IQF Awards Ceremony

posted in: Awards, Windblown | 21

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.

21 Responses

  1. Susan Voegtly

    So thrilled for you and proud of you!!
    Way to go, Woman!!!

  2. Ann Wiseman

    Besides loving your quilting style, I also love your writing style. Had me right there with you, feeling the whole gamut of your emotional roller coaster! Well done, and well done! : ) Thanks for sharing with us!!

  3. BJ

    Congratulations! It was such great fun watching Windblown being born and the processes you went through to develop her. You have been greatly and justly rewarded for a wonderful masterpiece.

  4. Laura

    Congratulations! Enjoy your week there absorbing all that beauty. I’m sure you’ll come away inspired for your next masterpiece! I vote that your loyal roadie gets an iPad out of some of that prize money! ; )

  5. Lynn Luckoski

    Awesome Maria!!! Congratulations! You look MAH-velous!!!! Just right for YOU! What a wonderful experience… and I’m glad your husband took pictures also! Can’t wait to see you again… Have a great time on the rest of your trip! You deserve it!


  6. Ethne

    Congratulations – a justly deserved award – well done and enjoy the admiration – I wish I could see it in person

  7. Sharon Driver

    Congratulations, Maria!!!! Loved your accounting of the award ceremony!


  8. Brenda

    Great to know your work of art was recognized for what it was. Also sounds like I realize more of the modest artist, after knowing you were emailing me today about iPad apps. 😉 Your feet are on the ground, sister. Congratulations! Windblown is so much more than a quilt.

  9. stacyhurt

    What a thrill!!! I’m so excited for you! I laughed and laughed when you told of straightening your shirt & holding the tummy in! That is such a wonderful human thing to share and I bet every woman out there was doing the same! A hearty congratulations to you! Enjoy your time at festival!

  10. Shannon Hicks

    Wonderful, simply wonderful. I totally agree with everything Ann Wiseman said. Talented woman in so many areas. I love that you appear to have to have no sense of Diva about you at all! I adore your humble nature! <3

  11. M-R @ Quilt Matters

    Congratulations again, Maria! I adore Windblown and am so thrilled that you won. Your post was a fascinating picture of the awards ceremony. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  12. Pieces of Sunshine

    Wonderful to hear you are so ordinary and humble. I guess that’s partly why you put your all into your work. You are passionate about the product and process, more than any hopes of winning and acclaim.

  13. Beth Schillig

    CONGRATS MARIA!! What a wonderful award to win and so deserving. And I LOVE your story and way you worded it, so fun to read. You looked great and have a great time at the Preview Party!

    Beth Schillig

  14. Lisa

    Congratulations! Love the roses. It is such a beautiful piece! I’ve loved reading the blog while it was being created.

  15. Janet

    Thank you for sharing your trip…now I have to read about the other days. Congratulations on your win! I’m so excited for you.

  16. Janice Paine-Dawes

    Congratulations again Maria. This piece is outstanding and your honor is well deserved.