Schoolhouse Insanity…

After the opening session with Tula Pink at International Quilt Market 2019 Schoolhouse, I grabbed my schedule and took off to what I had thought would be my best course of action for gaining the most knowledge in such a short few hours. I had studied the schedule earlier, highlighting my game plan, planning my trip around the rooms. I made some right decisions, I made a few wrong decisions, and I made some changes as the day was progressing. What I did do right, I went, and I absorbed every bit of info that I possibly could.

Schoolhouse was a series that I look forward to attending next year. I was able to catch everything from seeing new fabric lines and designers, have sessions on improving my media presence, YouTube videos, to ruler work. It was informative, fast paced, and packed full of people and knowledge. It was mid-afternoon before I realized I hadn’t had anything to eat since 0600, and I was thirsty, starving, shaky, and a little cranky. A quick sandwich, bottle of water, and a latte to go quickly relieved all of the above.

As the Schoolhouse session wrapped up, the nerves began to return as my next stop for the evening was to the Threads of Success networking event/meet and greet. Soon I would be standing in an area full of strangers, presenters, and industry leaders. That was part of the moment I thought “What am I doing here?” Soon my question would be answered.

As I looked around the room, I quickly came to the answer to my question, I was there to learn, to network, to absorb all the information being thrown at me so that I could make a decision to where my future would go. The first person to come up to me and ask what I thought was the sweet designer, Natalie Barnes of Beyond the Reef. We chatted about why I was there, that she was a little nervous for her presentation the following day, and for me to please attend it so she wasn’t alone and talking to an empty room. We laughed, it broke the ice, and told her I would see her the following day. From there it was mixing and mingling with the other attendees at my table, saying hi again to Cheryl Sleboda, and then listening to a fabulous opening from the always funny character, Charlotte Angotti with the beautiful downtown Houston as her backdrop.

After Charlotte wrapped her comedy show (she really is a delight to get to listen to), we began to wrap the evening with a little networking. It was then I looked over my shoulder and saw none other than Kimberly Einmo, a beautiful quilter, and National Spokesperson for Janome America. When I attended Janome training in September, I will never forget being told that Kimberly Einmo is one of the sweetest, kindest, and most genuine person you’ll ever meet. They were absolutely correct. I made my way over to her, introduced myself, and had the most lovely conversation with her. I tried not to keep her attention to long, so that many other who wanted her attention could have their time as well. We laughed about my impulse buying of my Janome Continental M7, taking over my formal living room so I had another studio, and our mutual love of Janome. I finished the evening with a walk back to my rental car, smiling all the way, and texting the husband that I was fortunate enough to have the sweetest conversation with Kimberly Einmo, and I had started to figure out why I was there.

Oh and of course on the travel back to the hotel, I did have to make a stop, since it was only light snacks and a bar at the welcoming event. You see, as a born and raised Texan, eating at Whataburger is in our blood. I can definitely vouch that this misplaced Texan misses her burger, a #1 with cheese, no tomatoes, onion rings and a sweet tea. My waist line may not have needed it, but my Texas blood craved for it. As I had said in my Facebook post that evening, it was a beacon of light, calling me home, fulfilling all my hopes and dreams. It tasted heavenly!

After returning to my hotel for s short night’s rest, I would head back in on Saturday to begin the true journey into Threads of Success. My schedule was marked, my plans were made, and on Saturday morning, the full event would kick off. It was the beginning of what would end up being one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. Come back tomorrow for more details.

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