Saturday, November 5, 2016

Houston Quilt Festival - Day Three

It's day three and I am up before the sun.  Well, that happens when you crawl into bed at 8:00.  There is a flurry of activity on the streets below as they gear up for the Rocket Run which starts at 7:00.  Streets are closed off and people in red shirts are running amok everywhere.  I can hear barely music coming from the park nearby and once in awhile cheers are raised for something of which I know nothing about.  It is all quite magical.  Oh look -- here comes the sun.  It's behind me so I can only see some color on the buildings in front of me.  Gorgeous.  It certainly bodes well for a wonderful last day here.

Lydia and I request an extra hour late checkout so we have until 1:00 to depart.  We have both determined that there are a couple of shops we must return to and then there are still the quilts to finish.  It's off to the 19th floor for a leisurely breakfast and we are in line and ready before 10.  Yes, we are women with missions today.  YES, our feet are killing us, but we are following the fortunes that were in our cookies the day we arrived.  Exercising courage and bravery is the name of the game today.

My first stop as soon as I am through the door is the Bo-Nash booth again.  It is a two-sided booth and I didn't discover that until yesterday when I observed a demo on this amazing bonding powder.  After much soul searching, it became obvious that I MUST have it.  The kit price at the show is dang good so, yes please, I'll take one for me and one for Lydia.

This product has been used in the U.K. for over 75 years.  Crazy huh?  Why am I just hearing about it?  I can already think of so many ways to use it.  Please, please, please let it work for me the way it did for her in the demo.

With purchases in hand, I am off to my second booth this morning.  Go directly there -- no stopping, no looking.  Keep this mantra Deb.  I have seriously overspent my budget and if I veer off, it will get much worse than I am expecting.  I am back at the Olfa booth and I know this will be my largest purchase yet.  The more I thought about the demo I had seen and the various products that were there are super good prices, the more I knew I needed to return here.  Fortunately, I do such a good job getting here that there is minimal activity in the booth so far.  Yay for me as I am able to get my purchases and move on again.

The next stop is back at the Sew Ezi booth.  Yesterday I priced an insert for my 301 shortbed machine that would fit my table.  Then I thought and thought about it and decided to order one.  That's three booths down and one to go before hitting the quilts.  It's only 10:15.  I am on a roll.

My last stop is at the Annie's booth where I gave up yesterday.  I quickly locate the four patterns I want and within moments have accomplished my task.  Oh my.  I wish I could be this productive all the time.  I have seriously had blinders on as I cruise through this area.

A quick trip to the restroom and then as I am going up the aisle towards the entrance to the quilt section, I am sucked in.  Look at all these lovely fat quarters.  I really have done a great job of staying away from the fabric here.  Maybe just a few for the upcoming mystery?  I am short some dark purples so I snag a few of those, and then a few lavenders, and well I might as well throw in a few greens for good measure.  Okay, okay.  Enough.  Blinders back on and into the quilt show I go.  It's 10:30 which means I have at least a couple of hours before I need to return to the room for checkout.

I go straight to the back section as I only completed the front half yesterday.  It's time to take a deep breathe and allow myself to take it all in and enjoy.  Fortunately, this first area is full of traditional pieced quilts and my soul is instantly happy, although my shoulder is complaining a bit from the weight of my morning purchases.  Endure it well Deb.

1.  First up is Scaramouche by Dominique Husson of Paris France.  It is hand pieced and quilted. Oh my.  She says, "This quilt was inspired by a quilt from Pennsylvania , circa 1832, and belongs to the Bath Museum in England.  The young quilter made it for her wedding.  That is why she called it Bridal Chest Quilt.  Young women used to sew about 13 quilts for their dowry.  The last one was the most complex to do and it was called the bridal quilt.  This quilt is composed of Nine Patch blocks and two half-square triangle squares.  The diagonal layout of the blocks and the colors are essential to obtain this striking graphic design."  Let me say it again, WOW.

