Fall 2014 Newsletter

TABLE OF CONTENTS Note from The Editor

International Quilt Festival/Houston

October 30-November 2, 2014

Preview Night October 29
Classes begin October 27

George R. Brown Convention Center

Houston, Texas, USA


International Quilt Festival/Chicago

March 26-28, 2015 (new earlier dates!)

Donald E. Stephens Convention Center

Rosemont, Illinois, USA


Quilt! Knit! Stitch!/Portland

August 13-15, 2015

Oregon Convention Center

Portland, Oregon, USA

Rhianna Griffin

Quilt Festival in Houston is this month, and there are a few things I feel you should know about this year’s show.

First, it’s Festival’s 40th birthday. We aren’t buying her a birthday cake (or decorating in those terrible black and white “over the hill” decorations that nearly every poor 40-year-old has to endure). But we are throwing her a massive party in the form of close to 2,000 quilts and artworks on display (guys—that’s a lot of quilts!) and some really special events like the “Life Begins at 40” Cake and Champagne reception on Saturday evening and our annual Gala on the Green—this year, complete with an actual fireworks display over the convention center…yeah it’s that big!

But the icing on the cake (back to cake again…don’t write on an empty stomach, folks) is that we will have an actual NASA Astronaut at the show. Yep. A real, bona fide Astronaut. If that doesn’t impress you, then, well, you’re just impossible to impress.

At last year’s show, we announced a joint project with NASA and Astronaut Karen Nyberg, who spent nine months aboard the International Space Station. During her time in space—and between handling actual scientific research duties—Nyberg, who is also a quilter in her free time, indulged our request to create a star-themed quilt block. Sure, this would be a fairly simple task for most quilters on earth…but imagine trying to cut and sew fabric in a state of microgravity and with very limited tools (as Nyberg pointed out in a previous interview, they don’t generally allow items like rotary cutters in an environment of weightlessness).

We issued a challenge to quilters around the world to send us their own star-themed blocks, to be combined with Nyberg’s for a quilt to debut at this year’s show. We were anticipating a few hundred…we received over 2,200!

As I opened each package (I was the lucky staff member to whose attention the blocks were sent), I was surprised not only by the sheer diversity of designs, but by the number of touching stories that accompanied many of the blocks. Two women created a block in honor of their father, who was an employee of NASA for 37 years. Another features the image of the artist’s late father, a manufacturing engineer for the Lunar Module. One of the more adorable stories we received was from a woman whose five-year-old son and “aspiring rocket scientist” helped with the project by drawing the block his mother was to create (and sporting some really cute space-themed pajamas for a photo
sent with the block).



Who knew there was so much crossover between the space program and the quilting world? I suppose it’s just another example of the universality of quilting.

Visitors to this year’s show will get to see nearly all of those 2,200 plus blocks (and Nyberg’s) on display as part of the finished work. And believe me, the task of combining the blocks, sewing them into panels, and quilting them has taken the generosity of countless volunteers, but the final result will be well worth the effort.

And because this year marks the show’s 40th anniversary, our Ruby Jubilee, we have also put together a very special exhibit of red and white quilts in honor of the milestone. Inspired by "Infinite Variety," the memorable exhibit of Joanna Rose's red and white quilt collection, “Ruby Jubilee: A 40-Year Celebration” will include a collection of gorgeous Ruby and White quilts made from 1974 to the present.

In this edition of Friends@Festival, you’ll find a full account of the 40-year history of Quilt Festival, a story you may be surprised to learn, begins with a political defeat (you’ll have to read HERE to find out just what that means).

Also featured is an interview with quilter Clara Lawrence, who organized the very special exhibit and subsequent auction, “Inspired by Libby”, to honor quilt artist, teacher, and author Libby Lehman and help defray the costs of her medical care. It’s a touching interview, and I encourage you to read and find out how you can help.

We’ve also included a free pattern
from the amazing Victoria Findlay Wolfe, and a handful of recipes from The Ruby Jubilee Cookbook, which you can pick up at Quilt Festival
in Houston.

I hope to see you there!
Happy reading,

© 2014. A publication of Quintessential Quilt Media. No portion may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of Quilts, Inc.