Houston - Special Exhibits

Altar Offerings—Memory Quilts, Love, Loss & Honor: The Students of Jane Tenorio-Coscarelli
  Sponsored by 

Dias De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Mexico honors loved ones who have passed. The tradition welcomes the departed souls back with the building of altars in homes. Tenorio-Coscarelli decided to design her own altar by applying its traditions into a pattern using fabric, and the quilts in this exhibit were done by her students. Each work is a personal expression of those they knew and loved.


America Collects Quilts™: Piece by Piece

For the last 50 years, Joe and Mary Koval have bought, sold and collected antique quilts. In this exhibit, they are sharing just a portion of their collection. Of the thousands of quilts they have owned, these are the ones that mean the most to them. Piece by piece their collection grew, with each one having a special meaning to them.

Antique Quilts from the Poos Collection

Sponsored by

Curated by Kay and Lori Lee Triplett

The Triplett sisters curated these unique antique quilts from the Poos Collection. There are a variety of unique pieces including inscribed, red and green, paper pieced, and chintz quilts. Star and bird quilts are included as well. Wool quilts and wholecloth quilts from France and the U.S. provide an example of the variety of the Collection as seen in the latest Poos Collection book.

Appliqué: The Timeless Beauty of
  Broderie Perse

Curated by Cynthia Collier

Chintz and broderie perse quilts first became popular in the late eighteenth to mid-nineteenth centuries. Fueled by a passion for chintz, toile, and pillar print reproduction fabrics, today’s traditional-minded quilters are carrying on this important part of textile history with their own beautiful broderie perse quilts.

Aurifilosophy—Education for
  the Love of Thread

Sponsored by

Organized by Karen L. Miller

Join us to celebrate the imaginative works of 13+ Aurifilosophers, designers, artisans, and makers who enthusiastically create and educate with Aurifil thread. Pieced, appliquéd, and fiber art quilts are beautifully enhanced when prepared, embellished, or quilted with various weights and colors of thread. The exhibit highlights inspirational applications of thread.

A Better World

Sponsored by
     Co-curated by Susan Knapp and Lyric Kinard

There are those among us who make personal sacrifices and forgo comfort and safety while striving to make the word a better place. They are persistent in their determination to lift, save, shed light, and inspire. They are the helpers, the speakers, and the ones who act. They represent the very best of humanity, and this exhibit will honor the perseverance and dedication of these men and women.

Beta Club Quilts

The National Beta Club is a nonprofit educational service organization for youth. Their mission is to promote academic achievement, character, service, and leadership among students in grades 4-12. The quilts in this exhibit were made by two sisters, Gabby and Kat Gay, members who both began sewing before the age of eight. It includes their award-winning works from the Club’s National Championship show.


Blue and White Traditions in Miniature

The exhibit features an array of blue and white miniature quilts in the traditional style and made by two sisters, Andrea Blackhurst and Ellen Carter.


The Bob Ross Cherrywood Challenge

Sponsored by        

The late Bob Ross’ TV show “The Joy of Painting” ran on public television for 11 years and continues to teach oil painting to a new generation of viewers. His unique and inspiring brand of hosting and teaching has infiltrated modern pop culture. This exhibit challenged artists to use just eight colors—similar to Bob’s palette—of hand-dyed Cherrywood fabric to create an original quilt.

A Celebration of Color

Sponsored by

Whatever your style…quilt colorfully! This annual judged competition and exhibit features works—created in a variety of styles and techniques—with vibrant and colorful designs. Awards include a $1,000 Best of Show, and three $500 prizes each in Traditional, Modern, and Art categories.

Family History in a Baltimore Album

Curated by Barbara McCraw and Teresa E. Sherling

This exhibit features current Baltimore Album quilts that are personalized with appliqués that have meaning to the artist’s family history. These contemporary quiltmakers have looked to the art form’s rich tradition for inspiration in their own works.

Flowers of the Mind, Florence in My Heart

Sponsored by

A bucolic view of Florence, Italy from the nearby hills, Renaissance splendor of the Map of the Chain, the Della Robbia flowers and fruits compositions, the flowers of Gentile da Fabriano, the beauty of mathematics, the gentle Tuscan hills, underworld remains of Etruscan and Roman ancestors. These are the sources of inspiration for Annamaria Brenti’s handmade quilting journey in the city where she grew up.

