Today sweet hubby and I made our way to Houston, Texas today so we could attend the awards celebration for the International Quilt Festival. I’ve been waiting for tonight for several weeks, ever since I was told that “Windblown” won one of the top eight awards. So I put on the fanciest clothes I was willing to buy — no small thing for a jeans and t-shirt girl. (Thank you, DD#2!)
It was so exciting as they announced the awards for the various categories. Oh my, these quilts are amazing! They announce the honorable mentions, third place, then second. When they announce the first place, a black curtain is raised and a spotlight illuminates the winning quilt and it simply glows! You hear the audience gasp in appreciation of its beauty and the winner comes forward to receive her prize envelope.
After all of the category awards are announced, it is time for the final eight awards. I confess I was looking at the size of the curtains concealing each of the winning quilts. There was one that was smaller than all the rest. I highly suspected mine was under that smallest curtain. I was absolutely thrilled when they announced that “Windblown” received the Fairfield Master Award for Contemporary Artistry!!!
It is somewhat surreal when it’s your name that is called. I didn’t hear anything as I pulled down the hem of my shirt and tried to hold in my stomach. I was concentrating on climbing the steps without tripping. Things become automatic. Take the flowers they’re handing me. Smile. A camera flashes. Back down the steps to my seat and it’s over. What just happened? It’s all a blur. Good thing sweet hubby took pictures!
Here’s proof it really happened.
After the ceremony everyone comes up to examine the quilts more closely. It’s fun watching the different personalities of each quilter. Some stand next to their quilt, regaling their audience with stories. Some gather up all the compliments like rose petals to be lovingly dried and kept for fragrant potpourri. Others enjoy the spotlight of fans taking their pictures with the winning quilt. I lasted about 10 seconds. It’s all too weird and uncomfortable for me. I’m too much of a hermit personality. Once or twice I stood next to my quilt for a photo op when a quilter I knew asked me to. I answered a few questions. Otherwise, I much preferred standing about 10 feet away. I enjoyed watching people get up as close as possible to examine one feature or another. I tried to eavesdropped a bit, mostly unsuccessfully. At one point I was near two ladies talking about it. They suddenly recognized me and stopped talking. Darn! Foiled again! That’s when I decided I had been by my quilt long enough. I know tomorrow night I have to stand next to my quilt during Preview Night. That will be more than enough for me!
Here are the beautiful flowers.
All in all, it really was an amazing time 🙂 More to come tomorrow.
You can see the entire list of winning quilts on the IQA website.