Thursday, November 10, 2016

International Quilt Festival, Houston—Part Two

We absolutely loved the variety of art we found in Houston at the Festival, both in the exhibits and among the vendors. A perfect example was this exhibit, In Celebration of the Doll. The dolls to the left—The Reunion, by Marlene Slobin—really made us laugh, as we met up with three sisters and spent the weekend with them, "adopting" us as sisters. At lunch one day, we even identified which one of us was which doll! 

There were a number of story-related dolls in the exhibit, and being the storytellers that we are, we enjoyed the creative depiction of the tales. Here are just a few.

The Storyteller, by Sondra Dunn Mahoney

Happily Whatever After, by Tere Perry

Humpty, by Pamela Contreras

Caterpillar with Mushroom, by Ute Vasina

They Are Passed Down, by Mandie Lucas

Another unique exhibit was Swiss/European Children's Wear Through the Years. The clothing varied from simple to intricate, such as the lacy or crocheted bibs.

Cynthia Needham curated For the Love of Linens. She demonstrated how she transforms vintage linens to current works of quilted art, below.

The dress below was part of the Tattered Splendor exhibit, by Marty Ornish. She describes the dress:

"Small bits of a badly damaged Wedding Ring quilt were salvaged and painstakingly reconstructed to make enough material to create the bodice. The skirts were constructed from the interlining of men's ties, and provide the peek-a-boo texture seen when the garment is worn. The final layers of the skirt were constructed from hundreds of strips made from several irreparably damaged antique quilts, permitting the ruined vintage fabric to have a second life, and giving the skirt a 'Roaring Twenties' look."

All Tied Up, by Marty Ornish; California, USA

Marty discussing dress construction with Kara

Another exhibit, Twisted, included pieces that used vintage fabrics to create contemporary artworks. The following quilt, below, used star blocks from the 1930s that were fused and stitched to the background, and accentuated with intricate quilting involving a clock. The quilt "represents the joining of an unknown quilter from the past to quilters in the present."

A Moment in Time, by Mary Kerr and quilted by Deb Levy; Virginia, USA

Detail: star block from A Moment in Time
Detail: quilted center of A Moment in Time

While shopping, we continued to see things that inspired us to try different things. Everywhere we looked, we saw something fun, often with a new twist. 

We loved this idea of punch needle on patchwork.

These adorable pumpkins were a fun way to display and practice embroidery stitches.

You may remember our friend Bette, who we wrote about in February, telling the story of the album quilt we made for her. (See the post Here's the Story of a Lovely Lady... by clicking here.) Well, we were thrilled to be able to meet up with her to visit and shop for a couple of days at Festival. She had been searching for some toile fabrics, with no luck. The last day there, we were able to locate the one booth that had toile—three patterns, in fact! We had a lovely conversation with Sandy McCay, owner of Cotton in the Cabin, and her husband, pictured above. She had a beautiful selection of reproduction fabrics, and many antique sewing supplies. We hit a toile home run!

We will close with a few more of our favorite quilts from the special exhibits. Enjoy!

Wool Crazy, by Susy Boyer; California, USA
Hand-pieced, appliquéd, quilted, embroidered, and embellished

Detail: Wool Crazy

Autumn Sharon, by Jo Timko and quilted by Jo Kuchera; New Jersey, USA
Hand-appliquéd, embroidered, and embellished, machine pieced and quilted

My Emily Munroe Quilt, by Susan Calhoun and quilted by Terry Kramzar; Georgia, USA
Hand-appliquéd, embroidered, and embellished, machine pieced and quilted

Rhapsody Over Ancient Days, by Masako Sanada; Japan
Hand piecing, hand appliqué, machine piecing, beading

Red and White, by Yoko Okamoto; Japan
Hand-pieced, appliquéd, and quilted; machine pieced

Thanks for stopping by our blog! We hope you are enjoying all this inspirational beauty as much as we did. 

 Can you match the sisters with the dolls?!


  1. Wow! It was almost like being there. You two do a wonderful job of honing in on the greatest quilts and objects. I can't pick a favorite, although I really love the red and white one. Unusual for me as I normally pick the scrappiest in the bunch!

    1. Thanks, Wendy. That red and white quilt is just amazing—such detailed papercut appliqué with silk fabrics!