Thursday, November 6, 2014

Houston Quilt Festival- Meeting People!

If they were in Furano by Hiroko Miyama in the Pet exhibit
This is how I felt on Wednesday night of preview. We were allowed in at 5, and I started my Friend Frenzy within minutes of entering the room! While standing with my new good friend Nancy, Amalia from MD came up and had us sign her costume for Halloween! Gotta go to TX to see my MD friend.

I try to balance my 4 days with seeing friends, seeing lectures, seeing demos, seeing exhibits and shopping.
First a gratuitous picture of a cow quilt:
Identity Crises by Suzan Engler
 On the first night, the major prize winners stand with their quiilts, which are awesome and answer questions while discussing how they were made.
You know I like to interview artists (see some of them here!)so this takes up a big portion of my time.
Meet David Taylor.The beauty of his art with the subtle color changes and gesture was awesome.

 I learned so much from each artist including the one from Brazil through her interpreter. Like me, she becomes driven by an idea. All the way in Brazil!

This is Nancy Prince. What a generous person to tell us all about her process. She started with a painting which she had printed on fabric, then thread painted the figures to applique.
 Lea McComas (I never got a clear picture of with So many crowded around) told us how she approaches new work, how she views old photos and takes bits and pieces of them, chooses what fabrics best create a mood, ets.

If you visit Festival, don't miss the chance to interact with these talented artists from around the world sharing their processes. And you know me, they all told me about their studios! I soaked up as much info as I could absorb, then checked out the vendor section. It was trick or treat for quilters!
Here I am meeting Jenny Doan of MissouriQuiltCo after watching so many of her videos. She had fans to give out with her face on it, along with Eleanor Burns and two others. What a silly treat! She also had books for sale, at a whopping $6 each. More about that in my "loot" post to come. I got to hang out and learn from Eleanor Burns, Cynthia England, and lots of other well known authors on the vendor floor. It's an exciting chance to talk to and get lessons from people you admire.

Speaking of which, I often take the $8 lectures, like this one from Yvonne Porcella.
An exhibit all about Yvonne Porcella

She was the first quilt Artist I discovered in the eighties and was so inspirational to me. I love the color and sense of playfulness she evokes. Her lecture was on her new book, and she was as charming, down to earth and funny as I hoped.
I stayed behind after the lecture to have a chance to touch her hand and tell her of my admiration. I was in a happy place after laughing, then when I touched her hand, I started to teardrop up. What!! Then they rolled down my face!
I don't know, I am sensitive to people and love her.

I loved the lectures for the content, the topics and the chance to hear people I admire talking about their process and design. There have been few disappointments over the years, with someone being arrogant or disorganized, but luckily they are rare but disappointing. There were a couple of those this year too. But not Yvonne, or Mary Mashuta...

 She was a "character" and talked all about how she uses stripes in her work, and how we can too. I loved it. I also loved that she has enjoyed stripes since she was a little girl making doll clothes. I also liked that she sees "stripes" images all around her in life, gardens, architecture, etc. Repetitive line is how I interpret it, in design talk.

I've discussed ways to meet people. I got a chance at the SAQA booth to meet a lot of quilting artists, and the demo area has four "rooms" with continuous demos going on all day. I learned lots there, from how to use a digital image to make a pet portrait to how to use silk cocoons.

This stage has continuous talks by teachers all day every day. This included several talks by the NASA astronauts use of fabric in space.
One of the silliest was Eleanor Burns talks.

The really important meetings for me however were the ones involving friends from around the world. I arranged to meet Maggie Winfield to check out exhibits and have lunch. Here she is in her finery.

I was excited to meet up with the QuiltArt online friends at the Hilton bar on Thursday night. This is an opportunity to meet friends I've only known online through a fabulous list of over 3000 quilting artists from around the world. We often form email friendships over time, and on this night we got to hug and share a drink in person.     I was able to connect with my new bestie Nancy (see post following this one)

These two are now close friends met through previous QuiltArt meet-ups. We now have regular conversations and I almost think the trip to Houston each year is worth the cost from just being able to hang with these peeps!! Maggie in the center (FunkyDiva) and Diane Ferguson (yarngoddess) on right and my new friend Margaret not pictured, and I all ate lunch and laughed more than ever.
So that's a bit of my experience meeting people. It went on all day and it was hard to turn off the excitement at night to go to sleep! I'm still tired.


  1. How wonderful! Thanks for the vicarious Houston visit!

  2. Sorry I missed the QA get together, I was exhausted after a full day. I second the $8 lectures, I had 2 really good ones this year. And the NASA connection was fun, especially since I came a day early just so I could go to tour there before Festival.

  3. Hi LeeAnna!
    Wow! So much fun and friendship there!
    Great photo's and super coverage of such a huge happening! Thanks for taking the time to put this all on your blog!
    Take care,

  4. As someone who is never going to get there I am enjoying a virtual visit - thanks for such great coverage, it really gives a feel of what it must be like.

  5. It was great to meet you during IQF, Lee Anna! I was really disappointed that I couldn't make the QA meet-up --- maybe next year!

  6. Glad you had such a great trip and am enjoying reading all about it!

    1. hmph, for the rest of you, Mary was supposed to meet me there! She is so in love with her new town of Boulder she couldn't leave, I met lots of people from CO all nice. They all invited me to move there.

  7. These are wonderful pictures, LeeAnna, you got so many more "people pictures" than I did! I loved reading about your personal adventures, and wish I had met up with you while there. Cheers!

  8. LeeAnna, I can't figure out if I am doing this right or now. Thanks so much for your tour of the Houston Quilt Festival. Reminds me I should remember to check out the lectures next year and also spend time in the Meet the Teachers area. I had a great time at Festival, but the best thing was meeting old friends (mostly from the quiltart list) and making new friends (who stopped to chat with me about my clothing). What could be better than that. Maggie

  9. I'm enjoying reading your meet ups with the artists! You did a wonderful job sharing the info.
    I just love that quilt of the two dogs frolicking and playing... So realistic!

  10. Thanks for the virtual tour!! You 've met some very fun and inspiring people! What fun it looks like you are having!!

  11. Great recap and it looks like you had a great time!

  12. I'm green with envy! One of my online quilting friends in Brazil was one of the winners a couple of years ago, and we'd both planned to meet in person there before the show, but I wasn't able to pull it off. So I envy you your experience, your trick or treating and your friendships. Thank you for sharing with someone who couldn't be there!

  13. Great post! I almost felt like I was there!