The 2014 International Quilt Festival (aka Houston) is finishing up this weekend. I flew home yesterday. It is astronomically expensive to stay there too long. Plus it coincides with Halloween every year. My daughter didn't appreciate my absence last year, so this year I came home. Next year, Halloween is a day later, so who knows. Really, though, a couple days at the show is plenty.
I arrived Monday evening. On Tuesday, I took an all-day class on machine applique with Sue Nickel (surely you know who Sue is...she and her sister Pat Holly have made several award winning quilts). The class had good content, but really did not leave nearly enough time on the machines to practice. Heaven knows I don't have time to practice now that I am home, but maybe.
Monday evening was the awards Winner's Circle. It is a rather elaborate ceremony where each ribbon winner is called to the stage. If you receive a first or one of the top 8 awards, then your quilt will be revealed around the boundary of the ballroom for people to look at after the ceremony. I was truly hoping for a nice placement ribbon for the Geisha's Garden. This is like my favorite quilt right now, and I remember all the thought that went into it's details. Right off the bat...first award given was the judge's choice and it went to the Geisha's Garden. It's not entirely what I was hoping for (hoping that this doesn't sound sour), but that is life. Many enter with hopes of a ribbon and don't get that. We were about 1/3 of the way through the awards, when I realized that my quilt was hanging there though! This made my day. I was able to talk to people afterwards, and discuss things I did and why.
The judge Marti Michell gave the award. She really loved the quilt. She's a really nice woman; I had a light dinner after the ceremony with her and a couple others. Sad though, is that she told me that it would have taken a high award in its category but the "judges" thought that the white was too white. WTF?!? it is a creamy ivory and in all honesty, I can't imagine it any other color. Gracious for the award?...yes. But that doesn't change the fact that I think this particular quilt show is overly, if not excessively obsessed with things that don't pertain to the quality of the quilt's construction. I received that type comment last year and it is, plain and simple, wrong. Winners should be chosen because they are technically more correctly made. Rant done, for now.
The next evening was the preview. It was nice to see quilts without it being overly crowded. I spent most of my time standing near each of my quilts talking to the many people. Some knew me from seeing other quilts at AQS shows, while I got to meet many that know and read my blog. That is cool because some days I feel like I have about three readers! Thanks!!
This year marks IQF's 40th annivarsary - they are calling the show the Ruby Jubilee. They have copied the red and white exhibit that was in NY a few years ago. This display of modern-day red and white quilts is very cool. Beside it is an exhibit of miniature red and whites. It's a beautiful exhibit, very appropriate.
IMHO, this was the best animal quilt, but it didn't ribbon at all. It is by Ferret, if you know who she is. It is wonderful. Sadly, it did seem to be a trend that great quilts went unadorned, and others that make you furrow your brow received very top awards. Overall, the top award-winners seemed better chosen this year as compared to last year, but there were still some that made you go "huh". Ferret's wolf is amazing.