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International Quilt Festival/ Houston Recap!

20 Oct 2009

Brace yourselves! I think I'm about to set a world record in the Blogosphere for the number of photos in a single blog entry. I took nearly 250 shots at International Quilt Festival/Houston, but I cut the lot down to 49. (The ones I don’t post in this blog entry, I’ll put in the photo files on the QA site.)

I’m still feeling a little aphasic while I catch up on sleep, so let the pictures do the talking!

International Quilt Association (IQA) Awards Ceremony

The upper ballrooms at the George Brown Convention Center were packed with attendees and quilt lovers eager to learn who was going to win awards for this year's International Quilt Association's fall judged show, "A World of Beauty."

Coincidentally, this was the ceremony where our new publication, International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene made its debut. Featuring eight of the top award-winning IQA quilts, I repeatedly (incessentaly?!) reminded everyone who worked on this publication that this issue could not see the light of day until after this ceremony took place. Thanks to the hard work of those involved in keeping this issue under lock and key, it remained a surprise (and I didn't have a coronary). 

When Brenda Groelz from Handi-Quilter awarded Caryl Byrer Fallert with Best in Show, Caryl flew onto the stage...

Caryl's quilt, "On the Wings of a Dream," is a self-portrait and tells the story of her personal evolution over the past several years. Her journey is a poignant and inspiring one, and we were happy to see her win.

Below people take a closer look at all of the quilts that won awards. (To view them all, check out the IQA site, then join IQA!)

Here I'm posing with Sue McCarty who won the Pfaff Master Award for Machine Artistry with her quilt, "Tribute to Tolkien." This quilt also won the Viewers' Choice award at Quilt Festival. It's gorgeous...

Denise Havlin of Illinois won the Fairfield Master Award for Contemporary Artistry with "Snapshot: Shannon's Bantam." This quilt took Denise four years to construct, and at the IQA luncheon the following afternoon, she shared her biggest design challenge: that while working on it, Shannon kept growing up!

SAQA@20: Art & Excellence

To celebrate SAQA's 20th anniversaryI was honored with being the juror for this special exhibit.  Selecting just 35 quilts from SAQA members was one of the hardest tasks I've done, but in the end I think the exhibit looked absolutely incredible!  (The exhibit will be traveling to Chicago and Long Beach, and we'll have a small sampling of images from this exhibit in the December/January issue of Quilting Arts.)

Preview Night at Festival

Our booth was rather busy during the show. Thanks to all for stopping by!

Below I'm posing with one of the sweetest (and most talented) people on the planet: Maggie Winfield. She always decks herself out with her signature couture. (You may remember her from my Long Beach post.)

Love the back of her jacket:

I was very excited to meet Lexus Estes in person. Last year when Lexus was eight, she submitted her very first quilt to the fall IQA judged show. It didn't win an award, but I got to interview her for an article in Quilt Scene about what it was like to make her first quilt. Here she is signing copies of her piece.

She and her grandmother stayed through Saturday of the show, and she got some Very Important People to sign her copy, too. Below Karey Bresenhan meets Lexus and signs her copy.

As did Nancy O'Bryant Puentes...

I got to pose with Lexus, too. Funny story: on the airplane home while working with these images on my computer, a passenger sitting next to me said, "Your daughter looks just like you!" I clarified that I wasn't so lucky and she wasn't my daughter, but told him her mother should be very proud of her. She's poised, energetic, and possesses a budding passion for quilting. Hopefully we'll be seeing a lot of Lexus in the years to come!



Artist Trading Card (ATC) Wall

The ATC wall buzzed with activity during the entire show.

This little girl (below) is an award-winning watercolor artist; those who got to trade with her were pretty fortunate!

Sandie (below) made a bagful of ATCs and stopped by often to trade. She broke her leg a while ago, but that didn't stop her from coming to Festival...



Open Studios

We had a number of art quilt  and mixed-media rock stars who were on hand demonstrating their art in Open Studios. Below is the very talented (and articulate) Susan Brubaker Knapp demonstrating fabric painting and sharing her finished, thread-painted pieces. Her Quilting Arts Workshop made its debut at Festival (and Susan is also the cover girl for our 2010 calendar). Susan has some wonderful shots of quilts at the show so be sure to check out her blog.

