The League of Extraordinary Quilters

Dallas trip group photo

The League enjoying a wonderful dinner after the quilt show.

Dallas Debrief I am happy to report that the Dallas trip was a huge success. Several members of the League of Extraordinary Quilters were able to attend. Each of the members  is uniquely gifted and possesses remarkable powers that you wouldn’t be aware of—unless you encountered them at a quilt show.

One member possesses the skill to whip out a credit card so fast while at a quilt show, that her purse constantly smokes, and smells of melted plastic. Another has the gift of strength. This member can carry loads many times greater than her size as she merrily travels from vendor to vendor unfazed by the weight of her recent acquisitions.

A senior member of the League has the gift of repurchasing. This gift allows her to purchase the same teal batik fabric again and again. She knows she has it—not quite sure how much she has (She has purchased it on two previous occasions—that she can remember.), but she continues to purchase more. This reminds me of that movie 50 First Dates. She falls in love with this fabric over and over again.

Another League member possesses the unique ability of being able to scan an entire booth of fabric at a glance (usually from 10 feet away). and locate the only red and black Asian print in the entire booth (which happens to be under a table on the back side of the booth), tell the salesperson where it’s located, how much is on the bolt, and the price. Just so you understand, this fabric is not visible from the aisle outside the booth. You have to be practically standing on top of it to see it. Yes, it is a remarkable skill.

This member also has the ability to sense buttons, no matter how well hidden they are. (I think this is very similar to what Spiderman has, but instead of a Spidey-sense, it’s a Button-sense.) This is an amazing ability. I think this member actually tingles when they are near buttons. Once the prized buttons have been located, League members get to learn all about their construction and how amazingly unique each one is.

Two members of the League demonstrated their ability to create amazing works of fiber art, which were on exhibit at the show. Each of these pieces were original designs and loaded with detail. I couldn’t be more proud of them and enjoyed the opportunity of getting to see others admire their work. One of them even won a ribbon. Congratulations, Natalie!

Before the League retires for the evening, there is always a Show-n-Tell. This is a wonderful time of the day. League members regale us with stories of battles and conquests from their day of shopping.

Each person shares their new acquisition and the stories behind their purchases. Beyond the ability to make me laugh, I learned that one member has the gift of forgetting. It appears that once they started pulling their shopping bags out of the trunk, they were surprised by how much of what they unloaded, they didn’t remember buying. (They are also hoping their husband has this ability as they unpack the car when they get home.) The cool thing about this ability is that every day can be like Christmas. It is a wonderful gift indeed.

On a Mission When I go to quilt shows I have only a couple of things on my agenda and they are simple. I go quilt shows to see the quilts, and reconnect with friends. This quilt show met both of these goals. I was able to visit with fellow League members and reconnect with friends I haven’t seen in a while (Hi, my friends from Abilene!).

I was able to spend the day looking at amazing creations with fellow League members Dot and Kathy, and had lively discussions about what was on display.

I had a wonderful time and will cherish the memories of this weekend for years to come.

Blessed As I mentioned earlier, I usually don’t go to shows to shop, I go to visit and see the quilts. As I was looking around I saw a beautiful piece of fabric in one of the booths. Showed it to Dot and commented on how beautiful it was.

She suggested I buy it, but I knew I would never use it, so it seemed like a waste of money. I don’t buy things I don’t intend to use, so I left it. Kathy had to leave the show for a brief time, and upon her return I showed her the fabric I thought was so pretty. During my conversation with Kathy I could tell that she was trying to figure out a way to buy the fabric for me, but I wouldn’t let her. We needed to find Dot and continue our shopping adventure.

When we located Dot, she was buying fabric. Much to my and Kathy’s surprise, Dot had bought each of us a piece of this beautiful fabric. I was so touched by her generosity, I could hardly believe it. I will treasure the fabric always—even if I never use it. I am truly blessed.

So . . . I know you’re thinking, after that lengthy and engaging lead-in I was going to show you the fabric. Well, I will—but not now—you’ll have to come back to see it.


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27 Responses to “The League of Extraordinary Quilters”

  1. deb aka purple princess Says:

    Ah, man…now SEE what I missed?! Sigh. I’m majorly bummed…but glad you guys had such a good time…WITHOUT ME!! ;-D

  2. Linda Bott Says:

    oh such fun you all had…LOL someday I hope to go to a large venue quilt show…but then again I spend enough here at home in Michigan shows…

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Linda, If you haven’t gone to a big show, you are missing a lot. Beyond the number of additional vendors, you will get to see an amazing number of quilts.

      I used to think I didn’t need to go either, but one you go to a big show will understand why people get so excited about it.

