Houston & the International Quilt Festival 2020

Houston International Textile Show 2020
Leaving on
Oct 2020
Arriving back on
Nov 2020
Houston, USA
Flights from London Heathrow and Manchester - Perfect for individuals and small groups

We are delighted to be able to offer this exciting, inspirational and hugely popular programme to Houston, Texas for 2020

With its mix of international appeal and Southern charm, Houston is a vibrant, multi-cultural city boasting 20 museums and cultural institutions, a world class culinary scene and the International Space Centre - not to mention the largest annual quilt show in America.

This seven night tour combines three inspiring days at the International Quilt Festival with visits to the beautiful beaches of Galveston Island on the Gulf of Mexico, historic Old Town Spring, the tropical oasis that is Moody Gardens Pyramid Rainforest and plenty of free time to explore all that America's fourth largest city has to offer.

You will be based at the iconic, mid-century Whitehall Hotel in the heart of downtown Houston. 

We will open this tour for booking soon, but you can contact us to register your interest now. 






ATOL Protected Logo

Houston Quilt Festival 2018

Founded in 1974, Houston's International Quilt Festival is the largest annual quilt show in America, attracting tens of thousands of visitors to the George R Brown Convention Centre each year.

As well as displays of more than 1,500 quilts and unique works of textile art by artists and craftspeople from all corners of the globe, the Festival also boasts an inspiring workshop and lecture programme and 1,000 booths selling quilts, fabrics and textile supplies. Three days here will provide long term inspiration for quilting and textile enthusiasts of all kinds, and offers a unique opportunity to forge creative friendships with the international quilting community.

The Special Exhibits section is an annual highlight. This year's line-up is still a closely guarded secret but last year's treats included a showcase of quilts that have graced the covers of the iconic US Patchwork & Quilting Magazine and Kaffe Fassett's display of Heritage Quilts in America.

You can read about the 2019's quilting highlights on our news page

Houston Space Shuttle with ECT Houston Quilt Festival Tour

Space Centre Houston, the official visitor centre of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Centre, is the only place in the world where you can enter a replica space shuttle resting on top of the original shuttle carrier aircraft, NASA 905. This extraordinary re-creation gives a real insight into the workings of the shuttle, allowing visitors to walk through seven dynamic areas within the aircraft, including the flight deck, mid-deck and payload bay. And as if that wasn't excitement enough, a visit here also includes the chance to experience the sights and sounds of a real launch in the multi-screen Blast-Off theatre, an opportunity to take an interactive, virtual journey across the solar system and into the future of space exploration and a 90 minute tram tour behind the scenes of NASA and Mission Control. 

Downtown Houston - ECT Houston Quilt Festival Tour

Houston's downtown Museum District is the city's cultural heart, with venues exploring subjects ranging from natural science to the African-American experience. Particular highlights include the Menil Collection and the Museum of Fine Arts. 

Housed in buildings designed by architect Renzo Piano (and widely regarded as masterpieces of modern architecture), the Menil collection contains 15,000 works dating from the Paleolithic era to the present day, including an impressive collection of 20th Century surrealist art, a permanent installation of work by Cy Twombly and a chapel dedicated to the paintings of Mark Rothko.

With over 65,000 objects ranging from Antiquity to contemporary times, the Museum of Fine Arts is a place to return to time and again. However, must-see collections for a one-off visit include The Glassel Collection of African Gold, the 19th century paintings of the American wilderness, the displays of contemporary decorative arts and the textile and costume galleries, home to some exquisite examples of English and French haute couture. Architecture aficionados should also make a point of visiting the Museum's Cullinan Hall and Brown Pavilion, both of which were designed by that master of modernism, Mies van der Rohe.

Houston is an international city and its culinary scene reflects its ethnic diversity - at the last count there were 10,000 restaurants offering cuisine from more than 70 different countries and regions of the US. And it isn't just the variety that's impressive; many people also consider Houston to be America's food capital so, whether your taste is for waffles and chicken wings, Creole gumbo and jambalaya or European fusion, this is a place in which to indulge your appetite.

Houston has plenty to tempt shoppers too, from the Art Deco splendour of the Rover Oaks Shopping Centre to the independent craft artists at the Houston Centre for Contemporary Craft. We make a special visit to Joann Fabric and Craft Store which boasts the city's best selection of fabrics, yarns, beads, scrapbooking, and paper crafting goods.

Houston, Texas for the International Quilt Festival

Established 75 years ago, JOANN is America's leading fabric and craft retailer. A one-stop-shop for all your crafting needs, the brand's goal is 'to help every customer customer find their creative Happy Place'.

