Last weekend I attended the Virtual Quilt Festival that took the place of the International Quilt Festival in Houston. While it was not NEARLY as much fun as spending 3 tiring days walking the convention floor, it was still fun to peruse the galleries and take some classes.
The most exciting thing was to see my quilt Mahek the Market Girl “hanging” in the competition entitled “In My Mind”…..
It was also fun to be able to sit with my feet up, drinking a cup of tea while I watched the classes that I had signed up for. Both were quilting related and while one was just so-so, the second one was AMAZING.
I spent 1.5 hours with Claudia Pfeil in her studio in Germany!!
I would never have taken this class in person because it was designed for a long-arm machine, but with distance learning, I was able to enjoy her work and learn lots about developing new quilting designs.
She started off by talking about her “alphabet”….the building blocks that she uses with most quilting designs…..
She starts with 5 basic patterns…..bridge, swirls, S-designs, straight lines and balls!!
Then she talked about her 5 elves (she had cute names for them) …. additional element, echo, mirror, combination, spacing
Then she moved to the machine and demonstrated how she uses these elements. As she started quilting in an area, she would begin with one of her simple designs. She would echo and/or mirror the design and start adding additional elements as she went. The final combinations were amazing….
She also showed a way to tie off your threads without having to bury them. I videoed this portion and want to get to the machine and try it out. IF I can figure out exactly how she did it, I will be sure to pass it on!!
I left the seminar feeling encouraged and inspired and then discovered that she had also provided a 27 page pdf full of quilting designs!!!
If you haven’t heard of Claudia, be sure to check out her website. And, if you get American Quilter magazine, there is a wonderful article about her quilts in the January 2021 issue!!
Back in May, I entered “Mahek, the Market Girl” into the International Quilt Festival (Houston Show) competition.
As we all know by now, Houston was canceled for 2020. and I was so disappointed when my entry fee was returned!
In September, they announced that there would be a “ Virtual Quilt Festival” and that entries were open for the “My Mind” exhibit. I told Michael that I was hesitant to enter the virtual show because I REALLY had wanted the opportunity to see her hang at Houston. As usual, his advice was spot on!!
He counseled me that we didn’t know what the next years were going to be like, and ALL of the shows may be virtual in 2021!! As I thought about that, I decided to go ahead and place the entry.
On Friday, I got an email saying that my quilt had been juried into the virtual show
I am thrilled to bits!!
It won’t be quite the same as walking up to her hanging on the wall as part of one of the exhibitions, but it’s still pretty neat.
I guess now I need to get started on another collage type quilt so that I have something like that to enter next year.
I think that the Virtual Show is actually going to be pretty good. You buy a pass for $10 that allows you to tour all of the online galleries on December 3rd, 4th, and 5th. There are various lectures and workshops that you can take for a $20 fee, and of course, there is a vendor mall…..because we HAVE to buy the newest thing!!!
You can visit THIS LINKto get more information and follow the link there to purchase tickets or register for classes.’
While it won’t be the same as seeing the quilts in person, (and of course there won’t be Mexican Food), it will be an exciting 3 days!!!
This post is in the same vein as “what I did this summer”, but instead it is about what came home with me…..either as “stuff” or as ideas. Here goes…..
Ruth Ann Berry talked about making those amazing 3-D quilts….you know, the ones where it looks like things are floating in space!! I always imagined the designing of those to be horrific, but she uses 60 degree triangles which means NO inset seams!!
Karen Kay Buckley not only reminded me to use a medium heat when working with Templar templates, but she also emphasized the importance of cutting the template plastic so that there are super smooth edges. To this end, I bought three pair of her scissors…..two for templates and one (serrated edge) pair for fabric…..
She said that if there is a slight bump on the template edge, you can use an emery board to smooth it out, and she also urged using a piece of fine sandpaper under the fabric when you are drawing the shape on.
Finally, she gave great instructions for preparing a leaf shape for applique. The first hint was to put a small loop of painter’s tape on the back of the template so that it doesn’t slide around when you are pressing the edges in place. Then, after you have used Magic Sizing and ironed all of the fabric in place, slightly wet the tips and pull the fold back so that it doesn’t overlap the leaf edge.
