Thursday, November 12, 2015

Houston Quilt Festival - The rest

This was always going to be overwhelming.  I mean I have been to two Knitting and Stitching Shows in Britain.  And I thought they were big.  This was going to be bigger.
It is an absolutely massive event that is renowned throughout Texas and beyond.They even have their own banners.  I have presented below just a few comments to go with some photos I took there.

I decided I would look at it not in the "I want to see everything" way, but more... "What has this animal got to offer me?" way.  Here are my personal highlights... and if you had gone, and maybe you did, you would have come away with your own story of the adventure.
This just got personal.
These bobbins were so photogenic.  The vendor (of the ribbons - bobbins not for sale) told me that a winning quilt was based on these bobbins viewed on end.  Very nice it was too.  but I find I don't have a photo.

I paid $12 to get in... Can someone tell me how that is not good value for money... (read on).
not having been at this event before I decided to buy a program - for $1 with a free gift of the 2015 Quilt Festival pin from 2014. Very pretty.  It does say Cross to me though - was it supposed to?

However the relatively cheap admission charge rather balanced up the parking fee- we paid only $12 but others paid $30.

Vally (seen here above with "Monument Au Fantome" sculpture by Jean Dubuffe)
V. kindly drove me to the event ) and her friend Mary who plays second violin in the Galveston Symphony Orchestra, as well as makes lovely quilts.  Proof that these people do have interesting lives over and above their involvement in needle and thread.  Mary suggested a good book during our discussions Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway. Click on it to see quotes from the book.

Vally went to set up the Houston Quilt Guild's Learn to Quilt booth where I later made my block - whilst under instruction from one of their members. It made a comical thank you gift for Vally.

Their quilt booth was beautifully decorated with work by Russian Quilters whose paperwork had arrived too late to have the quilts hung in the main exhibition space!!!  The Houston folks kindly donated their own space.  I particularly liked this one.

Russian Fairy Tale from Ivanavo City Club I believe
During the wait I chatted with a delightful lady who was from north of Huntington, where, I learnt, there are some prisons, though she lives some distance away from them.  Interesting.  She told me where to go to get a great (free) bag (for all the goodies I was possibly going to buy  - but I didn't get the bag nor the goodies).
Points of interest in the huge with a capital 'H' vendor's section:-

The techie businesses were manned literally - (there was a "Husband's lounge" - one wonders what was in there!
The foot massagers were well-busy
I got a new 'O' ring for my Eurosteam iron (that is made in Calgary!)
There is an excellent bead shop in Austin
A team selling bag patterns and all things bag had a magnet that might solve an issue with one of my 'one of kind' handbags
I saw a stall selling indigo and antique items -see previous post.
On show - an interesting gadget (that you can make for yourself, not as polished perhaps, but the way this thing works is clever and I will give it a go in my own way, when I need to cut out the shapes for a puppet-project item on my machine...
The darling Wonderfil (out of Calgary) folks couldn't tell me which store in Houston stocks their stuff, or which stocks the largest range... off-putting - just directed me to the web.. Thank  you.  That's a lot of money to be at a show for publicity reasons, down the tube.
Imprisoned by my Inner Demon - Pamela Contreras
Now the main exhibition space.  Probably as big, if not bigger than the vendors',  I was told that this event makes more money than any other, for the George Brown Convention centre, possibly vying with one other event some years (which I expect is the big Petroleum Conference or some such).  Sponsorship for the show, prizes ($1000s) and so on, looks pretty impressive.
Many different groups and companies use the space to show their work.  Eg., Spoonflower Where I found this wonderful piece.

Night Work - Terri Illingworth (Detail)

Displayed next to a piece by the curator of this section Jane Dunnewold - which you can't quite see, but i have included the photo for Terri to see the setting of her work.
I had lunch with  a new acquaintance...Margaret who was well-pleased to have found this quilting fabric - Shame it wasn't the Houston skyline.

I headed over to Art Quilts of SAQA. Lots of collage with "raw edge" quilting.  Nice in their own way, but not the most exciting works to my eye.
Cat and Mouse Game - Martha Ressler
Lighting in this area was very poor. All images have been adjusted in Aperture.

This one I have put in for my sister's pleasure
The Long legged Cats and the Long Legged Bird - Cathy York
Grieving Animal (seen from the back) - Chiaki Dosho
This is the view of an animal from the back whilst the creature is grieving for the earth in its current condition of change.  At last I say, a work that is meaningful, deeply creative, intriguing and not meant to be pretty, yet turns out to be so because it was made with such care and attention to detail.  How can it not interest us.
But overall the diversity of works in this section disappointed me. With lots of the raw edge quilting and not so much mixed media in the more developed art quilt vein.

I thought I might join SAQA but the lady who was manning the booth helpfully suggested I look online for information about the local group.  Another example of poor use of opportunity - If I may be so bold as to say such a thing.
Forgive me - I missed recording the title and maker but this piece is beautiful for it's complimentary use of mass hand stitching.
Stonecrop Tapestry - Susan Bianchi
This one got a lot of attention but the main comment when I was close by was - "That must be heavy"
A wonderful other moment was when I popped over to see the small demo booths. Cheryl Sleboda caught my attention because she was probably the youngest person in the room and she was working with Arduino and lights in her quilts.  It was a delightful short presentation she gave.
I want to incorporate lights that respond to magnets in some of my work with Wendy P-G. and maybe this was the push I needed to get on with it.

Here are a couple of quotes I heard at the event:-
"Did you come far to this event?" "No"
"Where from?"
"Wichita Kansas, - 12 hours away"

As a lady puts down some fabric and walks away from a vendor her friend supports her with a wonderful Texan accent, "You have such great resolve."

1 comment:

Terri said...

Karin, Thank you for taking the time to find my quilt at the show, and especially to show me that it was hanging next to Jane's piece! Also thanks for sharing your highlights. I'm sure the whole event was overwhelming, and I'd love to see it sometime. Terri