2.  Next is Somerset owned by Marie-Francoise Gregoire also of Paris, France.  I adore the tiny piecing in here more than I can say.  It is also hand pieced, appliqued, and quilted.  What talent these women have.  I am in awe.  Marie-Francoise writes, "This is an interpretation of and English quilt belonging to the Victoria and Albert Museum, dated 1802.  I've called my quilt Somerset because it was the name of the place Ann Randoll made it.  She used a huge variety of fabrics.  The central panel represents an appliqued flower encircled by different embroidered flowers.  Fabrics were collected for a long time between 1780 and 1820.  the date in the center medallion , October 27, 1802, is older than some of the fabrics used in this piece, indicating that this quilt commemorated a special event in this quilter's life."

3.  Legende by Simone Patouillard of Paris, France is the next one I spot.  What a beautiful blue/white quilt -- gorgeous in its simple, yet complicated lines.  She says, "This quilt was inspired by the pattern Lady of the Lake with a Delectable Mountains border, made circa 1880 in Ohio.  The blue indigo pieces are printed fabrics with white dots and different small designs.  In the second half of the 19th century, two-colored quilts were very common and appreciated.  Each quilter used to have at least one or more red and white or blue and white quilts."  As Simone says, "I wanted to create an indigo quilt.  Here it is."

4.  Phantasmagoria by Christina Belding of Nova Scotia, Canada and quilted by Lisa Sipes.  Christina says, "I love New York Beauties!  The design is Karen K. Stone's EPIC New York Beauty pattern, Cinco de Mayo.  I used nine different purple tonal fabrics to showcase each of the 36 blocks unique designs and composition.  Building each block was exciting and fun."

5.  Dancing in the Sunshine by Rebecca Preston of LaGrange Park, IL and quilted by Frank Karls.  Oooh, ooooh, ooooh.  I want to do this.  Maybe one block a month for 99 months?  That's only 8 years, lol.  Perhaps I can cut that down by doing a day a month and see how many I can get done in a day.  That's a better plan.  However, these are hand pieced and appliqued.  I likely won't go that route.  Rebecca says, "The blocks are from Sylvia's Bridal Sampler by Jennifer Chiavierini, in bright fabrics by RaNae Merrill.  The blocks were started in an online group in 2007 before the book was published.  Many were hand-pieced and it took a long time to find a setting I liked."

6.  Tom's Snake River by Cindy Cook of Springfield, MO and quilted by Shannon Wright.  I gotta tell ya, this log cabin variation is amazing to me.  I absolutely have to get a closer look at how it was made and see if I have the patience to do something similar.  Look at all those tiny squares in just the right order.  Crazy cool, huh?  Cindy says, "I have long appreciated that quilting is soul satisfying on many levels.  This quilt was made for someone who supports and encourages me and it represents my appreciation for the life we share.  Sharing with loved ones is perhaps the greatest joy we can experience in quilting.  Judy Martin's Snake River pattern was a case of love at first sight!  It combines a basic traditional pattern with a complex placing of accent.  I chose an all white background to simplify the process and amplify my other fabric choices."

7.  The Ant's Square Dance by Diane Tenney of Spring, TX and quilted by ladies in Indonesia.  Sounds intriguing already doesn't it?  It is hand quilted and evolved from a design by Edyta Sitar.  Diane says, "During piecing, I envisioned this quilt with black stitches.  The stitches reminded me of ants all over it.  The ants are dancing in the squares, with stars as fairy lights overhead, and a picket fence bordering the whole party."  Look closely here.

8.  If You Give a Friend a Fat Quarter by Madelyn Bell of The Woodlands, TX and quilted by Susan Corbett.  Again, the softness of this one draws me in even though the colors are bright.  It is based on an antique Ocean Wave pattern.  Madelyn writes, "As the name implies, my friend wanted to get me out of my comfort zone with a packet of Monet fabrics.  The ocean wave design came from a retreat she hosted when she shared her antique quilts."

9.  Ooooooh.  I think this may be one of my favorites from the show.  As I approach it, two young adults are taking around their grandmother in a wheelchair to see the show.  They know nothing about quilts and are asking her many questions.  It takes all of us to figure out exactly how this one has been put together and then we just stand/sit there enjoying it's beauty for a few minutes.  It is called Mamaw's Puzzle and is by Valli Schiller of Naperville, IL.  It is hand embellished, machine pieced, applique, quilted and embellished.  Look close at the scalloped inner border.  Valli says, "My contemporary interpretation of a scrap quilt made in the 1940's by my great-grandmother, Josie Adams, whom I knew as Mamaw.  She and her quilt are pictured on this quilt's label.  Though Mamaw died when I was a young child, I felt very close to her during the making of this quilt."

