News and Information
For our contest winner,
“Quilt Festival Dreams”
will come true this fall in Houston!
HOUSTON – July 16, 2019 – Quilts, Inc. is excited to announce that the winner of the “Quilt Festival Dreams Come True” contest is Shannon Miller of Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States. Her entry was chosen from the nearly 400 received from participants all over the world who have never attended Festival previously and submitted an essay telling in 300 words or less why it was their “dream” to attend the show.
Miller will receive round-trip airfare, five nights hotel accommodations, and ground transportation for her and a guest to attend the 2019 International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas for its 45th anniversary “Sapphire Celebration.” Also included in the prize is VIP entry, admission to several of the show’s special events, and waived class enrollment fees.
“I am thrilled that Shannon will be able to join us for such an important and celebratory year,” says Quilts, Inc. President and CEO and Festival Founder Karey Bresenhan. She – along with Quilts, Inc. Executive Vice President Nancy O’Bryant, chose the winner. “I cannot wait to meet her and share her joy as someone who is seeing Quilt Festival for the very first time!”
“I eat, sleep, and breathe quilts and fabric. Besides my family, quilts are my life!” Miller herself says. She came across the contest on Quilts.com while doing her “daily browsing” of quilt-related websites and social media with her morning coffee.
Accompanying Miller will be her husband and “best friend” of 26 years, who she says has learned by proxy a lot about quilts and quiltmaking. “He is always there with encouragement when I need it. And he has heard about ‘Houston’ the way other households may talk about what cities the Super Bowl or Olympics are being held in,” she says.
Miller says that she learned to quilt, sew, cross-stitch, embroider, and even bake cakes from her grandmother. And while she has dabbled in quilting in the past, in recent years she has taken up the art form with a newfound passion that has also helped her through some extremely tough times in life. She prefers doing handwork so she can take her quilting projects with her wherever she goes while “hanging out” with her family. And her favorite activity is to quilt while watching old movies with her husband.
“Being a quilter has given me an appreciation for old quilts, and I have begun studying old quilts and old fabrics,” she says. “I spend quite a bit of time researching patterns, colors, dyes, fabrics, etc. And I enjoy researching and identifying old quilts quite a lot.”
As for what she expects when she first enters the doors of the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston this fall and what aspect she might enjoy most, she can’t pick just one!
“I’ve know that the Houston Festival gathers the best of the best quilts from the entire world and gives people a chance to see them in one location. Festival no doubt gives us quilters a chance to see all of the latest and greatest technology and gadgets. And I am a scissors junkie. I love scissors! And I wouldn't be a quilter if I didn't love fabric,” she says.
“But to pick one thing, that's an impossible question for me to answer. Quilting is my lifeblood. It is what keeps me going day to day. I will really love seeing the special exhibit quilts, but I also can't wait to see some of the classes taught by brilliant teachers. And the vendors! I’m sure that I will love every bit of it!”
Miller’s journey to Houston and experience at Quilt Festival will also be the basis for a feature in the post-show edition of the Friends@Festival ezine. See the current issue and subscribe for free at www.FriendsatFestival.com
SHANNON MILLER’S WINNING ESSAY
Attending the International Quilt Festival in Houston has been a dream of mine for many years. We hear time and again quilters using the phrase “quilting is my therapy.” I can say that quilting has saved my life.
I have always been a crafter since I was a kid, and I would make all of my kids’ Halloween costumes or play costumes. I made them small quilts when they were small and fun things for them. I have been a stay at home mom for 25 years due to one of my son's severe disabilities. He is blind, incontinent, non-ambulatory, non-verbal, and uses a g-tube for nourishment. He requires around-the-clock care. A few years ago, another one of my sons was killed in a horrific accident on our family vacation, one week after he graduated high school, and one week from his 18th birthday. He was so bright, talented and beautiful—I was so very proud of him.
It seemed as if my life was destined only to grief. I just wanted to die, but I couldn't. My brother took his life a few years ago and I saw what that did to my parents (we were the only children). I began quilting every available minute I had. I poured my heart and soul into quilting and the outcome has been a healing that could not have come from medication or therapists. I quilt and sew every single day, and when I'm not sewing, I'm reading quilting magazines and industry news. I have always wanted to go to the show in Houston—it's the Holy Grail of shows. So I watch the coverage through social media every year...and dream.