Deborah Gale Trico talked about Wool applique and thus encouraged me to buy a kit to make a small wool applique hanging…..
She was also giving out free needles and a skein of wool thread….gotta love freebies. The most interesting thing that she talked about was how to thread a Chenille needle. Here is her video…..
She also talked about using a thread to baste the pieces in place and hold them while the applique was being done. I came home and decided to baste my circles in place as I applique them and it has made the positioning a lot easier…..
I listened to Lois Hallock talk about how to organize your fabric and although I liked her suggestions, I finally decided that I have mine organized as well as I can. WHEW….nothing to change!!!
Jean Impey talked about using Fabrico markers to paint and reminded me AGAIN not to draw lines but to shade.
I had mentioned in the previous post that the vivacious Susan Cleveland talked about using piping and random prairie points to spice up your designs. This was probably my only “impulse” purchase, but I bought her book and templates for both the piping and the prairie points…..
Let’s hope that you see it in use in the near future!!
Reeze Hanson was talking about Machine Applique and said to use a super fine thread (80 or 100 wt) to do the stitching around the appliques…..what a good idea
One of my most memorable talks was from TSC designs. They are the ones who sell lots of inks, markers and stencils. As I walked up to the talk, I was just standing to one side rather than sitting down. The woman who was supposed to be the presenter (Joyce Teng) had lost her voice so another woman was doing the talking. Joyce walked up to me and invited me to sit. I declined and stood there for another minute or so. Finally, she walked back up to me again, pointed at the chair and explicitly told me to sit…..I sat!!! But, the tip that came from my sitting time was that you can use 404 spray adhesive to hold the stencil in place so that it doesn’t shift!
In the Color seminar that I have already talked about, she encouraged us to add white or light tones to “open up” the quilt. She also suggested taking a photo in Black & White so that you can look for value and better determine if your quilt needs different values to keep it exciting.
I have been interested in trying some heavier threads in my machine quilting and bought three spools to start with. Two spools of 28 wt thread from Aurifil and one spool of 12 wt from Superior…..
Let the practice begin!!!
I purchase this book by Lea McComas (the award winning quilter who made “The Long Goodbye” from my first post)…..
I am not sure that I will ever try anything this detailed but it is interesting to read her process.
The final purchases were some facial toned fabrics that I MAY use in an upcoming piece……
….and a cute applique quilt that I am looking forward to playing with (in my spare time)!!!…
Finally, I leave you with two things that caught my fancy as funny…..
First of all, as we walked past the “Lost and Found” table, there was a HUGE stack of reading glasses. Does that tell you anything about the clientele for the show.
Lastly, as you can imagine, the Ladies bathrooms were always busy and often there was a line out the door. In the bathroom on the show floor, there was an attendant who was hilarious. When you were waiting, she pointed out that there was an open stall for you to use and when a line started forming, she called out “Alright ladies….there is a line starting out here so get going. I need to hear some flushing!!!” I felt bad for anyone with a shy bladder!!!
To recap….the show was wonderful as always and I came away with so much inspiration and excitement about my favorite pastime.
When I woke up on Saturday morning, I wondered if there was any more to see at the show…..boy was I wrong!!!!
We started the day with the “Saturday Sampler” with 24 quilter’s talking about their specialties. Our first stop was to Karen Miller again as she was talking about Quilter’s Doodles.
She said that this next quilt was supposed to be at her display since it was the perfect example of her techniques, but, alas, it had been accepted into the show so wasn’t available for the sampler…..
Next, I spent time with Nancy Roelfsema who talked about “Coping Strips”. No, they don’t help you cope with your life, but they do help to put different sizes of blocks together perfectly!!
The comment that struck me most was that when you have a block with points, don’t “square” it up, but instead “trim” each edge so that points aren’t lost and then add the “coping” strips!!
Next, I spent some time with Susan Cleveland who was talking about using piping to add pizzazz to your quilts. Her technique is interesting and I admit that I bought her supplies to give it a try sometime.
I also spent some time with Karen Kay Buckley on both mornings as she talked about preparing applique pieces. Last year, she taught me to use templar plastic to prepare my fabric pieces and her templates are the ones that I have used for my circles. I did learn that a few of my templates had warped because I was using too hot of any iron!!! On the second day, I watched as she prepared pieces with internal and external points and I certainly feel more confident about trying them at home.