10.  Chardonnay by Jenny Bacon of Victoria, Australia.  It is hand appliqued and quilted.  Machine pieced.  She says, "My quilt reflects the colors as evening falls on the local vineyards after a warm, dry autumn day."

11.  Random Harvest by Dorothy Fu of Ontario, Canada.  It is hand appliqued, machine pieced, quilted and trapuntoed.  She states, "The nine blocks were part of a 25-block design.  Somehow, I wasn't quite happy with the overall look, so it remained unfinished for a long time.  After I separated these blocks, it was a joy to complete."  This would look so good in my house -- Mister's colors.

12.  Pink Pinwheels by Tamara Watts-McPhail of Ankeny, IA and quilted by Linda McGhee.  The pinks in this remind me of candy.  It just looks yummy.  Tamara says, "I saw this picture in a home improvement magazine and fell in love with the design.  I already had the fabrics patiently waiting to be used, so it was a match made in heaven."

13.  Shifting Focus by Mary Davis of Sunnyvale, CA.  The colors in this are VIVID and I adore the black and white checkerboard border.  Mary says, "I challenged myself to create this quilt entirely out of my stash, which I was able to do.  I call it Shifting Focus because you are never entirely sure where to look."  It's true.

14.  Ah, how can I pass up one called Montana Memories?  I have plenty of those myself.  This was made by Diane E. Mitchell of Avery, CA and quilted by Dee Small.  It is a Judy Niemeyer, Fire Island Hosta, pattern.  Diane writes, "I have been lucky enough to attend two retreats at Judy Niemeyer's Quiltworx house in Montana.  On the last of those trips, I purchased all of the fabric in this quilt.  I made the quilt during Judy's last week of teaching at Empty Spools in Asilomar, CA.  This quilt will always remind me of my wonderful weeks with Judy."  Since I am currently working on a Judy Niemeyer pattern, I can truly appreciate what has gone into this.

15.  YT's Journey by Yoly Tovar of Aurora, CO.  This takes me a bit out of my comfort zone but I like it.  Occasionally, the more modern patterns appeal to me and this one makes me stop and take a second look.  Yoly explains it this way:  "Wishing to experiment with abstract design, I decided to play with my initials, Y and T.  You will find them sideways, upside down, and even over imposed.  At the same time, when they get to the border area, the line continues straight at the same angle as they came into the intersections.  The background grey to black value is done in a seventeen step gradation of hand-dyed fabrics."  This is all hand pieced.  Incredible.

16.  Ah, my heart.  This is made entirely of recycled men's shirts.  I love, love, love it.  It is called Rosita and is by Cecilia Koppmann of Buenos Aires, Argentina.  She took a Kaffe Fassett which became the inspiration for it.  She writes, "I took a special Kaffe Fassett class with my friend, Julie.  She shared with me her wonderful collection of thrift store striped shirt fabrics.  I left in some tags and little pocket embroideries to keep those memories in the quilt."  Fantastic.  Right down my alley.

17.  Ah, I take pictures of this one for my friend, Lisa, who is a collage artist that works with little bits of magazine pages.  She does this same thing and I have been wanting her to try her hand at doing it with fabric.  Isn't this wonderful?  It definitely requires an up close look.  It is entitled Portrait Noir by Trish Morris-Plise of Nevada City, CA and quilted by Sandra Bruce.  Trish says, "This is a self portrait.  The names of people important in my life, as well as events and places, are quilted into this quilt."  Super cool isn't it?  I know that I don't have the eye to do this but am thrilled that others do.  This just makes me happy to look at.

18.  Heure Bleue I by Marianne Bender-Chevalley of Valais, Switzerland.  She simply states that, "I am an artist who returns to the basics."   Short and sweet and truthful.  Isn't this great?