  3. Margo Says:

    What a tease!!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      What can I say? I want you to keep coming back. If you don’t come back to visit, it’s like I’m setting here, just talking to myself.

  4. Dot Collins Says:

    what a wonderful description of the weekend! I think the League will have numerous future meeting. I look forward to them all!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Dot, Yes, it was wonderful. I’m confident the League will gather again and again. I’m really happy you were able to make it to this year’s gathers.

  5. kathydrew Says:

    I have been looking for you every day and what a wonderful description of an obviously fabulous trip. I would have loved to have been in the middle of the table with the league. I have got to meet all these people. They sound so fantastic. How lucky you are to have all those great people to enjoy. When I make it to Houston, I have to meet some of them for sure. I am so glad you had a wonderful time. Have been anxiously awaiting your post on the show.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Yes, I do have wonderful friends, but not just here. I have been lucky to have them everywhere I’ve lived. Everyone in Houston will welcome you with open arms.

  6. Patricia Eaton Says:

    Tom, So glad you had a wonderful time…knew you would….and so nice to see the faces of people I know and love! I’m sure I’ll hear more about this trip on Thursday when my Knot group meets…..take care…pat

  7. virtualquilter Says:

    I think I know a lot of those people … never met the ones inyour story, but I have attended shows with their clones!

    Judy B

  8. Log Cabin + Dark 15 and 16 | Virtual Quilter Says:

    […] It’s not about Log Cabin quilts but I think you might enjoy this. […]

  9. Analisa Says:

    That was such an amusing story I had to pass it along to several quilters I know! Thanks!

  10. Nicki Lee Says:

    Hi Tom,

    Sounds like you had a fabulous time! Isn’t it amazing the crazy things we do all for the love of quilting, color, fabric. beads, threads etc!

    I just found out we have a mutual online friend – Nikki…. OMG! now there’s two crazy Nicki’s that will be following you around on your blog. LOL!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      It was a fabulous time and over far too quickly. Yes, I found out we shared a mutual friend. It really is a small world. I’m fortunate to have you both follow me and I blog my way through quilting.

  11. Sherry Ford Says:

    So glad to hear you enjoyed the show so much. Now, when are you coming back to Arkansas!?! Seriously, it sounds like you had a wonderful time. Did you make lots of sketches? I’m trying to wait patiently for you to show us some of your quilts!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      It was SO much fun. Not sure when I’ll get back to Arkansas. Hopefully soon. No, didn’t make sketches, but did find a longarm quilter I want to introduce to everyone. Her work is really nice. I hope to show you samples in the near future.

  12. Jayardi Says:

    ••• Certainly sounds like a fun, fun, FUN trip. So… you’re telling us you didn’t buy ANYTHING? Hard to believe.

    Looking forward to your next installment.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Yes, it was fun. Sometimes I laughed so hard, I thought I might hurt myself. I recommend visiting quilt shows with friends to everyone. There is no better medicine, if you are feeling down or uninspired.

      Nope, didn’t buy a thing. When I post pictures of my stash and studio, you will see why I’m very judicious about what comes in.

  13. JoAnn Says:

    Hi Tom,
    I have arranged for a bus of ladies from Ritzy Thimble and some other guilds to attend IQS in Cincinnati in April. We are are spending 2 nights in OH and have 3 days to see the show and quilts. Wish you were here to join us. We have extra seats:) hugs JoAann

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi there, OMG, that sounds like so much fun. I know everyone is going to have the best time. IQA always puts on a great show. Since this is its debut in Cincinnati, I know it will be special. You are all in for a treat. I wish I could join you too, but I can’t get away, maybe another time. Tell everyone I MISS seeing them!

  14. Jackie Says:

    You are a BIG tease, now I am waiting on the edge of my seat to see this wonderful fabric!? I am so sure you all had a blast and I wish I too could have been a button on the table to enjoy all the fun and laughter. There is notjing in the world like a good belly laugh (…that, could make you hurt yourself).
    Now, I wonder how many of those button makers you will end up with.????
    With these kind of friends I know you have created a “Monster League”….and they are ALL on the look out for this “thing-a-ma-gig”

    P.S. I’ve up dated “justalittlebee”and the new pic’s of Sir Spencer are there, oh and I hope you don’t mind I posted a link from my blog to yours?

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Well, lookie who came by to say hi again. Yes, we had a wonderful time in Dallas. There were 13 in our group. When we went to out to eat table was so long you couldn’t hear the conversations from one end of the table to the other.

      That button maker is pretty sweet and Bonnie just informed me that they are coming out with an update later this Spring. It definitely looks like a tool I need in my toolbox.

      Well, I’m going to swing on over and see what Sir Spenser looks like now. No, don’t mind that you posted a link at all. Thanks!

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