Fat Quaters

Galveston Island Houston ECT Travel Quilters' Guild Tour

Galveston Island, lying fifty miles south of Houston on the Gulf of Mexico. is a relaxed retreat with mile upon mile of beaches and a wealth of stately historic homes belonging to generations of the most powerful families in Texas.  Although many of the island’s buildings were destroyed in the Great Storm of 1900 many, such as the 1859 Ashton Villa, 1892 Bishop's Palace and 1885 Moody Mansion did survive and offer a fascinating glimpse into turn of the century family life among Galveston's elite.

Other highlights include The Grand 1894 Opera House, ranked among the US's finest historical theaters, and the Rainforest Pyramid at Moody Gardens. This fascinating 40,000 square foot tropical habitat for exotic and  endangered flora and fauna provides a rare, up-close and interactive experience with endangered plants and animals, ranging from Giant Amazon River Otters to Saki Monkeys and Chinese Alligators in an extraordinarily realistic replica of a real rainforest.

Moody Gardens Houston, Texas, ECT Quilters' Guild Tour 2018

Houston Old Town - Shopping on ECT Travel's Houston Tour

Historic Old Town Spring, just thirty minutes from Houston, was put on the map in the 1930s when the infamous Bonnie and Clyde robbed the town bank; the bullet holes are still there to see today. Despite its violent claim to fame, Old Town Spring is a charming little town filled with art galleries, antique stores and lovely independent Victorian-style shops, including GRS Creations, known as ‘the hidden quilt shop in Old Town Spring’, which boasts eleven rooms stocked with more than 18,000 bolts of fabric. 

Houston's Whitehall Hotel

First opened in 1963, the Whitehall Hotel is a mid-century landmark conveniently located in the heart of downtown Houston. As well as contemporary rooms with all the comforts you would expect of a leading hotel, the Whitehall also boasts an in-house art gallery, a bar selling cocktails made with their own-label bourbon and three restaurants offering an authentic take on local cuisine. 


ECT Travel Houston Tour Itinerary

Day One

-  Arrive at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport and meet with your Tour Manager

- Transfer to the Whitehall Hotel, 1700 Smith St, Houston where you will be staying for the duration of the tour 

Day Two 

- Half day city tour with our local guide

- Sightseeing time at leisure 

- International Quilt Festival preview evening. A local shuttle transfer to hotel is provided by the Festival organisers

Day Three 

- Full day at the International Quilt Festival. A local shuttle transfer to hotel is provided by the Festival organisers

Day Four 

- Full day at the International Quilt Festival. A local shuttle transfer to hotel is provided by the Festival organisers

Day Five 

- Full day excursion to the International Quilt Festival. A local shuttle transfer to hotel is provided by the Festival organisers

Day Six 

- Full day excursion with our Tour Manager to Space Centre Houston, including a one hour visit to the Joann Fabric Store. 

Day Seven 

- Full day excursion to Galveston Island and Moody Gardens Pyramid Rainforest

Day Eight 

- Half day excursion to Old Town Spring and the hidden fabric shop, GRS Creations & Fabrics

- Transfer to Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport for the return flights to the UK

Day Nine 

- Arrive back at London Heathrow/Manchester Airport

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or, for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate, go to www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate.

Our ATOL number is ATOL 6545. ATOL Protection extends primarily to customers who book and pay in the United Kingdom.

If you prefer to make your own travel arrangements then you can also join the tour in Houston.

Key Legislation

Additional information:

  • This tour requires a minimum of 10 passenger refer to point 7 in our booking conditions

  • Mobility: this tour is generally suitable for most, if you are concerned or have specific issues please let us know ahead of booking

  • Please ensure you have a valid passport (at least six months from the date of travel) and visa 

  • Travel insurance is required 

Request a Call Back / Email

Coming soon

Tour Includes

  • Return British Airways or Singapore Airlines flight to Houston (if flight package is booked)
  • An ECT Tour Manager
  • Seven nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation at the Whitehall Hotel
  • Airport transfers and excursion transportation
  • International Quilt Festival Show Pass, covering entrance and preview night
  • City tour of Houston with local guide
  • Entrance to Moody Gardens and Houston Space Center
  • Visit to Joann Fabric & Craft Store
  • Visit to hidden fabric store in Old Town Springs
  • Travel disruption insurance
Optional Extras
  • Any workshops/lectures booked at the International Quilt Festival
  • Gratuities for your tour guide, coach driver, local guides and coach driver