Houston International Quilt Festival 2019 -- Oh My Goodness!

I got home last night from an amazing nine days in Houston at International Quilt Market and International Quilt Festival.  It has been quite a few years since I have attended the Market part of the show.  And, honestly, the reason I went this year was not to shop, but to spend time with my friend Maria Shell (Tales of a Stitcher).  She teaches and lectures during Festival, so we thought we'd snatch a few days before her schedule got crazy.  We met up with a few other friends at market as well.
Cindy Grisdela, Maria Shell, Jenny Lyon
Not to say that I didn't do a bit of shopping.  Market was fun.  I bought a few essentials (a roll of my favorite Winline Bamboo batting, some Superior Omni thread, a bit of fabric, and a Mountain Mist Wool pressing mat).  And we ran into Michele Muska at the Oliso booth:
My favorite old iron has started to leak, so I wanted to try the Oliso Iron.  Friends have told me that Olisos produce tons of steam.  I love steam.  So Maria and I tried them out, and each acquired both the Sewers + Quilters Pro TG1600, in a very fetching pink, and the Mini Project Iron, in a lovely buttercup yellow.  
I'll be testing both of these out in the next couple of weeks and I'll keep you guys posted.  I can't wait to see how well they steam!

You can view the exhibits during Market.  It's a wonderful opportunity to photograph quilts because, unlike Festival, there are very few people on the exhibit side.  Everyone is busy shopping.  We wanted to check out Maria's "Rising Star" exhibit.  Although she could be more accurately described as an established star.  But, semantics aside, her exhibit was wonderful:
I checked out my two quilts in the show.  Tiger's Eye was in Art, Abstract - Large:
And Shock Melt was in Art, Abstract - Small:
International Quilt Association (IQA) had informed me in September that both of my quilts had won ribbons.  The e-mail they send is very non-specific, just stating that each quilt had a won a cash award.  So on Tuesday night I was squirming with anticipation.  The awards ceremony is probably much more fun if you have a quilt in the running, but personally, I always love it.  It's very dramatic.  There are twenty-two categories in the judged show.  The sponsors of each category present the awards.  They start with the Honorable Mentions and work their way up to First Place.  When they announced the second place winner in each of my categories, I realized that I had won the Blue Ribbon.  Two Blue Ribbons.

I still can't believe it.

So, in a totally self indulgent frenzy, here are a few photos from the awards ceremony and of me looking ecstatic.  One of the first categories announced was Art-Abstract, Large, sponsored by Elna:
And one of the last categories announced, in fact the very last category before the big prizes were announced, was Art-Abstract, Small, sponsored by Benartex.
The pictures above were taken by Sarah Entsminger, who won an Honorable Mention in the Naturescape category:
You can bet that I will be writing both of those sponsors big thank you letters!  I am very grateful for their support.

When the first place quilt in the category is announced, a curtain whisks up and a spotlight lights up the quilt.  It is an amazing feeling to see your quilt this way:
After the awards ceremony, you are asked to stand by your quilt and answer questions.  I ran back and forth between mine.  Here I am, looking amazed and clutching my prize packets:
Photo by Judy Kriehn
When the show opened on Wednesday I had to make sure I hadn't dreamt the whole thing.  Nope, the ribbons were there:
 And they gave me blue ribbons to wear on my name badge:
Photo by Maggie Vanderweit
I am so honored and excited to have been awarded two ribbons at the biggest quilt show in the world!  Thank you, IQA!

I have lots of pictures from Festival.  I'll be posting about the quilts I saw and the experiences I had in a day or two.  There were some fabulous quilts and I had a very good time!


What an absolutely fantastic and wonderful and amazing and well earned honor for you! Congratulations again. Was wonderful to see you in Houston.
Huge congratulations again!,
Hugs, Libby
Jaye said…
Your quilts are so deserving ! So happy for you!!! Stay on that cloud as long as you can!!!
How fantastic, Heather, congratulations!!
Susan Fletcher King said…
Loved reading about your time at Festival and seeing you in the photos! Well deserved!!!
rosemaryschild said…
Congrats! How wonderful for you! Keep making your beautiful quilts! Thank you for sharing, Susan
Maria Shell said…
So fabulous! Congrats Heather, and it was so good to spend time together as always!
Janice Smith said…
Congratulations, Heather! How fantastic to win not one blue ribbon, but TWO!!! You must have been so excited.
I look forward to seeing most posts about your time at the quilt show!
Congratulations ….very well deserved.
Norma Schlager said…
How fabulous! I have always loved your work and you are so deserving of these awards. You must be walking on a cloud.It's been a few years since I have been to Houston. Maybe next year???