quilt shows

Quilt Festival Houston, some of the quilts

I think quilters in general are fascinated with the glass work of Dale Chihuly.  It’s no wonder why.  Like we do he sees the potential in the molten liquid and produces some amazing works not just in glass also writing and drawing.  There is a lot of prep work that goes into creating one of these pieces. I imagine a lot of broken glass, a lot of pieces that just don’t quite fit the way Dale envisioned.  And yet, here it is…one more piece of evidence of Dale’s hours and hours and hours of hard slog creating beautiful glass sculpture.  

In a quick, very quick reading of Dale’s website there are two things I see immediately, Dale learned from others both in school here in the states and from Venetian glass blowers the work of his trade including technique, working concepts and artistry; further he works at his trade and through that work applying the accrued knowledge and experience continues to create beautifully designed, well constructed pieces of glass work that capture our imagination, our deep appreciation, and a sense of longing for just a little bit of that talent.

And in this quilt “The Garden” by Helia Ricci, this work of art I see the same level of commitment, passion and artistry.  The same hard slog learning techniques, listening to other quilters for support, encouragement and correction.  Doing something to quell the negative voices creeping about saying I’m not good enough for this and putting her work out there for all of us to see and enjoy or not enjoy as we will.

Quilting – whether making bed quilts or art quilts – is hard work.  No matter what the style.  Each quilt we do informs the next, each quilt we see allows us to help define who we are as quilt makers. There are many styles of quilt making and as I write this I see in my minds eye the artistry of each of them.  


One of the most moving things about the set up of the quilt show in Houston is that there is room to look and take photos of the quilts.  I couldn’t get enough of Linzi Uptons Yurt.  Talk about hard work!  Each quilt is different and given time I would have spent hours and hours in there enjoying the beauty and marveling at the idea of the quilted yurt.    Talk about an oh my  moment.  

And then there is Randall Cook’s “Trapped in the Game”.  I am moved by this on so many levels.  Sometimes I feel trapped and sometimes I feel free.  I want to play by the rules and do the work as a quilter  and I often feel free by the rules because I understand the rules.  Although in the quilting world there are a variety of rules and frequently the rules are meant to be broken.  

I love that I got to meet so many of the members of “The Quilt Show”.  Maggie and Frances were my “Teachers Pets” and in true teacherly form I gave them both homework!  Here I am with Maggie and Annie (another TQS member) after my lecture on Friday morning.  Maggie took photos in one of my classes and as soon as I can I’ll share those with you.  Maggie hit the ground running at home and has been working!  You go girl!  

Now that Jeanie has had her booth there is a little bit I can share.  There is a lot I still can’t…however here’s a sample:

Jeanie has been working with incorporating embroidery into the kaleidoscopes.  This adds such great detail to the kaleidoscopes it’s amazing.  She’ll have more information on her website once she gets home and has time to update everything.  

This is made with Robert Kaufman’s Radiance on the top and I used an orange/brown batik on the back and wool batting.  I used Superior Silk and SoFine (bobbin).  This quilt is easily made with either fat quarters or quarter yards.  I’ll share more later this week or early next week. 

One of the things I love about working with the kaleidoscopes is that the stitching path is already worked out for you creating a beautiful design on the back of your quilt.  


Happy Quilting!



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