Monday, November 7, 2011

Houston International Quilt Festival - Part 3

Calling all cowgirls (and cowboys)! Saddle up your pony and ride with us to the International Quilt Festival for Day 3 of more beautiful creations. Which ones are your favorites?  We always love to read your comments.

Please note: We strictly followed all rules for quilt photography, and we took pictures only where they were permitted.  We decided to post some of these photos in extra large size so you can see the detail.

Best of Show Award,  Harmony Within, by Sue McCarty, Roy, Utah

The $10,000 prize for Best of  Show 2011 goes to Sue McCarty, who writes, "As a gift for my husband, I created this quilt to reflect our life together. All the motifs are symbolic of the harmony two different sentient beings can find within marriage. The dragon on the upper right prefers to float about in a world of creativity, while the fisherman at the bottom left is more down to earth. The center area encompases a home together, with space for each individual."  

This magnificent pieced and appliqued work took 900 hours to complete. To add extra sparkle and shimmer, Sue used 15,000 yards of metallic gold thread and 4,200 Swarovski crystals. Truly a show-stopper, this quilt was constantly surrounded by dozens of admirers.  Unfortunately, we were able to get only this one photo, as the white glove volunteer man and the eager hordes agreed to step aside for only a few seconds. For close-ups and additional information, please see the website for the International Quilt Association. Also, you can read about Sue at the Gammill Professional Quilting Artist page.

World of Beauty Award, The Loading Dock by Mary Buvia, Greenwood, Indiana

The $7,500 World of Beauty Award goes to Mary Buvia, who used 78 different colors of Fairy Frost fabrics, reverse applique, couching, piping, embellishment, and iridescent film snowflakes to create a charming Santa's workshop filled with toys, as Santa prepares to depart from the North Pole on Christmas Eve. 

Close-up of  The Loading Dock by Mary Buvia

We loved the precise and crisp attention to detail which showcases Mary's flawless workmanship in this mostly hand-stitched work.  She has dedicated this quilt to her late husband Bob, whom she cared for during his illness, and who saw this quilt almost finished.You can read about Mary Buvia at the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show 2011 Teachers Page.

Master Award for Contemporary Artistry, Windblown, by Maria Elkins, Maria Elkins Art Quilts, Beavercreek, Ohio

Winner of the $5,000 Master Award for Contemporary Artistry, Maria notes of her original design, "This quilt is inspired by a dear friend who has stood firm and remained joyful despite the various challenges she has had to face in her her young life. " Maria used machine quilting and hand painting with ink, paintsticks, fabric markers, and gel pens on top of the polyester and metallic threads. If you click on the image to expand it, you will be able to see some of the fabulous quilting patterns, which resemble swirls and gusts of wind.

A Memory of Old Friendship by Tomoko Tsunoda and 11 friends, Tokyo, Japan

Third place winner for Group Quilting, Tomoko says, "We made this quilt because one of our quilt friends is leaving the quilt class. We have been enjoying making quilts together for over 15 years. In honor of our friendship, I put in her favorite flowers and used cheerful colors. I will never forget our friendship."

Close-up of A Memory of Old Friends by Tomoko Tsunoda and 11 friends

This lovely quilt is all hand-appliqued, hand-embroidered, and hand-quilted. Tomoko and her group did an outstanding job to create the flawless echo quilting patterns around each block. 

Friends of Baltimore by Susan Garman and colleagues, Friendswood, Texas

First place winner for Group Quilting, Sue notes, "Although inspired by many old Baltimore Album quilts, I designed this quilt to suit my own desire for a uniquely elegant quilt. Four dear friends each appliqued a block when a serious family illness diverted my attention away from the quilt's completion."

Close-up of Friends of Baltimore by Susan Garman and colleagues

The needleturn applique method and foundation piecing were used to create the blocks here. The entire piece was then hand-quilted. Notice the extremely accurate tiny sawtooth red and white sashing and borders, which gives this intricate heirloom quality work an especially cheerful and lively look.  For more information see Sue Garman's blog.


  1. For me Sue Garman is the winner, I went to her blog, she also made a beautiful red and white quilt. The first quilt is very special, that woman is a real artist however it's not my style, it's great. Looking forward to see more pictures

  2. Beautiful pictures, here in Australia they are allowing us to take photos but we are not allowed to publish them (internet or magazines) so have to make do with linking to the quilt show sites (their pictures aren't that good sometimes)


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