10 quilts from the Sapphire Celebration special exhibit at International Quilt Festival 2019
January 27, 2020
2019 marked the 45th-anniversary of the International Quilt Festival. To celebrate, a special exhibit was featured at the 2019 International Quilt Festival in Houston. Check out highlights and 10 of my favorite quilts from the show!
Quilters have long used the color blue to symbolize trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, trust, 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.
10 of my favorite quilts from the show:
Blue Hawaii by Unknown Maker. Quilted by Ellen Phillips. The quilt top was donated to the Texas Quilt Museum in 2015 by Karen K. Buckley. The top was quilted by local Houston longarm quilter Ellen Happe Phillips in 2018. Echo quilting was selected to complete the quilt in the traditional Hawaiian method. The unknown hand appliquer was an expert in her craft. | On loan from the Texas Quilt Museum | Techniques: Hand appliqued, machine quilted | Design Source: Hawaiian quilting
detail of Blue Hawaii by Unknown Maker. Quilted by Ellen Phillips.
Pickle Dish by Andrea Blackhurst | Techniques: Machine pieced and quilted | Design Source: Miniature Quilts Magazine #35
detail of Pickle Dish by Andrea Blackhurst.
Alphabet Quilt by Andrea Blackhurst | Techniques: Hand appliqued, machine pieced and quilted | Design Source: Antique quilt
detail of Alphabet Quilt by Andrea Blackhurst.
Emily’s Pineapple Log Cabin by Sherrilyn O. Phelps. This began as a learning experience for me as a new quilter. It was for my daughter, so she picked the blue and white colors. I learned the block and then added my own borders after I got a longarm quilting machine. It was an exercise in learning | Techniques: Machine pieced | Design Source: Pineapple Log Cabin | Photo taken at 2019 International Quilt Festival
detail of Emily’s Pineapple Log Cabin by Sherrilyn O. Phelps.
Japanese Memories by Kathleen M. Littfin. I made 16 large blocks, each containing a sashiko piece and one or two shibori pieces, and several other blue and white fabrics in various sizes and styles to complement each other. I’m pleased that in the finished quilt, it’s difficult to discern the blocks. I enjoyed the sashiko so much that I also designed it into the border. There is something so aesthetically pleasing about the blue and white quilts, and this quilt contains only those two colors, but many combinations, textures, and patterns.. | Techniques: Hand embroidered, machine pieced and quilted | Design Source: Shibori fabric
detail of Japanese Memories by Kathleen M. Littfin.
Spiderweb Star by Unknown Maker. This wonderful string-pieced star or spider web quilt is hand quilted ten stitches to the inch. It is an example of the quiltmaker’s expertise and attention to detail. On loan from the collection of International Quilt Festival. | Techniques: Hand pieced and quilted | Design Source: String-pieced stars
detail of Spiderweb Star by Unknown Maker.
Ice Crystals by Cheryl Degan. Quilted by Emily Bowers. This was my first ever string pieced quilt. I love this quilt because it reminds me of the fun I had sewing with my dear friends on a weekend quilting retreat. | Techniques: Machine pieced and quilted. | Design Source: Images on Pinterest
detail of Ice Crystals by Cheryl Degan. Quilted by Emily Bowers.
Poakalani Heliconia by Karen L. Crawford. Quilted by Pat Gorelangton. This traditional Hawaiian quilt was made by hand during a stay in Honolulu, Hawaii. I attended the Poakalani School of Hawaiian quilting where I obtained the pattern and made the quilt top. Pat Gorelangton hand quilted it for me in a traditional Hawaiian way. The heliconia plant to me is one of the most beautiful of the Hawaiian flowers. | Techniques: Hand appliqued and quilted | Design Source: The Hawaiian heliconia plant and flower
detail of Poakalani Heliconia by Karen L. Crawford. Quilted by Pat Gorelangton.
Trifecta by Joy F. Palmer. I saw a similar quilt by Tanya Finken in Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting. I thought I could make a quick simple quilt, but more than three months later, I was still working on it with lots of undoing and mixed up rows. Finally, I quilted it with a longarm machine with the quilt tilted in the machine—also an interesting learning experience. | Techniques: Machine pieced | Design Source: Tanya Finken’s quilt in Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting
detail of Trifecta by Joy F. Palmer.
Carpenter’s Square by Unknown Maker. An indigo and white Carpenter’s Square is distinguished by an unusual diagonal block. Constructed by hand and machine, the quilt features double line hand quilting in a windowpane pattern with a hand stitched binding. On loan from the collection of International Quilt Festival. | Techniques: Hand pieced and quilted, machine pieced | Design Source: Interlocked Squares
detail of Carpenter’s Square by Unknown Maker. Do you have a favorite blue and white quilt? Comment below!
Yes, I did have a favorite, mine! It wasn’t one of your favorites, but you did show a picture of it since it was hanging above one of your favorites! Thank you for sharing pictures since a lot of us didn’t get to go, we didn’t get to see all of the other entries.
I’m so glad you enjoyed two of my quilts-Alphabet and Pickle Dish!
The whole exhibit was wonderful!
Hi Andrea, Congratulations—they’re beautiful quilts! I usually tag makers on Instagram so they see the post, but unfortunately, this info wasn’t on the label. I’m so glad you found the blog post! Many thanks again, Sheri