I wasn't razzle dazzled by the quilts this time around, although there were plenty of truly superlative pieces. But nothing that seemed brand new jumped out at me and blew my mind....I think all the revolutionary ideas of the mid 1990's in the quilt world are still playing themselves out. Or maybe the judges just had somewhat boring tastes.
But the Houston show does have a "Nature" category, and as an old landscape quiltmaker, I was drawn to them the most. Again, I only managed to get the name and title for one of the quilts...the rest presented here are images with no names or titles. Sorry!
I loved the treatment of the pine needles in this one. My friend Tracey Brookshier, who was with me as I looked over the show, said she recognized this location in Hawaii.
This was heavily quilted, I think to make it really flat and read more photographically.
Anytime a quilter can successfully depict a source of light and shadow, she is ahead of the game. It is so unexpected to see that in cloth, after all. The border was unfortunate, however.
(In my opinion, that is...I get extremely opinionated at quilt shows, but usually keep my critiques to myself.)
What a great snow scene! And that ice cold blue stream works well, too. But why oh why did was the sky left so puffy? That brings it right to the foreground and it should be wayyyy in the background! Wonder Under would have been good for that sky....flat, flat, flat.
Very nice treatment of the water here, isn't it? That is SO hard to do.
The quilted sky somehow works here, I think, because the quilting lines are close and consistent, and follow the contours of the clouds.
I loved the ribbon work in the tree here.
The quiltmaker must have really had fun creating this dreamworld. I especially like the upper section of leaves and glimmering nightsky.
Ha! I just noticed the Ent-like figure in the tree opposite the fairy. They are having a discussion about something.....
If this quilt didn't win a prize I will be shocked. The description said it took the quiltmaker 17,000 hours over a four year period. My mathhead friend Tracey figured that out to be 12 hours a day, 7 days a week....so maybe it wasn't quite that much time...but wow is it spectacular!
Here is a detail of it. Utter perfection.
OK, so were there any crazy quilts? Aside from the one that was part of the Amish exhibit (and which was given center stage as you walked into the show), and Debra Spincic's brilliant winner for "Best Handworkmanship" in the Hoffman Challenge, Little Flower Urchins, I could spot only one in competition, in the Mixed Techniques category. (At least at Quilt Festival they have a place for crazy quilts. None of the American Quilter Society shows do, nor do the Mancuso shows.)
Here is the description of it....
And here is the quilt....
...and a detail.
Now technically, this is almost not a crazy quilt in my book, because the quilting is such an integral part of its design. It is like a sane quilt with crazy quilt inserts, and even those were quilted.
But it is an example of a hybrid between crazy and sane quilts, and that interests me. This one doesn't necessarily combine the genres in the way that is most effective (again, only my opinion; it was all cotton and therefore a bit dull), but it was very well executed and an interesting concept.
We definitely need more large sized crazy quilts entered in the shows!
I am recovered now from my trip to Market...I've slept great here at home, and my many discoveries are starting to sink in....
Any time any of you can wangle a way to go to Market I encourage you to do so. It was fascinating to see the quilt industry from the inside out...and I am left with great memories of truly lovely people, too.