One of my favorite exhibits in the show was the “Up and Coming Quilter’s”. Terri Grant was one of the people featured and I have been following her blog for many years and have loved her work. She was scheduled to do a talk about her quilts but wasn’t able to be there. I would have loved to meet her in person!!
One of the reasons that I wanted to meet her is because she owns a piece of my work. MANY years ago, I created a small quilt and offered it as a gift on my blog to celebrate my first blogging anniversary, and she won it!! When she posted photos of her new studio I was excited to see a corner of it in the sitting room of her new building….
She hasn’t been posting much in the last year so I am a bit worried that she might not be well.
When we hit the main show floor again, we realized that we had missed a very important aisle…..the portrait quilts. These always amaze me and the following were my favorites…..
The quilter made this next quilt by turning a photo into a mosaic pattern and then laser cutting 4,000 pieces!!! It is so cute…..
The excitement on this little boy’s face is palpable…..
This was one of my favorites…..based on a photo where the dog was being introduced to the newest member of the family……
Needless to say, this landscape/portrait struck my fancy…..
I loved this architectural piece…..
….probably because it reminded me of a photo that I took in a palace in India…..
This next quilt was interesting in that it used only two colors and that the designs were made with strips of striped fabric…..
The colors in this cathedral were amazing, but the hexagon background is what really caught my attention…..
This landscape from Taiwan was also a crowd pleaser…
The geometrics and color in this piece were eye-popping….
And before we knew it, we were back at Pappasitos for our final Tex-Mex dinner, although we did make one last, quick foray to the Vendor’s!!
I am thankful for my friend, Linda, and that she is such a wonderful companion on these IQF trips…..
Friday morning started with the “Friday Sampler”, a two hour session where 29 quilters presented their specialties and we were allowed to move between them and glean what we could.
One of my favorites was Karen Miller who specialized in Free-motion quilting. On this day, she was talking about using rulers in your designs. After telling us about threads and needles, she then displayed a number of examples of simple quilting done with rulers…..
The “bead-board” border on this quilt is fantastic….and simple too.
I also spent some time with Gail Garber, watching her draft the amazing designs that she specializes in…..
I was reminded to go home and pull out my “flexible” ruler and GET TO WORK!!! This was one of her fascinating pieces…..
This landscape quilt caught both of our eyes, but Linda was the one to really see the vines on the fence post. Some of them were tiny bias binding and some were couched threads. It was super effective…..
This sweet quilt was one of the first that we saw when we arrived on the show floor. It was a magnificent mixture of thread painting for the bird and applique for everything else. I cant remember, but the windshield wipers may have been a photograph…..
These “dampened” colors made for a very effective quilt…..
……as did the colors in this quilt…..
Just the opposite colorwise, this quilt was full of happy, bright colors and WAY TOO MANY perfectly matched stripes. This person must have been seriously OCD. But, the result was a fun quilt!!
I spent a lot of time in the “Landscape” division and was drawn to this quilt……
….and was not surprised when I saw that the artist was one of my favorites from last year!!
I did love that she used a tulle over the fused applique pieces and then quilted over the tulle…….
This seems to be a current trend and certainly makes quilt with lots of little pieces easier to create!
I loved these gentlemen sharing their bench with a dog…..
As we wandered into the SAQA retrospective exhibit again it was fun to see an older quilt by Elizabeth Barton….one of our Athens, GA quilters!!!
This was the 45th anniversary of the International Quilt Festival. Since the Sapphire is the stone for the 45th year, they had presented a “Sapphire Challenge” and the results were amazing. There were old quilts, new quilts, big quilts, miniature quilts and everything in between. The medium size quilts were all displayed from the ceiling of the ballroom and the display was striking…..
After several hours of looking at quilts and several more in the vendor mall, we were both tired and headed back to the hotel.
The Holiday Inn Express is a special place to stay during Quilt Show week!! They do so many things to make us feel at home, including providing dinner for us on one of the nights.
It was fun to sit and listen to the voices of so many women united in conversations about color, fat quarters, rotary cutters, piecing and applique…..seemed a bit like heaven to me!!!
