Head of the Class
by Marcia Barker, Director of Education for Quilts, Inc.
Education’s Mission Control
Note: This dispatch comes straight outta the recent Quilt Market & Quilt Festival in Houston
Apollo 13, The Right Stuff, Hidden Figures, and now, The First Man—all great movies providing a glimpse behind the scenes of NASA and exposing the hard work of the amazing support staff of Houston's Mission Control.
These are the folks who make sure every detail is handled and every mission is a success. I'm proud to say that for a couple of weeks each year Houston is home to yet another, lesser known "Mission Control." Look no further than the third floor of the George R. Brown Convention Center during International Quilt Market/Festival to find a team of equally dedicated, hard-working souls who make every effort to ensure your time spent in classes, lectures, luncheons, and special events goes off without a hitch or a hiccup.
Our Education "Show Team" members are truly the mechanics, the engineers, and the heavy lifters behind every single event. Hailing from across the nation, these gals put their lives on hold to join forces in Houston to make your every day a special day.
And interesting lives they have! You just never know who might be checking you into your next event—a surgical nurse, physical therapist, professional home decor seamstress, bookkeeper, landlord, tax prep professional, quilt shop owner, graphic artist, special ed teacher, Girl Scout leader, Harley road-tripper, archery coach, flight attendant, or active community volunteer. Can we get any more diverse?
But better yet, they are an experienced bunch, each bringing with them an average of 27 years of sewing/quilting experience and over 10 years of third floor Show Team experience! There is no doubt that their dedication and attention to detail are pivotal to the success of every aspect of life on the third. We simply could not do it without them. While they take their responsibilities seriously, as you can see from the photos, they don't always take themselves so seriously. Really, it’s a shame they don’t have any fun…
In short, the Show Team members are your personal problem solvers, an entire army of them! And they are always on the lookout for those of you with puzzled expressions or lingering questions. To identify them, just look for their coordinated garments featuring a different fabric line each day—Moda one day, Andover the next, maybe followed by Alexander Henry or Cherrywood. You get the idea. What better way to showcase fabric and designate the "helpers" in the crowd at the same time?
So, if you happen to notice any of these behind-the-scenes super stars during your time in Houston, give them a smile and a nod. Chances are they have made your day better without your knowledge—efficiently, discreetly, happily—and have probably clocked more steps in one day than they ever thought possible. But don't we all? It’s just all in a day’s work…
See you up on the third!