Hands All Around

Artists from around the world incorporate influences from their own cultures into the design and technique of their quilts. This prestigious, long-running international showcase includes a variety of recent quilts from international artists.

Hope Project

In between quilt projects, Jim Smith and Andy Brunhammer came up with the idea for the Hope Project, so named because both Smith and Brunhammer are privileged to be long-term survivors of HIV. The project contains a series of quilts containing 1,500 fabric cranes. On display are a selection of the Project’s quilts.

In Celebration of  the doll 
   Sponsored by Treasures of the Gypsy, The Material Girls Cloth Doll Club, TOADA, Alexander Henry Fabrics, Treenway Silks, Clover Needlecraft, Hannah Silks, Cyndy’s Dolls, and Starry Night Hollow


Organized by Pamela Armas and Material Girls Cloth Doll Club

An exuberant exhibit of dolls highlighting the amazing artistry of cloth dollmakers from around the world. You'll see a wonderful variety of over 120 creations that are realistic, humorous, and fanciful.

Inspired by Endangered Species

Sponsored by
  Curated by Donna DeSoto

Featured in this important and timely collection are 111 skillfully made original portrayals of animals and plants whose numbers are plummeting. Passionate and inspired artists explore a wide range of species inhabiting the land, sky, and sea that are in jeopardy. And future generations deserve our greatest efforts to preserve and protect our precious planet and the beauty of species it contains.

In the American Tradition

Contemporary quilt makers often look to the art form’s rich tradition for inspiration in their own works. This exhibit features recently-made quilts that incorporate traditional blocks, styles, and/or techniques.

In the Course of the Seasons

Sponsored by

Each year, the European Patchwork Meeting organizes an international quilt competition. The contest attracts renowned artists from around the world, and the theme for the most recent meeting was “In the Course of the Seasons.” Quilts here show the coldness of winter, the mildness of spring, the sun of summer, and the shadow of fall.

In Full Bloom

Sponsored by

Flowers remain a popular design source and motif in all artistic media, including quilts. This annual exhibit showcases all floral-themed quilts, created in a variety of styles and using a number of techniques.


Landscape Quilts

From valleys and volcanoes, and mountains to monuments, landscapes often inspire artists. This exhibit showcases newly-made landscape quilts for which artists used a variety of  technique and styles: both hand and machine quilted, including appliquéd, pieced, or wholecloth quilts.

Log Cabin: 100k Artist—Amy Pabst

Sponsored by 

The Log Cabin block is one of the oldest and most recognizable, simple, and versatile American quilt patterns. This series focuses on miniature scale and explores the unlimited layout and design options of the Log Cabin. There are a total 102,779 individual fabric pieces used for the quilts in this exhibit.

Merging Cosplay with Traditional and Modern Quilting

Sponsored by  

A look at award-winning cosplay and how it impacts the areas of traditional and modern quilting and features the works of several creators. Casey Renee Cosplay specializes in garments inspired by the 16th to 18th centuries. Christine Zane is a quilter, surface designer, and “thread addict.” Toni Smith of Quiltoni creates pixel art and patterns using inspiration from the world around her.


Modern Quilt Guild Showcase

Sponsored by

Members of Modern Quilt Guild chapters from around the world submitted their creations for this exhibit which showcase traditional quilting techniques that also incorporate a Modern design aesthetic.

Pieces of My Life by ShIzuko Kuroha

Sponsored by

For more than 40 years, Shizuko Kuroha has been one of the most famous and revered quilters in Japan. She has spent her life searching and collecting antique Japanese fabrics, especially indigo fabrics from old futons and clothes. In this exhibit, she gives them a new life in her extraordinary quilts relying on the light, darkness, movement, design, and the energy of life.

Quilting as Therapy

Approximately five million people in the U.S. suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event in which physical harm was threatened or occurred. A person with PTSD learns skills to cope with the disorder. This exhibit features the work of two Army veterans who are using quilts and quilting to help them with their personal struggles.

