Houston’s annual International Quilt Festival made a promise and kept it well — phenomenal artistry and imagination abounded. There were competition pieces on display, the likes of which draw in quilters from across the world in a mad frenzy.
The quilt festival offered long-arm quilting machines that complete delicate stitching in seconds that would have taken the most skilled hand quilter an entire day just 50 years ago. There were booths with the most recent patterns for purchase that sold out before noon the first day the festival opened. There were booths with patterns of sampler cross-stitched pieces ready for a modern rendition.
The festival was a special opportunity to witness the kinds of handicrafts that can be cherished by people from all generations. Crafters today are doing what our predecessors have been developing for hundreds of years — but we do it differently, thanks to etsy.com.
Representatives of publishers Selvedge and Interweave Press were at the festival and were particularly geared towards the modernity of fiber and textile craft. Selvedge is the most modern textile and design magazine on the shelves. Before you balk at the price tag, spend the afternoon in a bookstore and flip through the amazing paper, layout, design and subjects treated with appropriate reportage from across the pond.
For more textile-related readings, check out an interactive online magazine from Interweave, which brings Knitting Daily and Spinning Daily updates. One of their most recent entails the history of dyeing textiles and fibers, with videos of international modern-day upkeep of these traditions involving cochineal insect processing and indigo dye pots that have been passed down in families for generations.
This is the beauty of textile and fiber crafts found at a spinning and weaving festival much like that of this weekend: when we wake up in the morning, shower, brush our teeth, and get dressed — we’re getting ready in the same manner that humans have been since we stopped being hairy enough to keep ourselves warm. It’s the same stuff from which our grandmothers make our quilts.
Similar to the International Quilt Festival this weekend, the 23rd annual Kid ‘N’ Ewe and Llamas, Too: Boerne, Texas Fiber Festival will take place Nov. 11, 12 and 13.
To check out the handiwork that will be showcased or for more information, visit www.kidnewe.com.