving truck had not even arrived yet). I went by myself. Who cares that I would not know anyone. I went up and down the rows of quilts, my mouth hanging open. Oh my, the next row, how could it be more awesome than the last row... I was in awe. THEN, I discovered the vendors. OMG... Quilt shops from all over the country in one place. Fortunately, my birthday is the same weekend. I called hubby and told him not to worry about any birthday presents.... I had it covered....
Anyway, update to 2015. My sister-in-law is visiting from out of town, and we are both taking classes. This year we are commuting from Cypress to downtown Houston (about 30 miles) each day and learning about HOV lanes and Houston construction. No worries. We make it to our 8 am classes each morning. Note to self - next year bring DOWN JACKETS as classrooms are freezing. Oh wait.. folks in Houston don't HAVE down jackets as it does not get that cold here!