Monday, 8 November 2010

A Silver Lining

After such a rainy grey day back here in the UK, it is good to be reminded that every cloud has a silver lining! Here's an amazing quilt by Susan Stewart. One of the best things about the Houston Quilt Festival is getting to go round the exhibition and meet all the winners. It is customary for the winners to stand with their quilts and take questions. We were able to photograph the quilts and get to know the quilters as we asked questions about materials, techniques and inspiration. What a treat!

Susan Stewart won the $5,000 prize - the Pfaff Master Award for Machine Artistry. This was an amazing quilt and the photos hardly do it justice. You can click on the photos for a better view. Susan noticed our name tags, designating us Superior Threads exhibitors. She told us how much she loved Superior Threads! Susan explained that she used 47,000 yards of #623 Silver from the Bottom Line range of Superior Threads, both on the top and the bottom of this quilt.

As the name suggests, Bottom Line thread was created as a bobbin thread. But once it came out on the market, long-arm quilters tried using it on top and found that it worked!

You can see in the photos how Bottom Line is superb for detail quilting or creating texture without drawing attention to itself. In the Grimm's fairy tale, Rapunzel spins gold from straw. In this quilt, Susan Stewart uses the least expensive thread in the Superior Thread range and spins silver!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Houston Highlights

We're back. The Houston Quilt Show was fantastic!! We timed the visit so we could catch the end of the trade show - Quilt Market and the beginning of the public show - Quilt Festival. This was our first visit and it certainly lived up to our expectations! Here's a view of the Houston skyline taken from our hotel window. We arrived on Saturday, and caught the last two days of Quilt Market. Quilt Market is the trade show and a fantastic opportunity to see all the new fabric and gadgets and sewing machines and mid to long arm frames. We also got to meet many of the bloggers and designers that I follow online. And then there were all the amazing quilts in the exhibition. Truly inspiring! Here's Rachelle Denney from South Australia, one of the winners.

Our first day visiting Quilt Market was Halloween. So most of the stalls offered sweets and many of the vendors dressed up. Here is Heather Purcell from Superior Threads - also known as 'Mother Superior'.
The show organizers offer awards for the best dressed stalls too. Amy Butler's gorgeous stall took first prize.
But so many of the stalls were simply stunning works of art in themselves. Designers were so creative in how they displayed their fabric. Here's Alexander Henry's stall. Many of the stalls created a retro feel this year by incorporating distressed furniture props like this ladder and plank shelving.

It was a real treat to wander around and see so many famous people, surrounded by the fabrics they design or the quilts they create. There was such a spirit of camaraderie! Everyone was willing to stop and talk shop. Here's a picture of Angela Walters who quilts for the designer Tula Pink. Angela was such a pleasure to meet. She noticed our name tags and told us how she loves using Superior Threads in her quilts. She always uses So Fine! on top. It's her favourtie machine quilting thread.
Quilt Market lasts until Monday afternoon. Then it's all change as the Trade Show comes down and the Festival sets up for the general public. We've lots more to post about! Watch this space, today is just a taste.