Monday, October 19, 2009

International Quilt Festival- Houston

Last week and this past weekend have been glorious- though exhausting. The drive in and out of the city at rush hour each day (yeah, I was catching both morning and evening rush hours- lucky me) was terrible. Next year I'll probably stay downtown for the whole show.

But it was worth every second spent on the road.

This was my first quilt show and the first time I had ever entered a photograph into any contest, so my excitement was especially high when I learned I'd gotten into the show. Since the photos in the Eye Of The Quilter: Inspiration exhibit have been revealed and shown, I'm going to go ahead and show you my winning entry.

It is entitled "Dinner Is Served" and I submitted this description with the application:

"A House Sparrow parent claims a seed, which was then flown to the baby chick waiting to be fed in the grass below. By capturing and examining these small moments in the life of a small creature, we come away with a much larger and more personal perspective of the world."

I took 2 classes in the week before the show opened, both sponsored by IQF.

The first, Magic Garden- Making Fabric Three-Dimensional, was taught by Tracie and Marylin Huskamp, a mother-in-law/daughter-in-law team full of high energy, enthusiasm and laughter.

Most of the class was spent painting small nature scenes on muslin. My preliminary results were not bad.

And my finished little piece will be quilted and given as a gift to a loved one.

Tracie and Marylin were a hoot- if you ever have the chance to take a workshop with them, run-don't-walk to their classroom.

My second class was a lecture on bindings, borders and batting, and was offered by Terri Burton. Ms. Burton made the discussion of the sometimes tedious but necessary job of quilt finishing fun and lively.

After classes, it was time to play!

The quilts, as you would expect, were magnificent- and just standing and staring at them was an invaluable education for me in construction, design decisions and stitching choices. I learned more than anything else that I need to lighten up, have more fun at the sewing machine, and stop worrying so much about what future critics might think of the quality of my work.

The most delightful surprise of the quilt exhibits for me was when I turned a corner and saw this beauty hanging in all of its prize-winning glory:

This piece, titled Jet Trails #8, is special because it was created by Marcia DeCamp, a fellow Compositional Conversation cohort. I had written to Marcia just the week before telling her how beautiful I thought this quilt was and expressing a deep desire to see it up close. Imagine my delighted surprise when I came face-to-fabric with it and had my wish fulfilled!

Of course, there were hundreds of other eye-popping quilts on display as well. If you'd like to see more of my photos of them, head over to my new photo blog, Approachable Photos, to see them.

After a week of quilts and classes, I'm on fire and off to spend my inspiration in the studio.

And speaking of Compositional Conversations, Gayle Pritchard added her voice to the conversation! Take a look at what she had to say over on Terry's blog.

Happy creating!


Robbie said...

'Dinner is Served' is a great shot! Do you just hang around trees all day to capture your bird images? Well deserved to be juried in the show!

Gayle Pritchard said...

Great to see what you've been up to, and your lovely photos. The nature paintings on fabric will come in handy for many of your future projects, I'm sure! Thanks for sharing Martha's piece. Looks like she's been studying with Nancy Crow. Very lovely...

jojo said...

I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. Thanks and congrats on the photo - now to your photo blog:)

Nina Lise@Mrs Moen said...

Congratulations on the winning picture!
The painted muslin looks great; I too am taking paint classes to use in my quilts. What kind of paint did you use?

Gina said...

"Dinner is Served" is a real winner! Classes and the whole show sound like such fun. I just saw your website - is it new? Looks fantastic!

laura west kong said...

Thanks for sharing! It all looks great!

elle said...

Congrats on your winning photo. Dial up probably isn't too approachable for photo blogs so I'll save that treat for visits to my Dd. The Garden Magic -3d is lovely. How do you keep the background away from the flowers? I'm just getting a handle on dipping fabric in dye pails but I can see the flowers wouldn't be as bright if the background went first.
I do like the Jet Trails. Your being inspired inspires me in return.