Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Highlights of the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival - part 1

We just returned from the Houston International Quilt Festival.  It's an awe-inspiring event with more than 1,600 quilts on display, and over 60,000 visitors!! It's hard to describe the scale and visual impact of this event.  Just weeks earlier, the Houston convention center served as shelter for more than 10,000 people displaced by Hurricane Harvey, yet the Quilt Festival was executed flawlessly! Here are some highlights of this fantastic show.

We're continually adding fun new items at very low prices to Quilt Inspiration's E-Bay site !

In the Mood for Love by Jing Chen (Beijing, China)

Created with machine piecing and machine applique, this quilt is inspired by a classic Chinese movie called In the Mood for Love (2000). The main colors in the quilt are red and black, which reflect the tone of the film and highlight the dramatic effect. Jing Chen says,  "The protagonist and background are dealt with in different tones, showing the nostalgia."  A closeup photo of the sepia-toned film strip image is shown below.

Ready by Danny Amazonas (Kaohsiung, Taiwan)

"Ready" depicts a cat with an intense stare, ready to pounce!  It was part of a special exhibit called Freehand Patchwork by Danny Amazonas. He does stunning fabric collages using scraps and slivers of fabrics that are stitched to a background using invisible thread.

Fans of Kaffe Fassett will recognize many of these colorful fabric prints.  Danny says, "Since I'm using fabric to create my artwork, I want to maintain the beauty of the original fabric designs on each piece of fabric used. I was also inspired by hundreds of people, some of them great artists, family members, friends, and especially fellow quilters, who gave me kind words of encouragement and praise." We took many photos of this exhibit, and will show more of his work in upcoming posts!

The End of the Drought by Jan Reed (California, USA)

In the Embellished Quilts category, this small quilt captivated viewers with its beadwork representing drops of rain, some of which dangle off the bottom edge of the quilt.  Jan Reed says, "After worrying for 5 years over our severe water needs due to California's drought, imagine our wonder at finally seeing it rain... and rain... and rain.  It felt miraculous."

Jan Reed used machine applique, fusing, and hand embellishment, along with colored pencils and Neo Color 11 watercolor crayons to create this photo-inspired piece. Strands of seed beads are coiled to resemble a puddle of water inside the hand.

White Knight by Patt Blair (California, USA)

White Knight won First Place in the Painted Surface category within the World of Beauty exhibit.  Patt Blair says, "I love painting powerful animals... I had anatomy drawings for this piece for 3 years before I threw caution to the wind and improvised his mane, which I felt must be massive and majestic."

Jacuzzi Jazz by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry (Washington, USA)

The vortex in this quilt was inspired by the spiraling designs found in many fractals.  To create an eye-dazzling effect, Caryl used rainbow colors alternating with their complements, an arrangement she calls "intersecting color and value gradations."  The techniques used include machine piecing, hand dyeing, digital printing and painting with cotton fabric.

Slices of Opulence by Randa Mulford

Slices of Opulence won Best of Show in the special exhibit called  A Celebration of Color. The dazzling design was based on Tomoko Tohno's Orange Range quilt, published in the May 2008 issue of Quilter's Newsletter (free foundation piecing patterns can be downloaded here). While Tohno’s blocks had pieced centers, Randa redrafted the pattern so she could feature the radiating medallion designs and different colorways of Paula Nadelstern's beautiful (but out of print) Opulence fabric line.

Magic Towns of Mexico (Pueblos Magicos de Mexico), presented by Quilters de Mexico

Celebrating the 111 named “Magic Towns” of Mexico, more than 70 quilters worked to create this large, beautiful piece inspired by The Berne House Quilt. You can see a photo of the two quilts at the Quilters de Mexico Twitter page, @QuiltersMexico.  Quilters de Mexico representatives were on hand to discuss the upcoming 10th Quilt Expo in Mexico City in February, 2018.  It sounds like a fun show!

The richness of colors in the blocks bring to mind the unique look of these beautiful and historically-preserved cities.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.


  1. Oh my goodness . . . when the good Lord was passing out talent I think these quilters ran around and got back in line several times :) It amazes me how they can plan every stitch and quilt such a big project with such perfection. It's mind blowing!

  2. Wow. Amazing quilts. Thank you!

  3. Sensational quilts. My quilts have traveled to Houston over the years, but alas I have yet to go. I hope to remedy this someday! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Excellent photos of fabulous quilts. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Wow, fantastic photos and all the quilts caught my eyes.They are just stunning!!

  6. Wow! Each quilt is more beautiful than the last one!

  7. My quilts have traveled to Houston over the years, but alas I have yet to go.


  8. As usual, you have brought the show home in stunning way. Even looking at it piece by piece blows me away!

  9. I did not get to the show this year so I really appreciate your showing these quilts. Spectacular quilts and great photography. Thank you

  10. Another fabulous look at Houston quilts. Thank you so much. I particularly liked the Japanese quilt, In the Mood For Love. I made a bed quilt many years ago inspired by Memoirs of A Geisha.

  11. The blog are the best that is extremely useful to keep.
    I can share the ideas of the future as this is really what I was looking for,
    I am very comfortable and pleased to come here. Thank you very much!


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