Jane Davila was a hot ticket, too. Here she's stitching on a Bernina 440. (Many thanks to Bernina for lending us a machine!)

The very talented Lyric Kinard was on hand to offer art and design advice, share her techniques, and to sign her new book, Art + Quilt.

And Melanie Testa (author of Inspired to Quilt) dazzled attendees with her machine stitching, her artistry, and her humorous demeanor. (When Melly chuckles, you can hear it 10 aisles away...she has the best laugh.)

Sharon Tomlinson (a gifted Cloth Paper Scissors artist) demonstrated how easy it is to make faces...

Below Michele Muska of Wrights shared a variety of her artwork and mixed media. (Be sure to check out her pin cushion article in the upcoming Winter issue of Studios magazine. These pin cushions are adorable.)

Frances Holliday Alford is a brave girl and will stitch through anything. Here she's stitching through bits of plastic and other alternative surfaces.

I participated in Open Studios, too, and demonstrated my graffiti-style, fabric-collaged ATCs that I shared in Quilt Scene.  (On a personal note, I'm looking especially tan in this shot. No, I haven't hit the tanning salon! My husband and I took a week's vacation in late September to the Caribbean and I'm still sporting some color...wont last much longer.)


Workshops at Make It University!(TM)

The Workshops were a real hit this year, thanks to the teachers. When the show opened each morning, people ran down the aisles to come to MIU and put their names in the jars where we drew names for each Workshop.

Jane Davila teaching her workshop:

Kathy York (sitting)--who's been in Quilting Arts a few times and has a quilt in the upcoming December/January issue--shows her lighter side with Jamie Fingal. Jamie's teaching her Traveling Art Box Workshop.

Aren't they cute? These two girls just met in MIU in Jamie Fingal's Workshop. Festival just keeps bringing people together...

Below Luana Rubin of eQuilter poses with her daughter, Sophie, who took Lesley Riley's Mini-Fragments Fabric Collage Workshop.

This little cutie shows off the brooch her mother made in Liz Kettle's workshop.



Quilt Scene was a real hit at the show. We completely sold out of the issues we brought! There were a few photo ops with this special issue, and although the picture below accurately describes how excited we are about this magazine, the expressions still crack me up...

Funny coincidence: The woman standing just right of me is another Patricia Bolton. Someone saw her name tag at the show and said, "You've gotta go meet Pokey!" When she came up to me, we both looked at each others' name badges and burst out laughing. (She's technically Patricia Bolton-Legg, but close enough.)


Surviving the Runway: Celebrating 35 Years of Quilt Festival

And no MIU is complete without a musical party/ spoof on Saturday night! For this particular Surviving the Runway, "designers" were instructed to make a couture outfit commemorating the last 35 years in fashion. Their supplies were limited and consisted of pipe cleaners, fabric scraps, feathers, glow-in-the-dark bracelets, and fun foam. The stakes were high as I had a lot of loot to divvy out to the winning designers.

We sang the "Brady Bunch" and "Flinstones" tunes, danced down Main Street to Van Halen, did the Michael Jackson moonwalk (albiet poorly!), and felt the Festival love as we sang along to Pete Townsend's "Let My Love Open the Door" (a personal favorite).

 Look at the devious expression on Barb Forrister's face (sitting far right). Ironically enough, she won!

We had "Tim Gunns" assisting the Runway and helping designers make their outfits. From left to right: Melly Testa, Leslie Jenison, Jamie Fingal, Judy Perez, and me.


Gala on the Green (a.k.a. PARTY TIME!)

The 35th anniversary festivities culminated in an outdoor party on Discovery Green complete with a live cover band that played tunes from the past 35 years. It was a total blast, and the Quilting Arts team did not hesitate to shake it on the dance floor! (I'm a firm believer that those who dance together, stay together.) Below Lyric Kinard and our own Helen Gregory ham it up. 