19.  Now, this one is dang sweet.  Look at all those little books.  Oh my.  Time, time, time.  This is called On The Same Page by Linda Anderson of La Mesa, CA.  It is machine appliqued and quilted and then painted.  She says, "From the moment I could first read Dick and Jane, books have been an ongoing intimate element in my life, as they are for my daughter.  She loves to organize her book collection in eye catching patterns by grouping the colors of the spines together.  This inspired me in recreating this image of my young cousin and her boyfriend.  Since the first hand-written manuscript centuries ago, what lies on the pages between the covers continues to connect humans in unfathomable ways."  Truth.  Pure and simple.

20.  Okay so I am here to tell you that pineapples scare the everything out of me.  The bigger ones in here are allowing me to think that maybe I can do it, but do you realize that the small ones are oh so small.  I am not joking.  Lots of paper piecing here.  It is called Whirlpool by Marcia DeCamp of Palmyra, NY.  She has this to say:  "This quilt was designed to evoke images of the strong, swirling forces of nature and the chaos that is created by them."  I think she accomplished her mission.

21.  Lucky Stars for a New Life - Retirement by Cherrie Kridler of Huffman, TX.  It is machine pieced and quilted.  She writes, "I made this quilt in anticipation of my retirement from my works as a chemist the last 33 years.  I finished the quilt in the same year, 2013.  The pattern is a block-of-the-month pattern designed by Sue Garman for "The Quilt Show."  The fabric selection is from my fabrics.  I love it so much and I also like block-of-the-month patterns.  They keep me on task.

22.  Wouldn't you love to get this Round Robin back?  Very cool indeed.  It is entitled Wanda's Round Robin Stargello and is by Wanda Nesloney with contributions by Jackie Cousins, Denise Stamm, Deborah Standley, Sue Durham, and quilted by Valerie Smith.  This is crazy wonderful to me and everyone did such a great job.  Wanda writes, "This was a collaboration with some of the members of my bee, Hanging by a Thread.  This round robin project occurred in 2015.  It won Best of Show in April 2016 at our guild show.  Each member added a row to the medallion I pieced.  My inspiration was a spiral I had seen.  The blues and purples meshed together well."

23.  I keep telling myself that I want to try a Baltimore Album quilt but then I remember that I am edging very close to 60 and am not sure I have 25 good sewing years left.  I'm pretty sure that is what it would take to do something like this one.  I am able, however, to stand and ooh and aah over someone else's ability to put one of these together.  This one is called Modified Little Brown Bird and is by Ginger Brant of New Braunfels, TX.  It is hand appliqued and quilted, machine pieced and trapuntoed and based on the pattern by Margaret Docherty.  Ginger has this to say:  All the blocks were constructed using freezer paper patterns and needleturn applique, materials that were readily available to a farm girl.  The complete blocks were machine pieced together, as were the half-square triangle borders around the block groupings.  All the quilting was done by hand on a lap frame with trapunto details in the setting strips."  This deserves a double -- WOW WOW.

24.  In the folk art division a blue ribbon went to this wonderful entry.  It is called No Bake Applique and is by Wendy Reed of Bath, ME.  It is hand appliqued and quilted using the potholder method.  She writes, "Each of the 77 blocks in this quilt are hand appliqued, hand quilted, and bound, then whip-stitched together to form the quilt.  This form of construction was commonly used in Maine during the 19th century.  This is called the potholder method, thus the name, No Bake Applique.  I glean much of my design inspiration from antique quilts and the exceptional quilters who have gone before me.  I hope I can inspire others to try this unique and fun method of quiltmaking."  Well I know I'm certainly intrigued by it.

25.  Another folk art one that catches my eye is this wonderful scene.  I have never done anything with houses and think I would like to give it a try.  This one is Houses! Houses! Houses! by Patricia Nelson of Bend, OR and quilted by Bonnie Hanson.  Patricia says, "I first saw this quilt in Yoko Saito's book and fell in love with the beautiful rows of houses.  Primitive Gatherings offered it as a block-of-the-month.  I knew I had to make it because I love the primitive look and the lovely woolens."  I agree --- I'm really falling in love with wool too.

