Long Period of Travel Ends with Houston Show


I am finally home after starting my travel in August and being away through the first week of November. I ended the travel in Houston for Market and Festival or what I call, the main quilting event of the year. I would have never guessed I would have to worry about a hurricane though!

Fortunately it was a tropical storm by the time it hit Houston but flooding, tornado watches and thunder/lightning storms were a common norm. I slept through the major weather fireworks and the lightning bolt that hit the hotel. All of my travel must have caught up with me and nothing was going to wake me up. I am exhausted and happy to be home again.



These are the quilts that caught my attention in the IQA show. I am buckled up in my special judging armchair and ready to make my choices for the winning quilts from the show.

I did not have anything in the Houston show this year but was supporting my friend Ruth Bloomfield from Australia. She won a prize in the Innovative Applique category. Yay Ruth!!! She does such stunning work and is a talented artist outside and beyond the fabric medium.


“Gouldians in the Jade Vine” by Ruth Bloomfield

Innovative Applique

I am a little bit biased, but I would give it my first place award for the category. The color on this under the lights was phenomenal and the white really set off the Jade Vine. This is a perfectly balanced design that guides the eye throughout the piece to discover the birds hanging out. Love it.




“Journey” by Grace Sim

Art: Whimsical

My first place award for the Whimsical category would have gone to this beautiful piece of art and technically polished beauty. I just think the whole design is so clever and has such movement and interest. Everything is working on all cylinders.




This quilt won the “World of Beauty” major prize. It is a STUNNER. Those two girls reach out and grab you emotionally. There is just something about this quilt in person that touches me. I wasn’t alone and I think it stole the show for everyone.


“Eager to Learn” by Gillian Shearer of NSW Australia.

Art: People Portraits and Figures



“Vermeer Meets Fassett” by Lynn Czaban

Art: People, Portraits and Figures

This quilt by Lynn Czaban was a favorite visually. I love the colors and the “Kafe Fassett” tongue in cheek take on the Dutch Master Vermeer’s famous painting. I would have moved it higher from third to first in the category.




“Je Jove Avec Hanamari” by Emiko Shinoda

Handmade Category

There are always wonderful Japanese quilts. What struck me about this one is the outside applique edge design. This quilt was so so pretty in person.



I would have given this beauty a confident first place in the category.




“Whippoorwill Lane”

by Cynthia  Williford, Hester Carnew, Judy Cohen, Sue Garman (hi Sue!), Dottie Pope, Amanda Walters and Elizabeth Walters

Group Category

I loved the clean simplicity of this quilt and was surprised to see it was created by American Quilters. I assumed it was a Japanese Quilt until I took a closer look and saw the “American” touches and interpretation. The workmanship was also way superior to the first place quilt in the category.


This quilt gets my first place pick in the Group category.




“Visions of Apple Pie” by Laura Fogg

Art: Pictorial

I really like the illustrative appeal of this quilt. I kept coming back to it because it made me happy to look at it and the use of color appealed to me. In person, this quilt made you feel like you could really reach out and pick an apple from the tree. I give it my first place pick. It is a much higher degree of difficulty and skill to “paint” with fabric.




“My Sweet House with Kirara” by Ayako Kawakami

Handmade Category

I totally agreed with the Houston judges on this one for the Masters Award for Traditional Artistry. The details were well thought out, fun and brilliantly executed. It is obvious this is a special quilt for her daughter and it just makes me smile and holds my interest.




“A Bouquet for You” by Rumiko Ooiwa of Japan

Innovative Applique

I could not get a full shot of this one because the show curtain kept blowing in front of it. A beautiful palette of color and I love the kaleidoscope effect of the Calla Lilies. Definitely a category award from me.




“Sunseeker” by Liz Jones of the United Kingdom

Art: Naturescapes

This was my favorite in the category. Her use of color and more importantly the intricate way the light is filtering THROUGH the leaves make this one a difficult artistic challenge IN FABRIC. The shadows look seamless against the sunlit areas and the workmanship is tight and clean.  It was hands down the only quilt in the category that excelled in design and execution of the techniques to bring it to fruition.





I always look forward to and enjoy the dolls on exhibit. I am so fascinated at the detail, realism and fantasy achieved. Before I quilted, I was into the doll making but in its infancy. I never knew they would grow into the art they are today.


“The Queen has Spoken” by Dell Jones


“Boredom Becomes Him” by Neva Waldt



The Magna Carta Quilt


For a history buff like me, this was a very interesting exhibit and I enjoyed the story behind its creation. A lovely display but I wish it was hand applique and not fused. However, they did a great job and it was really lovely to look at and it encompassed a story. That is what good quilts do!



I didn’t see anything new or exciting at Market and I bought very little at Festival this year. I think I need a serious break from quilting since I have been going hard teaching and traveling for so long and all of the other related responsibilities. I need to have my creative tank filled up again.

I hope you enjoyed my favorite bits of the Houston Show!


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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.

7 thoughts on “Long Period of Travel Ends with Houston Show

  1. I really appreciate your article on copyright. I read and copy many designs and techniques from fellow quilters for my personal library, but not to re-create as my own. I enjoy seeing how others resolve issues and use special techniques. Let’s face it, fellow artisans inspire each other.
    I am an artist and photographer and for years have fought the dreaded, “I see so I can recreate and call it mine” syndrome. Because of it I rarely show any of my work unless it is to family or friends. I’ve shown a couple of things in the past and saw them repeated for sale or classes elsewhere. I’m even afraid to add images to blogs, Instagram, Facebook or create my own pages.
    I am so happy you put it out there for all to see. I just wish more people would see it. I think competitive exhibitions need to state that as part of their enrollment. Also quilt guilds and organizations.

  2. I love “My Sweet House with Kirara” by Ayako Kawakami and looked it up to see the entire quilt. beautiful.
    The 2 dolls you showed and the best I have seen.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks so much for the show. Makes me want to attend one so much.
    It amazes me how car quilting has come as an art form as well as technique. It all is mind blowing. Of course I would die to see those dolls!

    Must be hard to pick favorites, but the ones you’ve shown are all stunning.

    I want to thank you once again for sharing your time and expertise with us. I know if you didn’t ,you would have more time for personal works.
    I would never have a chance to produce such an amazing applique without your instruction and teaching.

    You will always win first place with me!!!!

  4. I always enjoy reading your thoughts on the Houston show – thank you for the eye candy. And get some rest!

  5. thank you Sandra,
    Stunning, good to see some very talented Aussies in there too!


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