- - - - - - - - - Summer 2017 - - - - - - - - - -
Ask the Teachers
We’re always proud of the roster of talented teachers who share their skills and brilliance with students at Quilt Festival in Houston each year…and 2017 is no exception! Attendees will have the chance to choose from over 500 classes and events at this year’s show—look for the class catalogue and online enrollment mid-July.
In the meantime, we’re giving you a chance to get to know the members of our Quilt Festival faculty a bit better. We asked each of them the question, “WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY FROM A QUILT
We’ve shared their fun (and sometimes hilarious) responses below!
Note: We got such a great response, we’ll be sharing additional responses in the fall issue of Friends@Festival as well…so look for them then!
“One day everyone was busy sewing, and I asked if anyone had or did have an unusual job. The next thing I knew, I had hands going up…a woman singing a song from the fudge place she had worked as a kid, a trapeze swing rider from a restaurant (she swung over the tables), an actress from a movie with Robert Redford, a circus performer, a Rockette, a June Taylor Dancer from ‘The Jackie Gleason Show,’ a lab tech who shaved mice, and the list just kept going! I will still ask that question during class when things are not too lively. It is so interesting to hear what other things quilters do or have done.”
“My favorite memory is the first mystery quilt class that I taught at Festival in the mid ‘90s. It was the day I met Charlotte Angotti. It's a long story, but basically, my students brought their mystery blocks/pieces into Charlotte's class and paraded through with a show and tell and her students showed their pieces from their seats. Charlotte was great to go with the flow, but she thought I was too perky and told her class, ‘She's not going to last!’ Well, more than two decades later, I am still here, and Charlotte and I have been best friends for most of that time.”
Robbi Joy Eklow
“I think the most gratifying thing was the student who took the very same class two years in a row, because she enjoyed hanging out in my class for the day. She was a young mom, and it made me so happy, because those free days are precious.
I felt very honored. As a student, my favorite classes were from Susan Cleveland and Barb Vlack. Both of them are delightful people and great teachers.”
“I have so many great memories both as a student and as a teacher! I think my favorite thing is having students from all over the world, including a delightful art quilter from the United Arab Emirates. We had fun making suggestions
of things she should see and do during her time in the U.S.—in addition to enjoying everything about Quilt Festival!”
“My favorite memory was attending a lecture
by Jenny Bowker on the Tentmakers of Cairo.
I was blown away by the beauty of the quilts
and fascinated by Jenny’s story of her time in Cairo. I subsequently purchased several quilts from the Tentmakers, and featured Jenny’s quilt portraits of her Egyptian friends in my book Art Quilt Portfolio: People and Portraits.”
“In one of my T-shirt quilt classes, two of my students, who just happened to attach their ‘design walls’ next to each other, had rival university quilts. I thusly named them ‘house divided,’ but it could be called classroom divided."
“In 2013, I entered an original evening outfit, Scarlett's Crimson, into the Wearable Art category of the Houston show. It won first place and went on to tour with IQA through 2014—which was a delight in itself. Come the 2014 Houston show, I was teaching a class on seams and zippers. One of my students came up to me and said that she had been responsible for putting Scarlett's Crimson on the stand for the 2013 show, and was doing my class because she wanted to know how I had sewn the zipper into that garment. That's what I call a result—reaching students through your work, and being able to show them something new that will increase their knowledge and quality of their work!”
Jenny K. Lyon
“When a student spontaneously and joyfully stood up and announced in class, ‘I just had a free-motion quilting epiphany!’
“Also, when I realized I had students from New Zealand, Japan, and England in one class!”
“Mine had to be 10-12 years ago when a group of four very vocal French women took one of my classes. The lunch break was two hours long and it was evident they'd been to lunch and had wine—lots of wine—to drink. They talked loudly (wouldn't be shushed), didn't sew a stitch after lunch, and wandered around the room bothering other people. I finally corralled the group, and through their lone English-speaking member asked them, ‘Do you really want to be here?’ They consulted and then decided as a group that no, they'd rather go out for coffee (I think they were heading back to the bar) and go shopping. I said, ‘Well, in that case, I give you my permission and blessing to do so,’ and they joyfully shook my hand, kissed on both cheeks, and blew out the door. The rest of the class waited about five minutes and then broke into a cheer!”
Judith Baker Montano
“One of my favorite memories is when I accidentally shut down the power in a wing of
the George Brown Convention Center. It was
not my finest hour, but I still remember it and
tell the story often.
“I was teaching a three-hour class that involved painting with watercolor paints on fabric. I had
30 students and everything had to be dried because the stitching was the next process.
All together, we had four irons and three hair dryers for the drying process. All of a sudden, everything went dark in the classrooms and in the halls. Total darkness.
“I called down to report it and soon two men showed up. They wore huge leather tool belts and sort of swaggered in like John Wayne characters. ‘What seems to be the matter Little Lady?’ the tallest one asked.
“I replied ‘Well sir, I just don't know! We were just working away here, and all of a sudden it went dark.’
“’He thought a few seconds and asked, ‘Well what were you doing when the lights went out?’
“’We were just drying our watercolor projects with some irons and hair dryers!’ I said.
“All of a sudden he swelled up in size, turned red in the face, and bellowed ‘Hair dryers! Hair dryers?!’ Don't you know that hair dryers
use over 10 million watts of power?! You’re the reason this section
has gone dark!’
“And with that, he and his partner stomped out. Five minutes later, we had light and all the hair dryers and irons were put away. The wet fabric was dried by fast and furious flapping.”