ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Thursday, November 8, 2012

International Quilt Festival Houston 2012: The Quilts

Here, at last, is my post about the quilts at International Quilt Festival, Houston.  I just ran out of steam last night. 

First off, I do want to say that this is only a small group of what was on display, but since this is my blog I get to display my favorites ;-)))  If you'd like to see all the award winners in the judged International Quilt Association's World of Beauty show they are available on-line at the just mentioned highlighted link.

Second, I need to mention that the photos below are from exhibits where photography was allowed.  Some of my favorite exhibits did not allow photography but I'm providing links where you can see at least some of the work and purchase catalogues.

My two favorite exhibits were the SAQA Seasonal Palette show and the Dinner at Eight "Rituals" show.  You can click on those links to see more work and/or order catalogues.  Below I do have a far-away shot of Seasonal Palette to give you a sense of the exhibit.  It was HUGE, taking up a good chunk of the show floor.  So first of all, it was impressive because of its size, the ability to stand away and get a good feel for the pieces, the fact that the pieces were also HUGE, and the common size of all of them really pulled the show together.  In the centre of the show, on a table, were all the working journals the artists had kept while creating their pieces, on view for anyone who wished to look.

The Dinner at Eight exhibit, which was pulled together by similar sized works and a theme of Rituals was also impressive.

You may view and read about the SAQA Sense of Scale exhibit on-line.  As I mentioned in my previous post, however, the photographs on-line of any of the SAQA shows and the SAQA Benefit Auction pieces do not do the works justice.  They were far better in person.

I will begin with my two favorite pieces in the show.  No one will be surprised that these, and many of my favorites, include imagery of the natural world.  I have tried to include links to the websites of all of the artists, in cases where I was able to find them.

This piece is called "Lakeside Solace" by Noriko Endo of Tokyo, Japan.  The colours in her palette stopped me in my tracks.  Who hasn't seen such a scene in autumn?

My other favorite is "Four Seasons" fy Leslie Rego, Sun Valley, Idaho.  Her piece includes hand-dyed fabrics, hand-painting, screen-printing and soy wax batik.  The machine quilting on it really enhances the piece!  This piece won a first place in the "Art-Painted Surface" category.
Here are a few quilts that won big monetary prizes, that I also happened to like.

The first is "Hot Africa" by Jannecke DeVries-Bodzinga of the Netherlands. If you visit her website you will find that the piece has won awards in many shows.
Another major award winner in my "like" category is "Silk" by Hollis Chatelain of North Carolina.  The piece is made of silk and also depicts silk workers in Thailand.  The thread drawings on the surface made a huge impact on me.
"Prairie Fire" by Ruth Powers of Carbondale, Kansas.  Peaceful, good composition ... Ruth works using the picture piecing technique made famous by Ruth MacDowell, but has her own style.  I've taken Ruth McDowell's class and it took me three days just to make the pattern!  I decided to stick with fusing.
The amazing portrait below, "Make You Happy" is by Brigit Aubeso Bell-Lloch from Spain. It is a portrait of her much younger mother, and  took first place in the "Art: People, Portraits and Figures" category. 
While we are on the subject of people, one of my favorite exhibits at Houston was the one by Brazilian quilters.  "Countryside Wedding" below by Claudia da Silva Dias really charmed me.  It has a folksiness about it, but at the same time a clean and modern surface.
I loved this whimsical piece, "Rest" by Brazilian artist Necca Kehrwald
Now we're back at the World of Beauty Show again.  This piece is called "Natural Wonders" by Kathy McNeil of Tulalip Washington. 
"Colores" by Michelle Jackson of Albuquerque, NM.
"Brink of Sunset" by Hanne Greta Brink of Norway. 
This one was my favorite traditional quilt, called "Oh to be in New England" by Liz Jones (UK) in the "Hands All Around" exhibit.
The following two Leaf quilts caught my eye.  Both by Priscilla Kibbee of Wolcott New York.
If Leaves Were Blue 
If Leaves Could Choose 
"Blazing Sumac" by Marianne Parsons of Oliver, British Columbia, caught my eye because the sumac bushes here in Ontario were just flaming this fall!
"La Femme" by Trish Charity, Temecula, California in the special exhibit "Black and White with a Twist".  Resonated with me a lot because of the gesture drawings I've been doing in art class.
Moon Sisters by Stacy Hurt of Orange, California.
Here are my favorites in the Abstract category.  "Stacked Mummy Bags 3" by Pat Pauly of Pittsford, NY.  Pat's compositions are stunning, her colours appealing, and she uses a lot of interesting hand-printed and dyed fabrics in her work. Be sure to visit her website. 
"Mummy Bags, Canopic" Jars by Pat Pauly.
"Down Pat" by Pat Budge of Green Valley, Idaho.
Strung Along by Timna Tarr, S. Hadly, MA.  Timna had entered this piece in the "Abstract" category but had it moved to the "Traditional" category for the show.  In any case, the colour and movement appeals to me.
The following two quilts were in the "Group Quilt" category.  The first is "Balancing Act" by Sherry McCauley, Frances Holiday Alford, Barb Forrister, Connie Hudson, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Susan Lewis Story, and Kathy York.  Members of the group all share a love of rock formations, and each created their own rock formation and then the group came together to assemble them.
"Guitar Blues" is by Julie Poirier-Mathur and the Beaconsfield Quilters Guild, Beaconsfield, Quebec.
There were a lot of cat and dog quilts in Houston, many in the "Feeling Petty" show.  This one, "Out in the Garden" by Leslie Hall reminded me that I have always wanted to do a cat portrait in unrealistic colours.
I love "Maximum Cat Nap" by Susan Brubaker-Knapp because of the way she's stitched the texture of cat fur, but also because it looks so much like my dearly-departed cat Puffin who passed on a few years ago.
Thus endeth my posts about Houston.  Of course there were many other wonderful quilts.  I often feel like I have Attention Deficit Disorder when I arrive at a quilt show.  I flit from place to place, always distracted by something new.  If I could examine each quilt there in isolation and with the time they deserve, I might have to post each one!
I hope you enjoyed my selections. 


  1. This is really great, Elaine. I have so many people to look up now! Your photos are lovely too. Thanks for this.

  2. I saw a picture of the Four Seasons quilt on another blog and thought it was amazing, too. And I love Pat Pauley's work, would love to be able to see them all in person. Thanks for the show pictures.

  3. I just love your selections. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Great pictures--some in areas I didn't get to, but I could never tire of the Seasonal Palette exhibit and workbooks. I especially was drawn to the leaf ones--"if leaves could choose, etc." and the cats and dogs.

  5. Wow - great photos of wonderful quilts! Your selection is truly inspiring and it will take some time to look at all the artists' websites. Thanks - Bev C!

  6. Woah this blog is excellent i really like reading your articles. Stay up the great paintings! You recognize, a lot of persons are searching around for this information, you can help them greatly.


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