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Posts tagged ‘Houston Quilt Festival’

Photo Session

One of my least favorite things to do is to photograph my work. I’ve discovered smaller pieces are much more manageable but then I have some pieces that are just larger because they want to be the size they become.

Sunday Dresses started out as a few pineapple blocks in a Quilt Festival workshop with Gyleen Fitzgerald. She is a real dynamo and the class was fun, her tool very helpful, and it didn’t hurt that I was there with a rowdy group of Holus Bolus. I came home with four or five pineapple blocks with three rounds each. I continued on with some black and white prints–all from my mother’s scrapbasket of leftovers from her Sunday Dresses. There were some everyday blouses and aprons and a few shirts for my brothers and so I sliced them all up with my handy dandy Accuquilt Studio cutter.

I set those blocks together and then decided to finish it off with several rounds of just straight strips set together end to end in a random pattern–just like my grandmother did with a special quilt she made just for me. That quilt was batted with a wool blanket–she lived through the Depression and World War II and was thrifty by necessity.

This quilt was quilted on my Gammill using a star motif in the centers of those pineapple blocks.

Every time I look at it I see my mother’s wardrobe made of plywood sitting in the corner of her bedroom, filled with those white-black print dresses, the bottom with a box of fabric scraps all carefully rolled up and pinned together either with a straight pin or tied with a piece of selvedge. That wardrobe was still there when we began remodeling the farmhouse–the dresses long gone but still so visible in my mind’s eye.


This is a small part of the completed piece. I tried to use her quilting stencils but quickly learned that hand quilting stencils do not work well with longarm machine quilting or probably any sort of machine quilting.

Festival Frenetica

Now that my feet and back have had a chance to recover, it’s time to put a few thoughts down about Festival.

International Quilt Festival is the largest convention held in Houston with over 60,000 attendees according to this year’s brochure. It occupies all of the George R Brown although this year it shared Discovery Green space with the Korean Festival. It is overwhelming and some people think they can ‘do’ the show in just and afternoon–or even a longish day–but there are miles of vendors and then there’s the quilts. I did take photos but as I did not think to include the maker’s name, those photos will remain for my personal viewing pleasure but I will include a few of what I would refer to as installations shots.

I took two classes, one by Anita Solomon on Patience Corners and another by Gyleen Fitzgerald on Pineapples. Both classes were excellent and I wouldn’t mind taking another class with either of these two knowledgeable teachers. I also sat through a few of the teacher tidbits forums–Patti Culea and her dolls and Brecia with improv silk knitting. Excellent presentations and I think their classes would be fun.

A word or two about the quilts.

The French had a rather surprising exhbit of very precisely pieced traditional styled quilts–from the precision and tiny pieces I would have guessed Japanese.

A yurt provided an inside and outside look at panels.

Coats and Clark provided a historical display of their history along with a Mona Lisa done in pixels of spools of thread.

The Korean Festival featured a lot of Korean barbecue and spirited drummers and dancers.

Some years have a definate trend among the vendors or quilts; this year I thought the offerings were conservative and perhaps a reach into the beginnings with more traditional patterns. Of course I came home with three quilt backs, thread to quilt them with, and some tiny English paper piecing templates!

It was a fun event; I always think about attending another city’s festival but feet and pocketbook nix that thought.



Saturday at Houston Quilt Festival

Can it be almost a week afterwards?

To continue my story: I know everyone is wondering what will happen next?


I had to have been extremely tired yesterday because I awoke to the sound of coffee beans being poured into a grinder—I thought they were pills that Sherry was taking in the middle of the night. It was after seven!


ivy in the doorwayWe took our time mostly chatting and drinking coffee so it was nearly eleven before I parked my truck—I can’t do that parking garage even though it is right across the street. Sherry bought her quilting frame while I walked back from the lot near Annunciation. It was a beautiful day and I wished I had time to wander through Discovery Green—a park overlying the parking garage. There is a series of huge globes along the pathways, a small pond where you can rent a remote control sailboat for half an hour, lots of benches and grass and lovely flower beds all in bloom.


Lunch was with Ricky Tims—and it was fabulous. He used a variety of musical instruments but my favorite (and his) was the Canadian Christmas Carol. Sherry had to leave a bit early to pick up her bag and get to her class on Happy Villages taught by Karen Eckmeier. Unfortunately, Karen was ill and Betty Blais from Embellishment Village filled in for her. She told them that if someone called from her booth, she would have to go but that someone from Quilts Inc would come and perform a tap dance for them. (Hmm—wonder who that would have been—and what sort of costume—and what sort of dance)


Colleen Davis and Improvisational knitting class begins

Colleen Davis and Improvisational knitting class begins

My class was with Colleen Davis on improvisational knitting. She had a suitcase full of jackets and shawls and sweaters and although half of the garments were for a different class, she let us prowl through them all, try them on, and quiz her on the stitches. The garments were a lot of fun—knitted pieces, felted around various objects such as peanuts or Styrofoam balls or wooden beads and then pieced into a garment. For a few minutes I wished I lived in Wisconsin where sweaters can be worn nearly year round.

There were lots more–a whole suitcase full but these were the ones I elbowed my way in to take photos. I’ve done one piece with a knitted background–but wonder what would happen if I tried knitting and then felting???? 


one of many lovely samples

one of many lovely samples

another sample

another sample

linear knitting

linear knitting






Here is her website—it was a fun morning—too bad knitting isn’t faster.


After class, we did a little more shopping –some really luscious yarns—cashmere and alpaca and silk– and then my iron that hops up on it’s little feet.


We ate leftovers from the refrigerator that night—both us too weary to do much more than run the microwave.