International Quilt Festival 2019

This year I was again able to go to the International Quilt Festival (IQF) here in Houston, and again, I had only three hours to be at the show.

My husband drove me downtown (it takes about 2 hours to get there from our house), told me to go in and get started while he parked the car.  I was excited to get in to the show, and went straight to the Spirit of the Artisan booth where I buy fair trade fabric every year.  They had increased their selection, plus there was a long line of other ladies waiting to pay, so I was probably there for 20 minutes.  Only then did I realize that I had left my phone in the car!  I went to our arranged meeting place in front of the 45th anniversary Sapphire show, but he wasn’t there.

I waited a while, looked around for him, and finally discovered that there are no pay phones left in the convention center!  A kind gentleman at the motor chair rental booth lent me his phone so I could call my husband and meet up with him.   I was at the the D Entrance as agreed, but he was somewhere around the B entrance in the lobby.  So all that took precious time away from viewing.

One thing I was very glad to find this year, was this sign spelling out clearly what is and is not allowed, in regards to picture taking:

sign explaining permitted photo practice

Sign explaining permitted photo practice.

When I first started going to the Quilt Festival, individual exhibits would put up signs if photography was not allowed, but they were very small and hard to notice compared to the colorful quilts they were next to, and commonly ignored.  Last year, as I recall, there was a huge sign when you went from the vendor area into the exhibit area, that had so much legalese on it that I felt I was not actually allowed to even look at the quilts in the galleries.  It made me feel that spectators were a small and unimportant part of the whole show.

So I was glad to see this sign, but I did only see it in one place in a back corner of the show, which makes me wonder how many people noticed it.  The Sapphire exhibit was large and since I can’t credit all the quilters whose work was displayed, I will just tell you that pictures of it are on the IQF Facebook page.  But here is one quilt representative of the display.

shibori and sashiko fabrics in a quilt

Japanese Memories by Kathleen M. Littfin, at IQF Houston.

shibori and sashiko in a quilt

Detail of Japanese Memories by Kathleen M. Littfin, at IQF Houston.

artist's statement

Artist’s statement.

Nowadays the pictures I take while there are just reminders of what to look up online later, and they have led me to spectacular websites that show the quilts in all their glory.  So today I am going to show you some of my photos, but provide links so you can see professional photos of these quilts.  (Because all of these quilts were nice and straight, but my photos were often taken from strange angles, so they look distorted even after lots of editing.)

As an intro, the International Quilt Festival’s media page shows a nice selection of quilts from different exhibits, and pictures from the exhibit floor.

And here is a slideshow of the Modern Quilt Guild showcase .

Here is a picture that shows only part of a quilt —  Urban Voyeur: Glass House Restaurants, by Jill Kerttula.  I loved the glowing effect she achieved, and the blend of machine- and hand-stitching.  I was very glad to find her galleries online so I can really study her phenomenal quilts.

detail of quilt showing urban glass walls

Detail of Urban Voyeur: Glass House Restaurants, by Jill Kerttula, exhibited at IQF Houston, 2019.

That quilt was part of the Tactile Architecture™ exhibit, but I never realized before this year that this is an annual category.  I had a hard time finding out how many years it has been shown, and who sponsors it.  I finally found some information about it here, in the list of all the entrance categories .  (I find that list full of inspiring ideas in itself.)

Another great quilt in that area was La Tour by Daniela and Marco Arnoldi Sarzi-Sartori (DAMSS).  All sorts of materials covered the surface to build up an impression of the Eiffel Tower on a windy fall day.  Great close-ups can be seen here.

art quilt of Eiffel Tower

La Tour, by Daniela and Marco Arnoldi Sarzi-Sartori (DAMSS). Displayed at IQF Houston, 2019.

This quilt, 270 Colors, by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill drew me across the room.


quilt 270 colors by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

270 Colors, by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill, seen at IQF Houston 2019

There are much better pictures of it here on the Aurifil blog, Auribuzz.  In addition, there are pictures of the other 14 quilts in that exhibit, plus information on four different techniques used in the quilts.  It is an inspiring post!

From here it was on to the Cherrywood Challenge, which this year focused on artist Bob Ross.  Many “happy little quilters” were strolling through this display of “happy little quilts!” You can see more of them at Bob Ross Cherrywood  Challenge ribbon winners.  Here are some that don’t appear on that website:

bob ross art quilt by kathy estes

Bob Ross Goes Embroidery, by Kathy Estes, displayed at IQF Houston 2019.

bob ross art quilt by laurie miller

Beauty is Everywhere, by Laurie Miller, displayed at IQF Houston, 2019

bob ross art quilt by beverly simpson

Bob Rossisms, by Beverly Simpson, displayed at IQF Houston, 2019

And here are all the winning quilts in the sponsored exhibits.  There are over 100 quilts there, and you can click on the images to see a larger version.

After viewing as many quilts as we could fit in, I went to buy thread, and foolishly sent my husband off to a nearby seating area, inside the main show.  Or so I thought.  After I had made my purchases, I went to meet him, and again, he was nowhere to be found.  So I repeated my Search and Rescue mission. He had gotten bored and found a lounge area out in the lobby, between the escalator banks, and not visible FROM ANYWHERE.  Only years of experience in figuring out where he might have gone, enabled me to find him.

Next time I will just keep shopping until the bank calls him with an unusual activity alarm, and he has to come and find me.  🙂