Report from Houston International Quilt Festival

I was in Houston last week for the International Quilt Festival.  And it was an amazing, exhilarating, exhausting, wonderful, fabulous trip.  If that sounds like overkill on the adjectives, sorry.  It was indeed every one of them.

I went to the show for three reasons.  First, because I had two quilts in the judged show, one of which had won a prize.  Secondly, to see old friends and to make a few new ones.  And thirdly, to work in the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) booth, where we debuted two new exhibits, "Turmoil" and "Tranquility."

We set up the SAQA booth on Tuesday afternoon.  The exhibit quilts were hung by IQF staff, but we had catalogs and small quilts to sell, as well as information about SAQA to disburse.  

Then the fun began.  International Quilt Association (IQA) always informs winners ahead of time, but is very cagy about the level of the award.  Several of my friends had gotten the "you are a winner!" e-mail, and we were all very edgy while we waited for the ceremony to begin.
Waiting to enter the ballroom for the Awards Ceremony
The ceremony itself is very dramatic.  Each category (and there are 21 of them) begins by awarding the honorable mention and works its way up to the first place winner.  Each award winner walks up to the stage and receives a check and a handshake from the sponsor of the category.  When the first place winner is announced, the winning quilt is revealed by raising a curtain.  It's all very exciting, and very nerve-wracking for those of us waiting to see what we have won.

My category was last, which meant that by the time they came to "Art: Abstract - Large" I was a bundle of nerves.  And when they announced that I had won first place, I pretty much shrieked.  And bounced up the stairs to the stage.  It was AMAZING!
The Salt Marsh quilt and me -- I can't get the big grin off my face 
Suzan Engler, a good friend from Houston, also won a first prize in "Digital."
Susan Engler and GMO
And Deborah Boschert, from Lewisville, won a first in "Art: Miniature."
Deborah Boschert's piece, Green Bowl Gathering
My other quilt in the show was String Theory.  It looked great hanging in Art: Abstract - Small.
String Theory
A few random pictures from the actual show.  Kathy York of Austin is the poster girl for Mistyfuse, a fusible web.  Honestly, she is.  Her picture is on the package.
Kathy York and Mistyfuse
Connie Griner bought my quilt, Eastham Salt Marsh, in the IQA silent auction.  Thank you, Connie!
Connie and my IQA piece
I went to several dinners.  This photo is from the "Dinner @ 8" artists' dinner at Pass & Provision, a very cool restaurant.
Dinner @ 8 Dinner
I saw old friends from graduate school, Kathy and John.  They live in Houston and we met for dinner.
Kathy and John
And I have fans!  
And finally, here is the SAQA booth take-down crew.  Tired but happy.
Me, Amalia, Suzan, Maria, Annie and Kim. Photo by Lisa Ellis.
I took pictures of quite a few quilts that caught my eye.  I'll post a few of them another day. 


Congrats on the first prize, Heather!! The Salt Marsh quilt is one of my favorites of yours.
Jay Dodds said…
WOW! You are a super star!!! So happy for you..well deserved! This looked like a great show! I think Andrea and I may go next year but not just one day....that is too much of killer!
Anonymous said…
Congratulations on the blue ribbon. I was at the show on Friday and Saturday. I liked the Tranquility and Turmoil exhibit very much and got a chance to speak with some of the artists. Love love love IQF.
Congratulations, I really like your Salt Marsh quilt!
Norma Schlager said…
Congratulations, Heather! You know that I love your Salt Marsh quilt and I even bought the scarf. Three pictures do not show up on your blog, Including Salt Marsh. It is just a blank space.
Mary Kirwin said…
That is my Anonymous comment above. Don't ask me how it happened cuz I don't know!

Mary (not anonymous anymore)