I accepted an invitation to attend this year’s International Quilt Festival in Houston, the 41st in its history. Studio Art Quilts Associated (SAQA) invited artists with a piece in either of the two SAQA shows on display at IQF to come to speak about their works.
“Sure!” I said. I had never attended IQF, and couldn’t quite picture exactly what it was, or how all of the exhibitions I saw on their website fit together.
I wandered the immense George R Brown Convention Center in a daze, along with some 60,000 other attendees (over the course of a week). There were some 45 special exhibits. Some were categories, like Traditional Pieced, Traditional Applique, Small Abstract, Art — Painted Surface, Art — People and Figures, or Art — Whimsical. Other shows were themed: Affinity, Viewpoint, Digital Alchemy or National Parks. My one piece was in the SAQA show Wild Fabrications, but many women had pieces in several shows.
Traditional Quilts and Modern Art Quilts co-existed in apparent harmony. I read this bit written by Mary Fons last year, which seemed to describe the relationship:
“The biggest trend of late is seeing the modern and traditional worlds blending, maybe in the nick of time. For some years, we had a bit of a standoff between the two groups, which was a shame, but probably only natural. It was like the Protestant Reformation!” she continues, “But traditional quilters can’t help but love beautiful quilts of any kind, and a lot of modern quilters are obsessed with [some traditional methods.] If people are making quilts, that’s good. Period.”
Oh, did I mention there were 1000 vendors booths? It was very hard not to load myself down with the beautiful fabrics and threads so that I couldn’t walk!
I joined the International Quilt Association, so that I will be more on top of the entries to IQF next year.
Enjoy these pictures.
Cuban Ballerina, Jennifer Day, 38 x 36. Thread painted.
Not a City, Betty Hahn, AZ, 52 x 28.
Vermeer Meets Fassett, Lynn Czaban, OR, 19 x 30
Ewe Are My Sunshine, Janet Stone, 63 x 72. This was selected Best in Show, for a $10,000 award. The richness, originality and workmanship cannot be captured in a photo.
Breaking Wind, Peggy Kragnes, MN 80 x 55
Technicolor Deco,Shirley Desi, CO