Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Houston Quilt Show

Houston Quilt Show

The quilts at the latest International Quilt Festival held in Houston at the beginning of November were just fantastic.  There was such a variety in style, colour and technique it was mind boggling.

Because I was there for Quilt Market I was able to view the quilts before it was open to the general public - a real bonus as it gets very crowded.  I have just learnt that there were more than 60,000 visitors to the Festival!

As this is a juried show, the quality of all the quilts was extremely high and even if a particular quilt was not in your favourite style they all had to be admired for their workmanship and the time taken to make every single one.

I particularly liked the way the quilts were displayed in their categories so that you could compare the quilts entered in each category.  This also meant that if a particular category is your favourite you could spend heaps of time gazing at all the beauties hanging together.  Mine of course was the hand applique section.
A lot of the applique was very Baltimore in style and the hand quilting on some was breath taking.  Here are a few photos.

The first quilt is called "Sam's Owl (A Mary Brown Album)" by Barbara Korengold of Chevy Chase, Maryland.  The quilt is based on a couple of antique quilts made by Mary Brown in the 1850's.  Loved it!

Of course I loved any quilt made from my favourite hexagons.  There was a modern looking quilt made of 12,256 half inch hexagons forming a magnificent colour washed star.  This quilt was called "Star Struck" by Cheryl See of Ashburn, Virginia.  It looked sensational from a distance and it was not until you got up close that you realised it was made of hexagons.  Imagine how many different fabrics were used! Cheryl also appliqued many circles on this quilt.   Here it is:

Another hexagon beauty was in very soft traditional Japanese taupes and was a real blockbuster for me.  The quilt is called "Bolero 21609" by Isako Wada of Japan.  The quilt won second place in the Handmade category.

Here are a couple of close ups:

Isn't it magnificent?

Another quilt called "Me and My Shadow" by Gail Stepanek and Ronda K Beyer of New Lenox, Illinois was a pieced beauty featuring feathered star blocks.  The ones in the centre were bolder colours and the outside ones were the "shadows".  Gorgeous.

There were many more that I loved.  Will show you more later.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas!  Hope Santa is good to you.

Love from Katrina x

Sunday, 18 December 2011

More News from Houston

Classes at the Houston International Quilt Festival

Thank you for the messages I have received from readers here and overseas.  As promised, here is more on my trip to Houston.

I was privileged to be able to attend several fabulous classes at the recent Houston Quilt Festival.

The venue is the huge and well set out George R Bush Convention Centre.  I believe that many massive conventions are held there at Houston every year.

Here is a look at the third floor where the labyrinth of class rooms branch out.

I spent a day in a workshop with Paula Nadelstern from New York.  She makes those fabulous kaleidoscope quilts which you think are printed on one piece of fabric until you realise that she has pieced them from hundreds of tiny pieces of fabric.  Each slice of the kaleidoscope is made from many different fabrics, each meticulously "fussy cut" to feature a particular motif. 

We worked on a quilt called "Needlestars" using her brand new fabric range called Patternista.  The main fabric from this range is called "dragon feathers" - totally wild with amazing colours.

I was in awe as to the amount of work Paula does to prepare the templates and cut out the pieces of fabric for this stunning quilts.

Ingrid and I also attended a one day workshop with Elly Sienkiewicz of Baltimore applique fame.  It was wonderful to meet the lady that has done so much research into this unique and fabulous part of American quilt history.  We were able to purchase her book "Beloved Baltimore Album Quilts" which she autographed for us.  A real treasure. 

We were delighted to use the ultra suede we had heard about and hope to get it into Pioneer Patchwork in the future.  It is a lovely suede-like fabric which you cut to shape and applique in place without having to turn the seam allowance under.  We bought some samples in beautiful colours.  I hope to have a further play with this soon.

I also attended a one day class with Caryl Bryer Fallert making a quilt she calls "Illusion".  Caryl is a very lovely and clever lady.  Her presentations were so professional and she designs amazing and colourful quilts from strip piecing and cross cutting in different ways.  Thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Caryl won first place in her category in the Quilt Show with her amazing quilt with gymnasts and figures doing yoga.

Here is a photo that I took of it.  Of course the photo does not do it justice.  The quilting was incredible with quilted figures in the spaces between the appliqued figures and all in Caryl's characteristic style of brilliant luminous colours:

Another class I attended was taught by Cindy Blackberg. Cindy's love is for reproduction fabrics and old fashioned block quilts and designs - just what I love!!!

We used her unique system of stamping templates onto the wrong side of fabrics with a rubber stamp and ink and then cutting out on the outside line and hand piecing.  We worked on the beautiful "Seven Sisters" block.  This class was a delight as Cindy is a gorgeous lady and it was lovely to be with others who love what I love the most.  Had a ball!

Next time I will tell you more about the quilt show itself.


Katrina x