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:
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.
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.
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.
This quilt, 270 Colors, by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill drew me across the room.
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:
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. 🙂
Thank you for all the photos and links, but most of all for the suggestion for bringing straying husbands back – I shall have to remember that one, even if it’s only to use as a threat….
A grown-up lady version of a kid’s threat — instead of “I’ll hold my breath!” we can say, “I’ll stay in this vendor booth until the credit card melts!” 🙂
I have to laugh at how you plan to get your husband’s attention the next time around. 😀
It’s a shame you only had three hours to give to the show. I haven’t been able to go since 1994 but even a whole day didn’t seem like enough time back then. I admire your tenacity in digging up all those links for us; thanks for that.
I do go almost every year, and I am used to the short schedule I have. My Marine neighbor has taught me how to think on a mission, “Go in, extract objective, get out.” 🙂
Lol! I used to cruise the vendors first and then see as many quilts as I could. There was never enough time to fully enjoy the whole show though!
I suspect every wife will thank you for the suggestion in the last paragraph! LOL!
Thank you for taking pictures for us.
I’m so glad you also like the work of Jill Kerttula. I love how she combines photography, fabric and stitching. Her pieces have a air of mystery that intrigues me.
Definitely! So much detail to look at and yet the whole image is unified. I love her sidewalk pieces. I am very glad to have learned of her work!
One day I dream of attending this! The pictures are lovely, thank you!
I hope you can! I have never gone to any of the others, which I think are in Chicago, Cincinnati, and Long Beach, but I enjoy going to this one almost every year.
Those were extraordinary pictures. Lucky you and very SMART plan for finding errant husbands haha
Yes, I wish I had come up with this plan many years ago! 🙂
This show looks amazing, and a little overwhelming! So much to see and such different styles and approaches and techniques. I do like the Bob Ross quilts . . .
Yes, it is definitely overwhelming, but so inspiring! And I have all year to plan my strategy for my visit — I emphasize shopping some years, and viewing the exhibitions on other years.
CONGRATULATIONS! Your blog has been included in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at
Thank you, Chris
Love the quilts, especially Laurie Miller’s. I feel your angst re your wandering husband… mine tends to wander off regularly, even when we’re shopping for him… Maybe we should get our heads together and campaign for all men’s wedding rings to include a homing device…
We wouldn’t be able to hear anything in a crowd except for all the wedding rings beeping! 🙂
Thanks for including me in your weekly wrap-up, I look forward to following your links!
Now that’s a thought.. maybe they should come with some kind of LED light that shines upwards, so we can see where they are…Then again, it could be too dazzling!
You’re welcome.. happy to spread the word re well presented blogs.
I love that simple one with all the colours that look like mini batteries. Thank you for sharing.
My pictures didn’t show it, but each one of those was stitched with tiny diagonal lines to represent the threads going around the spools. So cool! I would love to have all those colors to play with!
I hadn’t realised they were cotton reels – I (because I don’t sew!) assumed they were crayons, or pantone pens!
Well, they don’t look like traditional spools of thread either, so I can see why the image didn’t immediately say “thread” to you. But I really like your idea of little batteries, because to those of us who do sew, all those thread colors really charge our batteries and give us energy to keep sewing! 🙂
I am still hoping to go to IQF one of these days. I’m glad they let you take pictures to share!
I am looking forward to going one day. However, I think I will leave my husband at home so he can’t get visibly bored while there… and then he’ll be sorry! 🤣
Yes, most years my husband does not go with me, but he does usually drive me down there. I am not afraid to drive in Houston, but I just can’t park in those city-sized parking spots. 🙂