It was a fairly predictable quilt show, nicely presented with the usual black drape and pipe arrangement. Most of the quilts were lovely bed-size works, many created for family and friends. You could tell that there had been local workshops on French Braid quilts, and several quilters cited authors or teachers or classes that were the basis for their work. Kaffe Fassett fabrics and designs were popular, as were themes of patriotism, cats, dogs, Christmas, Texas (cowboys, horses, boots, etc.), and flowers. There were only eleven art quilts, sort of off in a corner by themselves, quite interesting but not attracting a lot of attention. The Tentmakers works were in an area with vendors, and they were magnificent. I had no idea the stitching was so fine; graphically they were outstanding. Unfortunately the person who had arranged to show them, Nasreen Saeedi, had many other responsibilities during the show and wasn't able to spend a lot of time in the Tentmakers exhibit. She had several of her own wonderful works on display, won several ribbons, and is very active in the guild.
They did have a very good market; once I discovered HMorehead Fabric Design I was lost. Mr. Morehead is a marvelous shibori dyer with very reasonable prices. I had not intended to buy anything (heaven knows, I have enough fabric!) but ended up with two pairs of socks, a tie-dyed bandana, and two large shibori pieces in purple, pink, red, bits of blue and white.
OK, that wore me out and so today I drove about 120 miles to College Station to attend two fiber exhibits with seven artists from San Antonio, Austin, and the Hill Country. The first was a local show from the Art Council of the Brazos Valley, "All Things Fiber," which included weaving, rugs, various types of embroidery, knitting, felting, clothing, and paper. Lots of innovation and some truly exquisite needlepoint. Then we had lunch and pressed on toward the Texas A&M campus, where the international exhibit "Beyond Comfort" was displayed in the Stark Gallery. This was sponsored by SAQA, an invitational show where the artists were challenged to stretch beyond their comfort zones. The works were fascinating, utilizing materials like steel plates, CDs, wire, police tape, melted plastic as well as fabric, string and thread. Until you've seen it, you can't imagine what these artists can do to/with fiber. We pretty much had the gallery to ourselves, so we could wander around wondering "how the heck did she do that?", peering up close and trying to figure out the construction methods. This is one of the great things about hanging out with colleagues--you can do more than admire, and nobody says, "That doesn't look like a quilt to me!"