I’m back and still bubbling with exitement after a wonderful vacation. I’ve been to New York City and to New Orleans but best of all – I made it to the International Quilt Festival in Houston (a really big trip for an European girl) and even better – it was their 40th anniversary, their Ruby Jubilee.
The show was just awesome (sorry – no other word comes to my mind). Endless rows of quilts, one more beautiful than the other – a quilter’s dream come true.
As I did all my travels after Houston I’m rather late in posting pictures of the show. But there is also an advantage: I checked a lot of other blogs so that I can show you quilts you might not have seen until now. And I decided not to show you the winning quilts – you can find them all at the website of the Festival (click here).
As it was the “Ruby Jubilee” there was a beautiful selection of red-and-white quilts, vertically presented, which created a really nice focus in the middle of the show floor. You can see a video of these quilts made by Luana Rubin of eQuilter here.
One of my first drop-jaw-moments was this chameleon by Sharon Hightower of Claremont, California, USA. It’s called “Not Hiding, Not Revealing” and shows that inspiration is just everywhere. Sharon got inspired by an advertisement for paints. She says: “That feisty chameleon takes on three colors, and attitude, adapting to all situations.”
The early evening sun glowing on the old city wall of York, England is depicted on this quilt “York Wall” by Ellen Lindner, Melbourne, Florida, USA. The quilt is raw-edge appliquéd, painted and machine-stitched.
“Ready for the Wedding” by Christina Kreiser of Cochrane in Canada is a traditional quilt with a twist. The colors are very well chosen and the twisting and turning of the design makes for a very lively quilt. But still it has a serious background. This is what the artist says about her quilt: “Design inspiration came from seeing the devastation Hurricane Ike left behind in Galveston in 2008. I purchased the pattern online as part of a fundraising effort for victims of Hurricane Ike. To capture the enormity of it all I added extra circles and curves. The circles and broken, twisted curves represent the turmoil of that time. And yet amidst all the chaos, stepping back und looking at the quilt, you can see harmony – representing how people from all over the world came together to help Galveston regain her peaceful coexistence with the Gulf.”
“Love at First Sight” by Sheri Salo of Courtenay in Canada was made from a photo Sheri took on a trip to Paris. I think many of us had the same feeling when having their first look at the Eiffel Tower. The quilt is raw-edge appliquéd, painted and free-motion machine quilted.
“There’s no Nest like Home” by Helen and Pat Godden of Canberra, Australia. “No matter how far we fly from our nest, there is no place safer, warmer, and more comfortable than home” says the artist’s statement for this quilt.
The quilt is pieced and painted parts are appliquéd but the the real eyecatcher is the background. The backdrop is pieced batik fabric and the entire quilting design is free-motion couched by machine. I have never seen this before but the overall effect was beautiful.
“Reflection #7” by Donna Deaver, Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, USA was one of several quilts by Donna in the show. The quilt is fused, stitched, collage and free-motion quilted. Donna has a whole series of reflection-inspired quilts which you should check out on her website as all of them are stunning (donnadeaver.com). About this one she says: “Reflection #7 depicts a walkway and arches of a large parking structure. Looking at the reflection in large plateglass windows, I was inspired by the strong lines and multiple repetitions within the scene. The quick transition from near to far adds drama, and is representative of how large we are in our own eyes, but how relatively insignificant we are the further away one gets. It is just a matter of perspective and individual interpretation.”
“A coral reef is one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems” says Betty. “In this quilt, there are dozens of animals who make their homes there: an octopus inside a jug, a hermit crab in somebody else’s shell, a moray eel in a coral cave, a leafy sea dragon in the lacy seaweed, and many more. The animals and corals were made using many different techniques. Felting and trapunto were used to provide a three-dimensional element.”
Have a look at the plants in the close-ups – they are amazing.
I especially loved the use of commercial fabrics in this quilt – they are used so well.
Nancy says: “I live in a very windy area of Nevada. I love the way the wind bends the stems of the flowers in my garden and how graceful they appear.”
Sometimes it was impossible to avoid having the descriptions of the quilts or even the poles for the barrier in front of the quilts on the pictures. Sorry for that. But I liked this quilt so much that I want to show it anyways.
The quilt is called “Cottonwood Reflection” and is made by Cynthia St. Charles of Billings, Montana, USA. She hand-painted, collaged, block printed, Thermofax screen-printed and machine quilted this piece of art. Her statement: “There is an especially scenic cottonwood grove on the Montana ranch where I grew up. I’ve been working with cottonwood tree imagery over the past year and it has been a joyous, sentimental journey.”
“Groovin’ on a Sunday Afternoon” by Barb Forrister of Austin, Texas, USA is painted, trapuntoed, appliquéd and machine quilted. Barb made this quilt in memory of Kathleen Worland, her mother, who always had a fondness for giraffes. Consequently the artist’s statement for this quilt deals with the mother-daughter-relationship as well: “A mother’s love for her daughter is reflected in her child’s eyes. Laughter, tears, and joy have all been part of life’s celebration that is mirrored from one generation to another. Mother dreams of the beautiful, intelligent, strong youth she is raising. She dreams her daughter will forge new frontiers, stand with beauty, poise, confidence, and courage. She dreams her daughter will dance like she has never danced before.”
The view of the moon seen from her front porch inspired Terry Grant of Beaverton, Oregon, USA to make “The Moon is a Mirror”.
“Golden Girl” by Hollis Chatelain of Hillsborough, North Carolina, USA. The artist’s statement: “Water reflections intrigue me. While still water can render a perfect mirror image, small ripples or any movement will distort the reflection, often creating a more revealing representation.”
Anna Faustino’s weaving technique and Paula Nadelstern’s kaleidoscope piecing techniques were combined by Sara Sharp of Austin, Texas, USA, to create this unique quilt called “To Everything there is a Season”. Pieced, appliquéd, embroidered and machine-quilted this piece really caught my eye. And what Sara has to say about her quilt is thought-provoking as well: “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. – As the years pass in my life, the wisdom of these words reassures me that the passing decades will always bring change. The woven circles remind me of the many high and low times throughout our lives that combine to make us wiser and stronger.”
“En el Dia de Los Muertos: La Catrina de José Guadalupe Posada” by Marisela Rumberg of Annandale, Virginia, USA. The design source of this quilt was a lithograph by José Guadalupe Posada. Marisela painted, machine appliquéd, couched, quilted and did some bobbin work.
“Day of the Dead is a marvelous Mexican holiday. This quilt is totally inspired by the fact that Mexicans are the only ones with enough craftiness to laugh at death. La Catrina has always beeen my favorite because she is elegant and pretentious” says Marisela.
SAQA had a breathtaking exhibit at the show. Unfortunately photos weren’t allowed. But Luana Rubin of eQuilter has a video online on some highlights of this exhibit. Don’t miss it!
These are some pictures of the Festival of Quilts out of the several hundred of quilts hanging there. You can see some more quilts at
Linda Teddlie Minton’s blog Fiber Reflections
LA Paylor’s blog Not Afraid of Color
Norma Schlager’s blog Notes from Norma
Each of them has several posts concerning the Festival, just go to previous entries.
By the way – besides of the enormos show floor there was an equally big shopping mall. Don’t ask how much I spent – it was only the thought of having to put it all in one suitcase (50 lb) that stopped me a little bit.
Houston has been a wonderful adventure – an abundance of quilts, shopping and meeting with likeminded and interesting people. If you have never been there – start saving.