International Quilt Festival – 2021

Over the next few days, I will be sharing some of the wonderful quilts from IQF in Houston, Texas.

Let me start by saying that the show was smaller than normal. There were about 25% fewer quilts and 30% (or more) fewer vendors. Several of the bigger vendors, including Moda, Accuquilt, and Missouri Star, were conspicuous by their absence.

Also missing were our friends from other parts of the world. Many were not allowed to leave their countries and others were concerned about re-entry if they did leave. We will ALL look forward to next year with the hope that things will return to normal!!!

There are “portholes” that look onto the show floor from the 2nd floor of the convention center and it was fun to watch the quilters walk up for a preview…..

This is what they saw……

“Porthole” view of IQF

Linda and I were both excited to hit the floor, but first……


As we entered the show floor, we were met with the grand prize quilts and they were amazing!!!

“Just Thinking” by Jill Kerttula

According to Jill, this quilt started with the self-portrait photo which she printed onto fabric and then started weaving the background, finally adding texture with stitches and embellishments.

“Sharing the Moment” by Hollis Chatelain

In Hollis’ usual style, this was dyed, hand-painted, and then thread painted.

The attention to detail in this next quilt is astounding!!!

“ABCDivine” by Janet Stone

This quilt was painted and then machine quilted. I LOVE the cactus flower!!

“Desert in Spring” by Andrea Brokenshire

This gorgeous quilt was hand appliqued, embroidered, and quilted……

“Rondo” by Sachiko Chiba

This quilt again used professionally printed fabric and was machine quilted…..

“Leap of Faith” by Kestrel Michaud

Now for my editorial comment……

While all of these quilts were amazing to look at and the threadwork was excellent, I was sad to see that there were no pieced quilts included in the winners.

Even as we walked the show floor, pieced quilts were few and far between. Maybe this is an indication of where quilting is headed but I am afraid that we will lose part of our heritage if we don’t bring some of the basics back in again.

……just my thoughts!!!

Please check back in the next few weeks for more of the beautiful quilts at IQF-2021!!!

16 thoughts on “International Quilt Festival – 2021

  1. No pieced quilts among the winners? So sad. While it is imperative to evolve and explore new techniques it is also imperative to be mindful of where we came from and honor those traditions. I am a hand quilter and am currently exploring hand applique and cross stitching. I guess I’m slanted but I feel there is nothing better than seeing the hand of the quilter in piecing and finishing.

  2. I also agree that pieced quilts must continue to be a part of a big exhibit like this. I don’t know anything about categories but surely we could have winners from a series of divisions. The winners are all lovely, but definitely don’t appeal to me as examples of the craft.

  3. I agree with you, Frances. I think the international show has more art quilts than the Paducah Kentucky show. They tend to have more traditional quilts. Hopefully we will see more traditional piecing there in April.

  4. I missed the show this year. I was a little afraid of the crowds. Not so much I guess. Anyway, there is always next year!

  5. As a confirmed piecer, I also love the pieced and traditional appliquéd quilts. The award winners were lovely, well-excecuted, and imaginative, but I do like the old-fashioned kind too.

  6. Thank you Frances for sharing your thoughts and pictures from the show. I am a once in a while crafter and enjoy seeing the creativity of others. Cheers.

  7. Also the use of computers in designing and making quilts is a big trend. Photos and Designs printed on fabric then quilted used to be cheater cloths and not accepted in shows. Now they are winning top prizes! Computer aided quilts should be in their own catagory

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