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Back to Friends@Festival



We asked them all the question, “WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY FROM A QUILT FESTIVAL CLASS?” Read their responses below!


Jane Hall

“One of my favorite Quilt Festival class memories was of the year my son, Michael, was assigned by his editor to 'follow your mom' around the show and write a feature article for Texas Monthly. He is a good reporter, and a great writer (not just mom talking) and engaged with the students well. I got a huge kick out of having an offspring see what I did, and that it mattered to such a wide group of people. He learned that quilting was not just a bunch of little old ladies in tennis shoes making old-timey bed quilts, and I think he was impressed. I still cherish that article!”

Helen Godden

“During my beginner free-motion class in the Sweet Sixteen classroom, there is always a little fascination with my Aussie accent and all things Down Under. So I enjoy being the novelty act, and show off a little Aussie skill and stitch a continuous quilted design of kangaroos…usually to an impressed crowd.

“This particular class was silent. No ‘ohs’ or ‘wows,’ and I’m thinking, ‘Do they not recognize the kangaroo shape? Then someone piped up and said, ‘We don’t have them around here…we have armadillos!’

“Not one to deny a challenge, I stitched what I thought was my best attempt at an impromptu armadillo having never seen one or thought about one as a quilt design before, and I waited for the expressions of appreciation...but not a sound from the crowd. Until the lady piped up again and said, ‘But usually they are dead on the side of the road.’ So I responded by scribbly stitching aggressively all over the armadillo and said, ‘And now he is road kill!” That received a roar of laughter and appreciation!

Gotta love Texas!”

Patti Culea

“My favorite memory has to be the first time I taught at Quilt Festival. My policy is to arrive in the classroom an hour early. I arrived and the room was full of anxiously awaiting participants. I had misread my class times and arrived at the starting time, rather than an hour early. It all worked out as we took just a two-hour lunch, rather than the three hours. But that taught me to thoroughly read all details in the instructions from the very organized Quilt Festival staff.”

Frieda Anderson

“I teach free-motion machine quilting on a domestic home sewing machine. It is always so amazing and gratifying to see my students begin to get the knack of free-motion quilting, and I love it when they come up to me at the end of the class and say, ‘I have taken free-motion machine quilting classes before, but you teach
it in such a relaxed way and give us so much information that I really got it this time.'"

Alex Anderson

“Meeting new enthusiastic quilters as well as being reunited with dear friends!”






Karin Hellaby

“As I am from the U.K., I am often asked about the royal family. I mentioned to one class that
a friend had met the Queen, and explained that she had to learn to curtsey, correctly. They were a class of 25 Texans who were trying to cut down on their ‘drawl,’ and mimic my shorter vowels. The word they were keen to say was ‘half’ the English way, and each time they repeated the word, they curtsied! This went on all morning with much laughter, and at lunchtime, students from the room next door came over to find out why we were having such fun!”

Wen Redmond

“I am a first-time instructor at Quilt Festival, and do not have a memory, but I have to say I am looking forward to connecting with lots of folks and sharing my inspirational ideas!”


Patt Blair

“As a painting-with-ink-on-fabric instructor, I encourage students to follow their heart…they needn't approach a subject as I might have. In 2015, a student did that big time by painting my tiger pattern as a powder blue tiger with what else: Elizabeth Taylor lavender eyes! It was so very cool. Way to go!"


Lori Triplett

“Seeing the amazing range of subjects created by my students in my 'Adire: Indigo Resist' workshop!”



Karen Kay Buckley

“One of my favorite Quilt Festival stories. Two young ladies from Australia walked into my three-hour hand-appliqué workshop. It was about five minutes before class was to start, and I could tell by looking at them that something was wrong. I quietly walked over and asked them, and they whispered, ‘We did not realize this was a hand-appliqué workshop. We don’t do hand appliqué.’ I said, ‘It’s only three hours long, not too much of your time. And since you’ve already paid for the class, why don’t you stay and give it a try?’ I also explained that the techniques I was doing in class were also applicable to machine appliqué.

“They stayed and seemed to have a good time in class. At the end of the class, they thanked me. The next afternoon I saw them in the line at Starbucks. They said, ‘Our husbands hate you.’ Well, that gave me pause. I asked why their husbands hated me, seeing that I had never met them, and they said, ‘We now love hand appliqué. We are buying everything we need for hand appliqué, and our husbands are seeing the credit card charges as we are buying.’ I asked them to please never introduce me to their husbands.”


Cindy Walter

“I have endless wonderful memories of Quilt Festival in Houston. My favorites seem to stem around one theme: meeting new friends and then seeing them again in following years. It is easy to make new friends in the classes, and seeing them a few years later is sure to put a smile on your face.”

Lynn Koolish

“Because I usually teach process classes, it's exciting watching students as they create their own unique work. Even with the same materials, everyone comes up with something different, and I'm always inspired by their creations.”


Barbara Olson

“Every time I step onto the Quilt Festival floor it takes my breath away with the first glimpse of the quilts.”




Cindy Lohbeck

“As this will be my first time teaching in Houston, I have no memories to share. I'm really looking forward to making some great ones while teaching eight different dye classes this year!”



Faye Labanaris

"My favorite Quilt Festival memory involves roses. I love making roses from ribbons and silk, and a few years ago I started making roses from neckties. I gifted Judy Murrah [Vice President of Education for Quilt Festival] and several staff with my creations. She loved her gift, and was also intrigued and asked if I would show her how to make them. Certainly I don't have to ask a teacher twice! The ‘class’ was almost her whole staff! We made lots of various tie roses!

“I have also another memory related to tie roses...Roses for Libby! Their sale at several events has raised over $9,180 for Libby Lehman’s medical fund. I am very pleased that my roses brought happiness and help.”

Pictured below: Faye Labanaris and Libby Lehman.

Kimmy Brunner

“My favorite Houston class memory is from about five years ago. I was teaching a feathers class in the longarm classrooms and, as the students were trickling in and I was finishing my final class preps, I began to chat with the students to get to know them a bit. There were two beautiful Japanese ladies sitting together, and as I began to chat with them, I realized that one of them spoke a teeny tiny bit of English and the other spoke no English at all.

“At first I panicked, thinking, ‘Oh my gosh…how on earth am I going to help them understand what I'm trying to teach?’ But as the class progressed, I quickly realized that my worry was completely unfounded. It turns out that the language of quilting is international and we all speak it fluently. Using smiles, hand gestures, and a lot of laughter, the three of us understood each other perfectly. They left class knowing how to stitch feathers, and I left class feeling grateful and humbled by having had such a great class; a class in which I learned a whole lot more than I taught.”

Ask the Teachers!

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