Saturday, November 12, 2016

2016 Quilt Festival Houston

Last week our Pinecone Kristin went to the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX. This annual show is the largest quilt show in the world and a pilgrimage for many a quilt maker and enthusiast. Here's a few things that caught Kristin's eye:

The venue: the George R Brown Convention Center. With it's exhibits, vendors, dining area, classrooms and lecture halls, IQF actually fills this entire, enormous, building.

Looking down onto the vendor side of the floor. This is maybe a quarter of the booths!

A typical vendor booth. This one is Modern Quilter.

And here's the Sew Kind of Wonderful/Quick Curve Ruler booth. 

The vendor booths are a great place to find inspiration, and to shop hundreds of different quilt shops in the same place.

In addition to the vendors, a huge part of the festival is the World of Beauty judged show and about a dozen additional special exhibits. Here, a visitor takes a closer look at the Millefiori Quilt special exhibit.

The Millefiori exhibit was built around this quilt, La Passacaglia, by Tula Pink, which inspired a renewed interest in English Paper Piecing and the original book by Willyene Hammerstein.

Another special exhibit was the collage quilts by Susan Carlson. Above is a detail of Dixie Dingo Dreaming, one of Kristin's favorites because of the Australian fabric used in it.

Susan's life sized alligator, Stevie, is impressive on so many levels. Note the people for scale.

Kristin's flag quilt, 'Murica was part of the Quilt National 15 special exhibit.

Another friend of The Pine Needle, Coleen Barnhardt's Color Me Quilted, was accepted into the World of Beauty Show.

Speaking of the World of Beauty show, that's the main draw of the show. It's the largest, most varied exhibit and is where the big prize winners are.

Kristin's favorite winner was this silk stunner, October Sky, by Bethanne Nemesh. You can see all the winning quilts here on IQA's website.

In the Traditional Pieced category, this grouping was dynamic and fresh. From left to right, Flight Path by Mary Menzer, Amsterdam View by Carolina Asmussen, and Wall of Sound by Maria Shell (also below).

The quilt show is a great place to look for trends, patterns, and inspiration.
How about super skinny lines:

Fire in the Stone by Kimberly Lacy.

Summer Solstice by Leah Gravells.

String Theory by Heather Pregger.

Kristin's friend Deborah, suspects that custom digitized embroidery will be the next big thing. We'll be seeing more and more of it incorporated into quilts in sophisticated ways.

This prize winner, Old Denim Square by Noriko Nozawa, cleverly pairs piecing, custom embroidery, and unconventional materials.

Old Denim Square, detail.

It was unclear if the quilting on this "whole cloth quilt" was digitized or not, but regardless, it's a beautiful modernization of a classic idea.

Detail of You've Got To Start Somewhere by Karl Burkett.

Our Westside Modern Quilt Club's challenge theme is Then and Now, and the above quilt is an interesting take. There was also a special exhibit titled "Twisted," which was also inspirational in it's use of vintage blocks in modern settings.

Stirring the Coffee from the Twisted exhibit.

Homespun from the Twisted exhibit.

Victoria Findlay Wolfe is a master of removing sections of traditional blocks (by making the same as adjacent blocks or background) and thus transforming the look. Can you find the basic block in this quilt? It's a variation on Arabic Lattice.

More inspiration found in the exhibit of quilts by Laverne Matthews. The Lincoln Quilt uses postage stamp blocks in an effective way.

Other inspirations seen:
How about the colors in Autumn Wedding by Rita Schormann.

Bargello made easy with ombre fabrics, as seen in the Joy's Quilts booth.

Subtle but beautiful use of shirt and suit style prints in Winter Garden by Jennifer Emry.