by Sandra | November 7th, 2012
I just returned from Houston and I had waaaay too much fun. I can honestly say, this was the first time I was not ready to return home after a week traveling. Sorry dear husband, but it’s the truth.
It has a lot to do with a very quiet hotel room, so many friends and new friends, lots of alcohol and late nights laughing until I swear I had damaged some internal organ or two. I had no quilt in the show (a good thing) and I was there to be one of thousands of quilters from all over the world to kick back, spend money and have way too much fun misbehaving.
Our third partner in crime (Hi Jody!) came from the Hurricane zone but hung in there and after the storm had passed, joined us on a the first available flight out since her original Monday flight was cancelled for obvious reasons. Quilters really do have twisted priorities.
The winning show quilts. I will now put on my self appointed judging hat and make some personal corrections as we all tend to do when we walk a show. I would have judged the show VERY differently and I am still totally confused. But enough said about that.
My Best of Show:
ElaTED by TED STORM of ‘S-GRAVENZANDE, THE NETHERLANDS
Another stunner from Ted Storm of the Netherlands. Hand quilted, hand appliqued and hand embroidered. The technical and artistic level needed to pull off this quilt was way above any other in the show. Although it does lack a strong focal point in the center, the quilt would still rise to the top given its competition.
She had used a color palette that was an extremely difficult sell and then throw a brown plaid into the mix? Not so sure by the overall shot? well let me enlighten you with the details…….
I guess if she had scattered a million crystals over it she would have placed higher since that seems to be the bar to rise to these days. Need I say that Ted is a very nice humble woman too? She is no stranger to a Houston Best of Show and in my never so humble opinion, she did it again with this all hand made quilt.
A Large Award
Baltimore in the Provence by ELLEN HECK of SOMIS, CALIFORNIA
If I were one or both of the Founders and picking the Founder’s award, or the World of Beauty Award (both $7,500) then Ellen Heck’s Quilt would be my choice:
Sorry for the lousy overall shot but there were ALWAYS people in front of it. I excused the lady on the right who popped her head in right as I took the shot. The quilt was so amazing you forget yourself. I did not have another clear shot to re-take.
Again, this is a quilt that is all hand done and exquisitely hand quilted. This level of expertise is missing so much of the time that when you get the pleasure of seeing it done how it should be done? Your heart melts and you suddenly realize how much you had been missing this quality of a quilt in all of the big shows.
The delicacy and restraint is what makes this design work. Sometimes it is not all about filling every square inch of space with design, but rather, knowing WHEN TO STOP! This quilt is truly beautiful in its restraint and misleading simplicity.
I know it seems to look like I favor hand, hand, hand, but that is not always so. I favor exquisite workmanship and design in whatever form/technique it takes. Like anything else our culture values, hand always seems to jump to first in line most of the time.
My Other Large Award
The Twelve Days of Christmas by OSAMI GONOHE of AOMORI-SHI, AOMORI-KEN, JAPAN
Another big favorite of mine and this definitely would have received a big ribbon from me. Many times the Japanese just create the same thing as the next Japanese quilter under a particular instructors tutelage. This is due to the quilt learning system they have in Japan. As a result, I tend to move past the umpteenth version of their instructor’s design.
However, this one was more unique! This was fun, imaginative and one of my favorites…so many details to discover within the design. This was a labor of love and was always surrounded by a crowd too.
There were so many of these details everywhere.
There are more quilts I took pictures of but I still am getting organized from my return. These quilts are the ones that stuck with me and the ones I was so eager to share with you.
I hope you enjoyed my favorites from Festival.