26.  Here is another one that pulls me in unexpectedly.  Part of me sees my sweetie in it and know he would love it and another part loves it for myself.  It is called Quilt It Wright by Mary Menzer of Virginia Beach, VA.  It is based on Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright.  Mary says, "Wright's principles of design were open spaces, horizontal lines, and geometric shapes.  I combined these principles and the visual impact of Fallingwater to create my quilt.  When gazing at Fallingwater, the eye follows the lines envisioned by Wright.  The chimney of the homes rises vertically, the flows from house to waterfall.  Quilt It Wright share the same visual impact with vertical pieces in the top center.  The eye follows the colors and shapes, pausing in the center on the lone green addition."  After reading this, I know why I have been drawn in.  Mister and I are always talking about different Frank Lloyd Wright designs.  Love this so much.

27.  There is an entire section of entries following The Lion King theme.  I peek for a few minutes but my time is running short by this point.  However, the one "eye" in the lower left of this panel stops me in my tracks.  It is ENTIRELY thread painted.  Holy Cow.  I know those look like squares but they really aren't.  Oh the talent.  I would love to be able to manipulate my machine well enough to do less than 1% of what was done here.  The only details I have are what's shown in the picture.

28.  I really am almost to the end of the hall when I come across a display of miniatures.  It includes houses, shops, etc.  The one thing that really strikes me is a small "quilt show" display.  Is this not fabulous?  It may look full-sized in this picture but rest assured that the quilts are all the size of the one shown with my hand.  They are made by Sadie Ludecke, an 87 year old grandmother who makes them by hand and has never made a quilt in her life.  Did I say "Fabulous" strong enough?  Bowing down here.

29.  Thread Challenge:  I'm Not From Here by Diane Wright of Guilford, CT.  Here is another example of a more modern approach that appeals to me wonderfully.  I adore the green and orange together in their hap-hazard way.  The writing in the quilting is mind-boggling as I tried to write my name in one corner of a quilt once and failed miserably.  Diane says, "I'm Not From Here depicts the eight states and two foreign countries in which our family made our home.  California (four times), Texas (three times), Colorado, Missouri, Maryland (twice), New York, Florida and Connecticut (twice), Japan and, later as an adult, Australia.  In keeping with the challenge to make a piece using a stitching type that we had never done before, I floundered.  I decided to go with something that I have rarely done:  free-motion script.  The stitched sentences and phrases sketch our family's journey."

30.  Thread Challenge:  Hummingbirds by Kate Themel of Cheshire, CT.  I am incredulous here.  And a lot jealous.  I must have totally misunderstood what type of talent was being handed out when thread painting came up.  I can't paint with ANY media except maybe house paint on a solid wall.  Sigh.  Kate says, "I needed to figure out how to use thread that was not my usual way (machine stitched) and still find a way to enjoy the process.  I decided to use thread for shape and color as well as line.  One of my students gave me two boxes of embroidery floss to play with.  I separated the the floss into different thicknesses and piled it onto a wholecloth background.  I formed them into a hummingbird because the colorful and dynamic movement of the thread lines reminded me of this tiny bird's unique flying abilities."

Okay that's it.  I have hit the back wall and discover another call for quilters that some of you may be interested in.  Have you made a blue quilt or are you working on one?  Here's a chance to enter the show.  Check it out and see if it appeals to you.

As I make the turn to depart through the door, one quilt, that I must have been too tired to look at closely yesterday, calls out to me now.  Oh my Mister would absolutely love this one.  Not only are they colors he loves, but has the dimension and direction he adores.  For the second time, my camera did not keep the information needed to give proper credit to this quilt but it is divine.  What a great last moment and I am reminded of just how much I miss my sweetheart.  It's time to go home.

I grab a drink and a scone, let Lydia know I'm done and head back to the room.  Out we go and down to retrieve the car.  We are actually ON THE ROAD before 1 and looking forward to being home again.  It's been a great trip and I cannot wait to return again next year.  Yep, I'm coming back.  Now, I just have to figure out how to budget for it better.

While traveling, I do the final stitches on my owl woolie and it is now in the DONE column and ready for display at retreat.  YES!!!

Home again, home again jiggety jig.  Oh, you say you want to see today's treasures?  Here ya go.  I have lots of fun ahead of me.  Houston out.


  1. You are a whirlwind gal pal!!! Marvelous, just marvelous. Always enjoy your posts. Hugs, Allison

  2. I must have been hiding in a tree trunk-I've never hear of Bo Nash Bonding Powder. Just watched a demo on their website-looks amazing. No wonder you went back for it. Will have to check it out on Amazon.