You may notice I'm wearing a Bruce Springsteen shirt (below). That's because Bruce has a 35th celebration, too, with his exhibit at the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame: "From Asbury Park to the Promised Land," celebrating 35 years of Bruce and the E Street. (See how I think about this stuff?)

Below Lesley Riley showed me how it's done...

We danced...

and danced...

and danced...

(Helen with Rhianna White of Quilts, Inc.)

and danced some more...

And had a great time!


After-Hours Party at the Hilton...

Jamie Fingal and Leslie Jenison invited the QA Crew (Barb Delaney, Helen and me) to join their art party in their hotel room--something they do every night at Festival. Only requirement was to come in your PJs...

When we opened the door, I was worried something had exploded on the floor, but nope, it's a wholecloth painting the group is collectively working on. (They tell me they're going to cut it up and later stitch it back together.)

Barbara Delaney sat right down and painted alongside Leslie and Frances.

And I think this video sums up the experiences and friendships at Festival. Rachel Parris and Jamie Fingal lead everyone in a toast:

**October 23 Update! Bonus Videos!**


Thanks to Judy Coates Perez for sending me this!


And to Helen Gregory, Barbara Delaney, and Larissa Davis for devising this video spoof. Kudos to Barb and Helen for taping this in the rain!

Thanks to everyone for participating, to sponsors who donated product, to our Workshop teachers, and Open Studios artists, and all that attended!

Until we meet again. Hope to see everyone in Chicago...

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on 21 Oct 2009 4:22 PM

What an awesome toast.  I love living vicariously through you Pokey. Someday I hope to make it to festival myself!

on 21 Oct 2009 9:03 PM

oh!!  what great photos and memories!!  thx for sharing them with those of us who couldn't make it, pokey...  absolutely wonderful!!  ;)  xoxoxo

LanieC wrote
on 22 Oct 2009 3:52 AM

Wow, great photos showcasing such talented women. I'm in awe.


PS. I went to WOW (World of Wearable Arts) again this year (free tickets), and thought "Pokey has got to come to NZ and see this " LOL.

Barb's Blog wrote
on 22 Oct 2009 11:50 AM

Greetings! As busy as we all were at Festival (check out Pokey's photos), it's not surprising

on 22 Oct 2009 12:36 PM

This post was mentioned on Twitter by QuiltingArts: Pokey's recap of Make It University @ Quilt Festival has been posted!

Gen11 wrote
on 22 Oct 2009 5:01 PM

so much FUN!!! just curious: did Quilting Arts always have so much wonderful mixed media in it?

thank you for sharing what looked like a fabulous weekend! someday....!

artl8dy wrote
on 22 Oct 2009 6:31 PM

I was inspired to make ATC's for the trade and I can't stop!


LisaM@59 wrote
on 23 Oct 2009 9:28 AM

wow, great post - brought it all back, especially the Runway show.  I shared that video with my brother and he said, "Please tell me this was all alcohol-fueled madness!"  What, he doesn't think people will don outfits made of Fun Foam, feathers and pom-poms and dance in front of strangers without a little imbibing first?  Pah!

Thanks, Pokey, Barbara and the entire QA team, for making Quilt Fest more fun than should be legal!

on 23 Oct 2009 4:37 PM

I love that the video still image is of Helens booth dance, lol! Always a blast hanging with ya'll! Hey Pokey where's the cherry tomato pics?

MellyT wrote
on 26 Oct 2009 6:09 AM

What fun! Great post!

Pokey wrote
on 27 Oct 2009 3:27 PM

Although International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene made its red carpet debut at the International Quilt

carolwiebe wrote
on 1 Nov 2009 7:07 AM

The toast to strong women:

"May we raise them, may we know them, may we be them."

I raised two sons, but they are married to strong women, and I like to think I had something to do with the fact that my sons appreciate female strength . . . so I would definitely raise my cup to the toast, with this change: May we raise those who embrace them!

Barb's Blog wrote
on 28 Jan 2010 8:42 AM

Thu, Oct, 22 2009 by Barbara Delaney Greetings! As busy as we all were at Festival (check out Pokey's