Quilt Festival 2012 Recap (Part 1): Open Studios!

What just happened?! Did Quilt Festival come and go already? Really?!

Faster than Roadrunner can outrun a rocket, my two weeks of Hilton livin’ and Houston Quilt Show lovin’ feel like they zoomed by at warp speed, and in the blink of an eye, I’m already back at Quilts headquarters, sitting still, feeling exhilarated, inspired, and yes, also a little tired.

What an incredible and whirlwind of a time this year’s International Quilt Festival/Houston experience was for me, and for the tens of thousands who attended, I hope for you as well!

I’ll be posting a few blog entries recapping Festival over this next week, and in this first edition wanted to share some pictures of our brand new Open Studios sponsored by Craftsy, fine purveyors of quality online classes from some of the best quilters in the business. We are very appreciative of their sponsorship, and I know I was among many who felt dazzled watching approximately 40 quilt artists over the course of the four days of Festival share their art as well as tips, tricks, and techniques for better quilting.

Open Studios was located close to the entrance of the Food Court, and it was exciting watching it come together!

After Ray from TexExpo and his team rolled out the floor, they began erecting the wall panels that would create the four distinct open studios rooms for artists to quilt, stitch, embellish, and paint.



Here my coworker Belén Timmins is sporting a classic pose in one of the windows of Open Studios just after one of the walls was completed. Problem was, we knew beforehand that these rooms needed propping…and propping quickly since the show was opening in less than 24 hours.



After making a few trips home to grab some things from my studio, and with the help and eye of Leslie Jenison and Jamie Fingal, we decorated all of the rooms with props and hanging mechanisms for each artist to display their art for their sessions. I thought the Craftsy sign looked pretty striking!


I especially loved the paint room with Leslie Jenison’s art cloth billowing out of paint cans.


Some highlights…

Cheryl Sleboda was one of our debut artists to launch Open Studios this year, and demonstrated how she embellishes her quilts with LED lights. Clever girl, that Cheryl…


Nancy Goldsworthy divulged her secrets for how to couch chunky and challenging threads to a packed audience of quilters.


Marlene Glickman demonstrated nifty surface design techniques using simple, everyday items such as sticks, clamps, and stamps.


Joyce Hughes amazed attendees with her beautiful quilts featuring raw edge appliqué and thread painting.


Leslie Jenison showed how easy and fun it can be to create one-of-a-kind art cloth with monoprinting.


I got to play in Open Studios, too, demo’ing some surface design techniques, and as an admirer of Lynn Krawczyk’s art, it was great fun having her as a neighbor during our sessions!


All in all a lively time was had in this new area on the show floor, and I want to thank all of the artists for being so generous with their expertise, and to thank Craftsy for sponsoring this fun event!

In the next post I will share some very exciting news we have about the funds raised for Friends For Life with our Festival Pet Project, but in the meantime, I hope that many of us can keep those in the Northeast in our hearts and prayers as they cope with the aftermath of Sandy. If you want to help, there are a couple of quilt drives that I have been made aware of: Luana Rubin is coordinating Hurricane Sandy- 5000 Quilts and  quilter Victoria Findlay Wolfe whose neighborhood was devastated by the storm, is coordinating a quilt drive on her blog.

Hope everyone has a restful and stitch-filled weekend,

5 responses

  1. Pokey,Open Studios was amazing, Thank you for the wonderful opportunity, I got to share my quilts and ideas with so many talented, skilled and artistic people.
    The concept to see the artist live brought energy and great enthusiasm to everyone.Thanks again, Joyce

  2. Pokey, I also would like to say a public thanks to you and Craftsy for making the Open Studios possible. What a great concept it was to have “free inspiration” available during all hours of the show! I loved being able to sit and share my little corner of life through paints and fabric.
    Thanks for all your hard work, Mary Anne

  3. Oh, how I would love to go to Houston some day! I’m so excited that Quilt Festival will be back in Chicago next June since I just live 75 miles away. See you there!

  4. Open Studios was a blast! Thank everyone at Craftsy and Quilts, Inc., for making this possible. I loved the set-up and thought the location was perfect! It was so much fun to lend a hand with the “accessorizing”. I enjoyed being a part of it, and loved stopping by and seeing what all the artists were up to!

  5. Open studios was fabulous! I could have spent the entire time I was at Houston in Open Studios! It’s is such a wonderful idea and I want to thank all the teachers for sharing! And thanks to Craftsy for the sponsorship and thanks to YOU for the wonderful ideas and getting it all pulled together!

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