Thursday was our first full day a the International Quilt Festival and, believe me, it was a FULL day.
As you know, I am truly enamored with thread work and quilting and these are a few of my favorites for the day……
This amazing quilt was another creation of Hollis Chatelain and there are no words…..
I loved this whole cloth quilt that was done entirely in free-motion quilting. It reminds me of a type of Zentangle design.
This was another whole cloth design and the quilting was exquisite. I especially enjoyed the dimension that she was able to get in the top sky checkering…..
I thought that this was an applique piece with some amazing machine quilting, but when we got to look at the back, I realized that the ENTIRE scene is done with thread…..
This is an older quilt (2014) that was part of the SAQA exhibit but the thread work is astounding…..
And this guy…..you just want to walk up and ruffle his fur….and then run of course!!!
I didn’t include the entire quilt in this post but these bricks were quilted to great effect…..
This quilt was a group project and we loved how the ladies overlapped between the panels and also the way that each person added interest in the bottom border of the quilt. I wonder which one gets to keep the finished project??
This quilt was part of a “Seasons” exhibit and although the focus should have been the trees and mountains, everyone was oohing and aahing over the raccoons!!!
These two quilters certainly captured the soul of their subjects…..
….and these “Step Sisters” were so lifelike……
In the landscape division, I was drawn to this simple picture and amazed by the light that she added with fabrics…..
When I glanced at this quilt, my first thought was that it reminded me of a photo of the Great Wall….and then got close enough to find out that it was the Great Wall!!!
This is a smaller version of my train quilt that was started many years. I REALLY need to get it out and finished!!!
It seems that circle applique is super popular today. I guess everyone has learned how easy they are to applique…..
This quilt is a simple design, but I love the color movement…..
We met this woman in the entry line this morning and were excited to see her with her quilt……
I attended two lectures during the day. “Playing with color” was presented by Cindy Grisdela and was another good reminder of how much color comes into play when designing a quilt. She encouraged us to think about where our color comfort zone was….what colors do we wear or decorate with. Then, she challenged us to step out of that zone and try different colors.
She did veer off topic for a minute and talked about machine quilting. Her admonition was to stop worrying about the individual stitches that you are doing but instead to think about the texture that you are creating. I think that is good advice.
The second lecture, “Kicking up your creativity” was supposed to by by Jane Dunnewald but she was unable to attend, so Susie Monday filled in for her. One of her first statements was the most poignant as she reminded us that, thru history, people have made things more beautiful than they had to be. That is a good reminder that it is okay for us to be creative and look to beautify our mundane lives.
The day ended with dinner at “The Rustic”, a new restaurant close to the convention center….
The grilled Jalapeno was the PERFECT accompaniment!!
For the last two years, I have been able to attend the Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas with my friend Linda and this year brought more of the same fun!!
We arrived in Houston and immediately went to sign in and pick up our registration packets. It was so much fun to look at the show thru the portal windows on the second floor…..
The “party” got started…..
….in the usual way, with Mexican food from Pappasito’s…..YUM…..
I started finding quilt designs before we ever hit the show floor!! This tile was in the restaurant…..
….and the carpet in the hotel has inspired me for all three years that we have been here!!!
As we entered the show, the top award winners were display along the front of the hall and, in my estimation, THIS quilt should have been the top winner!!!!
Lea was there to talk about the quilt and her process. I was interested to learn that she first fused the fabrics to a background and then covered it with a Bridal tulle in a Champagne color. She then thread paints over the tulle. Whatever her process, it was a poignant and amazing quilt!!
One of the first special exhibits that we saw was the “Cherrywood Fabric – Bob Ross” challenge. Each year Cherrywood selects a topic and puts together a bundle of fabrics that must be used in the making of the quilt. When I heard about this challenge last year, I figured that it wouldn’t be all that great, but I…..Was…..WRONG!!!
There were a large number of quilts displayed ( I am guessing 150 to 200) and the designs were absolutely amazing.
