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International Quilt Festival

the Houston quilt festival is really a 00:14 remarkably unique place to come this is 00:18 like coming to the Louvre you know it's 00:22 an art form really so you're going to 00:24 the Louvre and you're seeing what the 00:25 Masters have done when we see people 00:31 come through the front door for the 00:32 first time that look on their face it's 00:34 priceless 00:36 people come from literally all parts of 00:38 the world to see the thousands of quilts 00:41 we have on display to take classes and 00:43 to shop 00:44 it's overwhelming I was told before I 00:47 came that that's what I would find it to 00:49 be and it is and the quality of the 00:51 quilts are exquisite that's huge 00:54 we've done half of this room today so 00:56 far and we'll see all the quilts 00:58 eventually oh it's amazing because here 01:02 is the most important festival in the 01:05 world is inspiring and you have a lot of 01:07 good conversations and learn a lot 01:09 quilting is really a community and a lot 01:12 of people stay connected year-round 01:13 online so coming here they get a chance 01:16 to meet up with people in person and put 01:19 a face to the name and make these really 01:21 lifelong connections I'm part of a group 01:24 african-american quilters at yahoo.com 01:26 we just meet and we talk and we have 01:29 lunch and just see each other once a 01:31 year 01:31 we're sister Sharon the Putin world it's 01:34 heaven on earth you can sit down you 01:37 know you don't know who you're sitting 01:38 next to and strike up a conversation and 01:41 it's almost always about something to do 01:43 with quilting and you learn a lot from 01:45 other people we come to these kinds of 01:48 shows to look for inspiration but we 01:51 also can 01:53 things from other people's point of view 01:55 because I might walk past a quilt and 01:57 not particularly notice it and then a 01:59 friend of mine who's here would say oh 02:01 did you see that what so it is really a 02:04 source of inspiration I have this 02:07 exhibit here I'm still looking at all 02:10 the other wonderful quilts and seeing so 02:13 much inspiration I think most people 02:15 associate quilting with something really 02:17 warm and homey and maybe their 02:19 grandmother quilted you know something 02:21 you sleep under but the majority of the 02:23 quotes on display here are meant to be 02:25 displayed as art and I don't think a lot 02:28 of people realize that quilts can be art 02:30 each quilt has something strong about it 02:33 whether it's the stitching or whether 02:35 it's how it was assembled or color 02:38 choice they've all got their own eye and 02:41 they've got their own feel for things 02:42 you can use it quilt as an expression of 02:45 pretty much any way you want to go you 02:47 can look at your past you can look at 02:49 the present you can look at your future 02:51 you can bring in a political message if 02:53 that's what's on your mind at this time 02:55 what people get out of quilting really 02:56 varies according to the person we have 02:58 an entire exhibit this year about human 03:00 rights stories and fabric and it's just 03:02 like any art form they use it to express 03:05 their political beliefs their social or 03:07 cultural beliefs in her instance in 03:09 Barbara's instance I think it helps her 03:11 to explain some of the nuances of our 03:13 lives we've been in an interracial 03:15 marriage for forty years before it was 03:17 legal in some states it helps to bring 03:19 people together I think showing art 03:22 always does I believe but a lot of 03:24 people come into it and they want to use 03:26 it as a as a creative outlet just like 03:28 any other art form or any other medium 03:30 it's a really relaxing hobby at the end 03:32 of the day it's kind of cathartic 03:33 actually the first time you've completed 03:36 a quilts I mean it's such a you've put 03:38 so much of your heart and soul into 03:39 every piece of it that you just feel 03:41 intertwined with that piece right and so 03:44 it is such a tactile thing you have 03:45 something to show for these hours of 03:47 work you put into it 03:49 and then that just progresses over time 03:50 and it becomes kind of an obsession 03:52 sometimes in fact I mean it's a passion 03:54 for sure you know people think well it's 03:56 just putting triangles together but it's 03:58 really quite a lot more than that 04:00 it gives me an outlet for creativity 04:01 that I wouldn't have otherwise well for 04:04 me it's creative outlet so many 04:06 different possibilities you can do a 04:08 fabric and thread it's mind boggling the 04:10 options you can do it's pretty amazing I 04:14 ever expected people to enjoy my work I 04:20 did it for myself and it meant a lot to 04:23 me personally but as I as I talked to 04:26 other ladies it just occurred to me that 04:28 we're just all one big family and when 04:31 we can get along and share our family 04:34 stories share our history together I'll 04:36 be it different that it just makes a 04:38 wonderful world and and I love quilters 04:41 I love being a part of this crew maybe 04:44 someones grandmother or mother taught 04:46 them to quilt and they passed it along 04:47 and so there's this kind of like it tugs 04:50 at their heartstrings it's warm feeling 04:51 I just found my peace when I'm appealing 04:56 they created for me it's everything it's 04:59 my therapy it's my life when I do 05:01 handwork I'm noticing the stitches but 05:06 my mind goes back to my brothers to my 05:09 sisters and mostly my mom and my dad and 05:12 I think about good times that we had I 05:14 think about sad times that we had and I 05:17 think about how they sustain me even in 05:20 the fact that they had so little so I 05:22 think about them sometimes it's funny 05:25 sometimes I leave and say mommy did you 05:27 see what I just did say that all the 05:30 time because I really feel that she's 05:32 right with the emotional piece which I 05:36 made when one of our daughter was very 05:41 very sick and we didn't know how to help 05:45 her in Israel quilting is very unknown 05:51 when I came here and everybody knows 05:54 what is quilt and what is earthquake 05:58 it's very very emotional in chemistry 06:02 there was this law that said that energy 06:05 can never be destroyed 06:07 it can only be altered or transformed 06:09 and I know that we are made up of atoms 06:12 and molecules and chemicals and things 06:15 like that and so I truly feel like no 06:18 one ever really dies they just they're 06:21 with us in a different form

As one attendee expressed with great adoration, Quilt Festival Houston is “The Versailles of Quilting” - watch the video and you’ll be a believer too. The sheer artistic variety, intensity and range of genres reflected on the quilts look more like paintings than interwoven fabrics.

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