I had the pleasure to attend the International Quilt festival in Houston this year. If you have ever been to a quilt festival, you know it can be a very intense experience. Multiply that experience 100-fold and you will begin to understand what the Houston festival is like.
There are more than 60,000 attendees and so many friends to see. There are more than a thousand vendors. There are 1000s of beautiful quilts to view. Classes, lectures, training, tours and an amazing amount of shared information.
Here is a photo on preview night with my roommate and good friend, Phyllis. We had a blast viewing and critiquing the quilts.
Every time you turn a corner you see a quilt you missed the first time around. This is my second time at this festival. I attended four years ago and I found that it takes me three walk arounds to take in the breath and wealth of the show. Each time around I pick up different information and view the works in a different way.
I had two pieces in the Hands All Around exhibit. It was quite a charge seeing my art on the walls of the show! In addition, the festival used my piece, “Colors of the Jerusalem Market” to announce Hands All Around 2018.
Danny Amazonas had his own exhibit. Here is a photo of Danny standing in front of a mural size quilted fish tank. His entire exhibit was stunning.
I had the fortune to learn with some fantastic quilters. I took an interactive dye painting class with Hollis Chatelain. She painted a portrait in front of the class and then thread sketched part of the face while we watched.
I learned about surface design with Claudia Pfeil. Her message is PPP… Practice, practice, practice. We practiced on longarm machines provided by the festival. I learned tons. I know what I will be doing during my free time once I am back home…
I visited with Angela Walters, the long arm quilter from Craftsy. Angela quilts on a Handi Quilter Avante just like I do! We had a chat about Angela’s influence on our machine quilting techniques. Here’s a photo of Angela with me and a friend from home.
I visited the Handi Quilter booth and talked about rulers with Vicki Hoth. I learned about the newest Handi Quilter machine, “Amara” with Gail Berry and Nate Arnesen. What an elegant new machine. It has a 20” throatspace and some new features that I would call, “Quality of life”.
I bought some fabric. One can never have enough fabric, right? The booths were calling with such irresistible eye candy. I even found a great light for my sewing machine for those late nights when I can’t tear myself away from the machine. At least I will be able to see what I’m doing.
Now that the festival is over, I have an opportunity to think about what I saw, study my photos and let the sheer inspiration do its job. What a treat! My head is dealing with ideas. I wish I could capture them all to save for the future.