I particularly enjoyed the “70’s” furnishings in “Painting with Bob” and the tree leaves on “Sunset Among the Trees” were done with ribbon embroidery……
We moved into the “Comics and Sci-Fi” exhibit and stood in front of this quilt for a long time, trying to figure out what it was……
Only when I looked thru my camera could you really see it…..NOTE….squint when you look at the above photo for best effect!! It was cool and terrifying at the same time!!
Not so terrifying was this comic sci-fi character quilt……
Moving into the “Modern Quilt” exhibit, we found this amazing radial quilt……
….and this lovely quilt by our very own Sylvia Schaefer!!!! I absolutely LOVE Sylvia’s quilting!!
In the “Extinct Animal” exhibit, I found a fun peacock……
This quilt is a great example of using “Fussy Cutting” in an applique format. Personally, I think that this looks a lot easier than piecing…..
In the “Celebration of Color” exhibit I loved this fish quilt although I can’t imagine cutting out all of those fish outlines!!!
….and this quilt reminded me that I need to get back home and get to work on my “color” quilt!!!
We wandered into the “Tactile Architecture” exhibit and I quickly forgave them for turning down my “Tiles of San Giovani” quilt!!! I LOVE this archway quilt…..
….and this Eiffel Tower quilt was magnificent and was HUGE….probably 8 feet across….
There were a number of other quilts that caught my eye, but this one was probably my favorite…..
I was very interested in the way that the bricks were rendered…..
It appears that the blue was first quilted and then the splotches of color were added with paints!! What a great idea!! As I looked at the above photo, I realized that they outlined most of the quilt with black thread quilting. It really made the quilt “pop”!!
I took this photo to remind myself of an easy border pattern that I could use a straight ruler to create…..
Finally, I found two sunflower quilts to enjoy…….
I hadn’t even noticed the bee on the left one until I read the quilt title!! And, have a look at the center of the quilt on the right. This is only a portion of the quilt but I was amazed with how the flower center was created.
We spent most of the evening in the quilt area but did manage to wander a bit in the Vendor hall, and amazingly, four hours passed before we knew it.
I would say that it was a great “preview” for the days to come!!!
Saturday was my “classroom day” although I did find a few minutes for some shopping and quilt perusing.
I started out the morning with the “Saturday Sampler” where I got to spend 2 hours in a room with 28 quilt artists and walk from table to table to hear what they were saying and see their demonstrations.
Since I had seen so many quilts to painted tops, I was particularly interested in those techniques. There were two artists who were talking about Inktense Pencils. The best hint of the day was to hold the pencil at the far end when coloring so that you get filled in color and not hard lines that will stay as lines when they are activated…..
The question most asked was about how to “activate” the pencils and there were several different views. If you are using the pencils on paper, then plain water will do, but on fabric, water will cause the colors to seep and spread. The real debate was whether to use a fabric medium (such as Golden GAC) or a simple Aloe gel (the kind that is used to treat burns). From what I heard, the fabric medium will set the colors, but will change the “hand” of the fabric….ie it will be thicker and less pliable. The Aloe Gel apparently works the same but it soaks into the fabric rather than sitting on top of the fabric.
I spent time with Melinda Bula, listening to her talk about different types of fusible products…. Since I haven’t been pleased with most of the fusibles that I have tried, I found her talk very interesting. If nothing else, she reminded me that I need to do some research before my next big landscape/portrait quilt.
Next, I visited with Susan Edmonson and enjoyed watching some of her hand embellishment techniques…..
Can you tell from the state of her “booth” that she is highly creative!!!
I had the most fun watching the hand applique work of Karen Buckley…..
She had great ideas about how to prepare the applique pieces which, to me, is the worst part of the applique process. Her templates are made from “Templar plastic” and result in a sharp folded edge. She also suggested brushing the edges with “Magic Sizing” to help the fold hold in place. I succumbed to her shop and bought a set or two of templates. So, I guess that means that I need to get some hand applique organized!!
In the afternoon I spent 3 hours with Jenny Lyon, working on machine quilting filler patterns. With each design, we started out by drawing the design for about 5 minutes…..
….and then we moved to the machine to give it a try……
As you can see, we were working on wonderful Pfaff machines that had a larger throat area.
Next was a long feather design. I found that I could sew the right side well, but moving to the left was much more difficult…..
The last design was a box filler…….I have always had trouble with this one but her instruction made it much easier to do.