Quilts: A World of Beauty

Presented by the International Quilt Association

See winners and finalists from the 2019 annual judged show of the International Quilt Association. Last year, more than $98,000 in cash, non-purchase prizes were awarded in 20+ categories. This is where the artists from around the world send their best work to compete.

Quilted Comics & Sci-Fi

Sponsored by

This juried exhibit celebrates the heroes, villains, characters, and costumes of comic book and science fiction pop culture. Quilts here showcase faces from comics and films like Batman, Wonder Woman, Storm, Aquaman, the Hulk, Yoda, Darth Vader, Zorro, and more. There are also characters from Disney films, “Game of Thrones,” video games, and even…legendary comic book creator Stan Lee!


Carol Mesimer was inspired to create this quilt after seeing footage of papers fluttering down from the World Trade Center buildings on Sept. 11, 2001. For her, each paper represented a life lost, and the void it then left for the victims’ families. This quilt will be a part of the permanent collection of the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York City.


Rising Stars – Maria Shell and Terry Grant

Sponsored by

This annual exhibit features the works of specially selected quilt artists who have developed and demonstrated substantial creative growth over recent time. This exhibit highlights the works of “rising stars” Maria Shell and Terry Grant.

Sapphire Celebration

Quilters have long used the color blue to symbolize trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Sapphire is also the chosen gem to celebrate 45th anniversaries—which International Quilt Festival is doing this year! These new and antique blue and white quilts will be suspended from the ceiling in a spectacular and unforgettable display.

SAQA Layered & Stitched: 50 Years of Innovative Art

Sponsored by      

This showcase of 50 seminal art quilts by renowned artists chart the evolution of the art quilt. This exhibit illustrates what the earliest art quilt pioneers were creating during the 1960's up to today's artists experimenting with new forms, materials, and digital technologies. Trace the development of this exciting art form as it developed from isolated makers into an international movement.

SAQA: Upcycle

Sponsored by

by  Lisa Ellis in Honor of SAQA's 30th Anniversary

Repurposing used materials is one of the most effective solutions available for dealing with today’s environmentally devastating waste issues. Fiber art also has a rich tradition of incorporating elements that would otherwise be discarded by turning them into compelling compositions. The quilts in this exhibit incorporate upcycled materials into their design and construction.


Shivarajyabhishek Quilt

Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was a warrior king in the 1600’s in India. Although his reign was short, he is considered to be one of the greatest warriors of his time, an inspiring personality, and father of a freedom movement for the Maharashtra state. This huge 210” x 86” quilt made by Shruti Dandekar and quilted by Manisha Iyer commemorates the coronation of Maharaj.


Tactile Architecture

Sponsored by

Buildings have a long history of inspiring the creative designs of quiltmakers. In the 19th century, American quilters developed classic architectural patterns such as Log Cabin, Schoolhouse, and Brick Wall. This annual juried exhibit challenges quiltmakers to create works based on architectural themes and inspirations.

The 10th Anniversary: Trash to Treasure Pineapple Challenge, Take 2

Sponsored by Trash to Treasure Pineapple Facebook Group

Under the cheerleading of teacher/artist Gyleen X. Fitzgerald, quilters from around the globe have created scrappy and stylized Pineapple quilts. The quilts here show how this one classic but versatile block can be adapted to create works in traditional, contemporary, modern, or any other quiltmaking genre with just a simple placement of fabric.

   A Celebration of the Human Spirit

Sponsored by
   Curated by Susanne Miller Jones

THEIRstory is a compilation exhibit featuring works from the previous “Fly Me to the Moon,” “HERstory: A Celebration of Strong Women,” and “OURstory: Human Rights Stories in Fabric” exhibits. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 mission and the first moonwalk and the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the Constitution which gave women the right to vote.

Women of the West

Sponsored by

The Homestead Act of 1862 gave women who were single, widowed, or divorced the chance to own 160 acres of land in the Great Plains. These pioneer women used their art, music, writings, and their sense of humor to create a new life. The American Indians were greatly impacted by Westward Expansion. The inclusion of beadwork in this exhibit acknowledges them. This exhibit features works by Kim Ritter, Janet Bodin, Susan Ennis, Ginny Eckley, and Kay Hendricks—and pays homage to the pioneering women of the past.