Head of the Class
by Marcia Barker, Vice President of Education for Quilts, Inc.
Much Ado About Festival(s)!
Online Enrollment, Fall Festival Highlights, and…Goin’ Back to Cali!
Grab your floaties and goggles—big news is making a big splash this summer!
Our much-anticipated online enrollment system launched in mid-July and successfully enrolled over 3,000 Festival students in the first 24 hours! If you are among them, congrats on a job well done! You have helped pave the way for many more years of an improved process for those attending any and all International Quilt Festivals and Markets. And yes, Fall Market online enrollment has just opened as well!
I recognize that change is never without challenges, and the launch was not without its share of hiccups. But we all know quilters are no strangers to challenges. After all, there are few show quilts that tout the blue ribbon without having been subjected to the wrath of the seam ripper somewhere along the way! The best of the best usually arrives after careful adjustments and improvements. We appreciate your patience, loyalty, and encouragement as we embrace this updated approach to a very complicated and complex set of parameters.
There are never too many opportunities to remind you to take very good care of your confirmation email as it contains your personal confirmation number that will be used to reference your account for any schedule changes and to print your badge onsite. Whether you prefer to file it or flag it as a favorite within your inbox, take a screen shot of it, or simply print it out to have in your hot little hand when you arrive at the show, it’s all good.
We will always have plenty of helpers on hand to assist you with any changes, additions, or badge printing, but it will make life a lot simpler if you can have that information as handy as your handwork in your bag. When they say, “Don’t leave home without it,” this is exactly what they are referring to! Promise.
If your favorite teacher/class was not available when you enrolled, keep checking back. Things happen. Quilters cancel. Openings become available. We are a Festival of mostly women and women can be fickle—me included. Just ask my remodeling contractor. Never underestimate the possibility that our “fickle-hood” will work to your advantage in the end. Remember that the Samplers, Forums, Meet the Teacher, and Open Studios are other places you can see that favorite teacher in action. Our Date Night Sampler is a new option for a fun Friday night. Just say you’re headed out for a “Date Night” and see the reactions.
Saturday night is full of promise with Ricky Tims “in da house!” His Backstage Pass event brings with it a very unique opportunity to share some small group time with him as well as a bit of the bubbly as you settle into your VIP seating for the main show. If you have not had the pleasure of hearing this man sing, tell stories, and take command of the piano, you are in for a true treat.
He is a casual and comfortable performer, while impeccable in his talents. Head straight from there over to Festival After Hours for an expansive dinner buffet and live music dancing-into-the-night extravaganza. A great way to wrap your day and I’ve seen your moves—Bring it! Shake it! Let loose! Those of you who have attended before know that our favorite band, The Spiffingtons, never disappoint when they take the stage.
Ready for another big splash? How about a big southern California beach splash? International Quilt Festival is headed back to Long Beach in 2020! The show will be held July 9-11—so mark those calendars. The Long Beach Convention Center has undergone some beautiful remodeling (I bet they were fickle too) since we were last there in 2013. Join us to enjoy the scenery, the weather, the attractions, and a beautiful summer edition show, complete with not only exquisite exhibits and shopping, but classes, tours, and events as well.
The Long Beach airport is honestly my second favorite airport in the world, and that is only because it reminds me so much of my first favorite airport—Lihue, on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Open air luggage bays, palm trees, and sunshine welcome you to both locations. As stressful as air travel can sometimes be these days, there is no better place to land than Long Beach. It is the ultimate beginning to an unforgettable girls’ trip to our Long Beach Festival.
Stay tuned for further information on teachers, topics, and techniques to be offered. And while you’re waiting, I would be remiss as a native Californian, not to point out that the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach, CA will be going on during our show dates. I attended many times as a child, and it was magical. When I have returned as an adult, it has only become more magical—a fabulous, not-to-be-missed experience that would enhance your time in Long Beach.
Imagine paintings, sculptures, masterpieces of all kinds being brought to life by elaborately costumed/painted local actors in a nightly performance at an outdoor amphitheater with dramatic lighting, live orchestra, and twinkling stars overhead. Don’t rely on my description though, because I don’t have the vocabulary to do it justice. Check out what CBS Sunday Morning had to say about it HERE.
See you at the beach!