Houston Festival IQA Judged Show-Traditional


 Detail:  “Spring is With Us Now” by Yoko Sugisawa


I didn’t take as many pictures as I thought I did and now that my brain has processed all of that visual stimuli, I realize I failed to get all of the ones that made an impression. However, I did get some good ones. Some of which, thankfully, are a few of my armchair judging choices.

I think armchair judging is fun because it makes me really look at all of the aspects of the quilts thoughtfully and how they stack up against the competition in this show and the entries in their respective categories.



Detail: “Wedgewood” Camilla Watson, New Zealand (Miniature category)


These are just a scant few of the Traditional quilts from the huge prestigious International Quilt Association’s (IQA) judged show. I like to look at all genres of quilts. I don’t care what the design style is If done well and artfully. I can appreciate the skillful use of design principles, color, and skill with fabric and thread in the many ways a quilter can express themselves creatively. I also prefer my quilts “tasteful”.

As I mentioned in the previous post, take inspiration from these quilts and do not fall into the trap of comparing your work to the quilts in the show. You will be chasing your tail and become sour if you do. These quilts were not made in a day or a weekend. The effort, patience and process is what makes these quilts standout. Not how fast and easy they could be made.


Traditional Quilts:

The Japanese never fail to impress when it comes to design.


“Spring is With Us Now”

Yoko Sugisawa, Japan (2nd place Handmade category)



Detail: “Spring is With Us Now”





“Road to Roseland”

Megumi Mizuno, Japan, (Innovative Applique category)



“Road to Roseland” detail




“Elegant Beauty of Japan”

Setsuko Matsushima, Japan (Handmade category)



“Elegant Beauty of Japan” detail




“Oriental Puzzle”

Hitomi, Kanazawa, Japan (Innovative Applique category)

(My Armchair ribbon for first place in its category)



“Oriental Puzzle” detail




“Golden Ivory”

Rachelle Denneny, Australia (Merit Quilting-Machine category) – Honorable Mention

(My Armchair judging would have moved it into a category 1st, 2nd or third place ribbon)

I was in this category so I can’t be completely objective 😉



“Golden Ivory” detail

note: this was done on a HOME MACHINE! which requires a helluva lot of skill!

Translation: It is freaking hard to quilt this size of a quilt and the intricate quilting on a home machine and pull it off so beautifully.





Zena Thorpe, USA (Innovative Applique category)

Armchair judging ribbon: 3rd in its category

It takes a tremendous amount of skill to pull off that hand appliqued Celtic work so cleanly. I really like the unusual color palette too.



“Renaissance” detail

Yes, she is goooooooood!




“Sanderson’s Apprentice”

Karen Terrens, Australia (Merit Quilting Machine)

I liked the unusual color combination in this quilt.



“Sanderson’s Apprentice” detail


Janet Atkins, I talked with you so many times and admired your quilt. You would think I would have taken a picture of it for crying out loud! Your quilt got my Armchair Judge first place award for the Merit Quilting Hand category. Your use of color was so fabulous the quilt just glowed!

These took hours to clean up so I will do the art quilts in another post. I brought back some Houston crud and have been ill and trying my best to get upright again.

I hope you enjoy!


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About Sandra

I am an Author, Designer, Illustrator and a major international award winning quilt artisan. I love working with fabrics and threads and they have become my medium of choice.

8 thoughts on “Houston Festival IQA Judged Show-Traditional

  1. I would have pinned a multitude of ribbons on Rachel’s quilt … but I am prejudiced! And I get to see her this weekend at our state exhibition. She makes using a domestic machine for any machine quilting look so easy.

    I also love the work of Japanese quilters, they do things with fabric which look wrong, but it works perfectly for them!

  2. It was a wonderful show, maybe the best I’ve seen. I don’t know how they can top it. I always spend the most time studying the appliquéd quilts. Congratulations on your ribbon.

  3. They are stunning, I have always admired the Japanese work. They do such detailed, small peices and the colours! Thanks for the pics on your blog.

  4. Glad you had such a nice time, and that the show was good. I was glad that I went the last time I had an entry. In lots of cases, I went away feeling fine about my work, and not bad about losing either. There were so many quilts that were really amazing I actually did the cliche and felt lucky to get in. There were others that I couldn’t understand being there at all – the workmanship was scary and the quilts, well, there’s just nothing good to say about them. When I saw some applique work that was a real mess with a ribbon on it there was nothing to do but laugh. In one dose, I’d seen for myself how subjective the judging was to let quilts so much more deserving than mine go without mention. Wow. Okay then, live and learn. It was kinda liberating – I’ll do what I want the very best I can and any chips can fall where they may. I let go of all the pressure of thinking anything at all about what anyone else thinks about my work. I’m harder on myself than any of them, so what they say just doesn’t matter to me. Of course, I’d still like you to be able to recognize your patterns when I’m done though. lol…

    😉 Welcome home.

  5. Hello Sandra,
    Congatulations on your ribbon in Houston – your quilt is stunning!
    I am thrilled to finally have come across some photos of my quilt Sanderson’s Apprentice hanging in Houston – as I live in Australia I did not get to go to Houston this year – I am glad you like it.

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