Monday, November 22, 2010

My take on the 2010 Houston Quilt Show

Of course I took a picture of the penguin quilt! Feeding Time by Joyce O'Connell

I have gone to the International Quilt Festival in Houston every year since I moved here. I love it. It is so much more than traditional pieced quilts. It is an art show where the main medium is fabric and/or items that have been pieced together in the style of a quilt. (One year there was a "quilt" made out of squares cut from Coke cans, just to give you a sense of how far the boundaries of the term quilt are stretched.) It is inspiration. It is an explosion of color. It is a place to explore vendors from all over the country who have some connection to the craft of quilting (although there was a lot of scrapbooking crossover this year!) It is incredible and not to be missed if you find yourself in Houston the first weekend of November.

The main section of the show is the judged quilts, and attendees are encouraged to vote for what they consider to be their favorite quilt for the Viewer's Choice award. Here are my top three choices for Viewer's Choice:

Long Road Home by Peggy Parrott
This quilt had so much detail that everywhere you looked you found something new. I loved how the house in the lower left corner is in black and white (just like the movie) and how from there the quilt shifts to being in Technicolor. I also love how the Wicked Witch's dress forms the tornado.

Kirara's Walking Road in the Wood by Ayako Kawakami
This was another one that had so much detail that you kept seeing something new everywhere you looked. Every square is a house of sorts that has the quiltmaker's daughter in it somewhere, including a quilt shop! I also really liked the dimensionality and the see-through aspect of it. My sister loved the logs that formed the outer border.

And the one I ultimately decided on:

On a Quilted Breeze, entered by Nan Scott (but it is a group quilt)
The quilting on this was so cool and added so much to the quilt. There were fish in the sea and birds in the air and all kinds of other things you don't see right away on first glance. The sail though was the most amazing part - it is a quilt!

This piece was from the Text on Textiles exhibit and I wanted to highlight it because I love pieces that I learn something from. This piece in particular was a fascinating history lesson, conveyed as what I would call non-traditional memory keeping/scrapbooking.

Sarajevo Rose by Renelda Peldunas-Harter
It is the story of a woman's time in Sarajevo with the US Army and explains what a Sarajevo Rose is both in words along the outside of the quilt and with a visual picture (the red parts in the center of the quilt). So, so interesting.

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