Jenny’s quilts are all wonderful but I especially enjoyed the border in this Bunny quilt. It is just a black piece of fabric with LOTS of quilting with white thread…..
I also like the idea behind this quilt…..
……make a top that highlights a single block of printed fabric and then use that design to inspire the rest of the quilting!!
During my lunch break, I made one more, very quick, run thru the show, taking a few photos of some quilts that I had missed.’
This piece by Cecilia Koppmann used fabrics that were given to her by her students……
These quilts were all reproductions or inspired by an 1876 quilt……
My favorite version of the quilt was this one in blue and yellow…….
We talked to Barbara Gonce who made THREE versions of the quilt. Here she is pictured with two of them……
The night ended with Nachos and University of Georgia football…..
As we flew home, I could only think about all of the inspirations that I came away with. I spent the entire time on the floor sending myself emails to remind me of things that I might want to try. My suitcase was filled with a number of goodies, including a pattern for an upcoming baby quilt, a wool pressing board, a Tsuniko Ink starter set and many other fun things that I cant wait to try!!!
The last task of the trip was to fill out the hotel request for NEXT year’s show!!!
The first quilt of this post is a purely whimsical offering by Beth Miller, also from Canberra, Australia……
This quilt by Susan Mogan is a beautiful pastel sunrise……
This stripe quilt by Maria Shell caught my eye…….
I loved the laces that were used for waves in the piece by Eilene Williams……
I love this old barn by Karlyn Lorhenz, but REALLY like the painted sunset…..
Speaking of painted quilts, it seemed to be the recurring theme for the show. There were so many where the tops were either painted, drawn or digitally produced. Even this gorgeous quilted piece by Mikyung Jang was enhanced with painting…….
This landscape by Pat Derbin reminded me greatly of our forest trip in China back in August. The thing that I noticed most about this quilt is that the “leaves” on the steps are simple squares of fabrics……
In the category titled “Balanced Piecing and Applique”, I was drawn to this quilt by Karen Grover. I really like the applique that is overlaid on the piecing…..
This great quilt was made by Hsi-chen Hsu…..the same artist who made two of the quilts that I showed from the Preview night. I obviously relate to her work……
I was attracted to the colors in this quilt by Betty Busby that was based on Lichens. The center “lace” pieces were meticulously cut out!!…..
Finally, this applique quilt by Zena Thorpe was truly amazing……
I not only loved the whimsical nature of the quilt, but these 1/8th inch wide circles were crazy. Linda and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how they were done…..
….and then decided that it didn’t really matter since neither of us were going to try to do it anyway!!!
We closed out the day by meeting some friends for dinner and enjoying an hour of talk about all of the sights of the day!!!
On Friday, I was feeling better and set off the for convention center with the idea that I was going to make the most of the day
The first thing that I wanted to do was to look at all of the quilts that were in my category (Pieced – Large) and see who the winners were. First place was won by Lynda Lynn with this magnificent quilt……
The quilting is pretty magnificent as well!!
Second place was made by Beth Nufer……
Third place went to Andrea Petrocelli for this quilt that had 7,924 Flying geese……
Here is a close up of the amazing piecing……
Honorable Mention was by Renne Ferre……ri
I thoroughly enjoyed walking thru the “People, Portrait & Figures” entries. This very simple quilt by Cindy Richard was one of my favorites……
Another favorite was a Judge’s Choice winner…..a wonderful portrait by Roxanne Nelson…..
I spoke at length with Jennifer Bowker, a quilter from Canberra, Australia who made this blue ribbon quilt based on a photo that she purchased the rights to. It was taken during a 2013 massacre in Cairo…..
This quilt, made by Christina Bono, was in the machine quilting category and was super cute…..
I had the pleasure of witnessing a touching interchange between Alex Anderson and Sandra Navaro, a quilter from Spain who spoke very little English and was using her young son as her translator. It was obvious that she was so moved by having a photo with Alex Anderson and she fought back tears as she told her thank you……
This quilt by Peter Hayward was voted as Viewer’s Choice. I was interested that the shading was achieved by placing black net over certain areas of the quilt……
There are tons more to show, but I will save the rest for another post……