While the final attendance number of 54,646 is down about 12% from the all-time high figure at the 2014 “Ruby Jubilee” anniversary show, it is a healthy number that demonstrates quilting as a hobby and art form continues to be hugely popular.
“We knew that the building construction at the Convention Center and in downtown Houston this year might affect local attendance, and then we were faced with two days of heavy rain,” explains Festival founder Karey Bresenhan. “But quilters who were there had a wonderful time. And it takes a lot to stop a quilter from going to a quilt show!”
This year, Festival featured more than 1,300 quilts and works of textile art in more than 40 different special exhibits. That includes “Quilts: A World of Beauty,” the 2015 Judged Show of the International Quilt Association. Janet Stone took home the $10,000 Handi Quilter Best of Show Award (along with travel and hotel expenses) for her effort Ewe Are My Sunshine.
There were also nearly 1,100 shopping booths with everything from quilts, fabrics, patterns, and books to jewelry, home décor, and artisan goods. Festival’s Quiltmaking Academy boasted a lineup of over 415 classes and lectures for everyone from the beginning quilter to the expert stitcher. Of the attendance figure, 4,819 Festivalgoers also took at least one class.
The next edition of International Quilt Festival will take place April 7-9 (with classes beginning April 7) at the Donald E. Stephens Center in Rosemont, Illinois (right outside of Chicago). The 2016 Houston Festival will be held November 3-6 (with classes beginning Oct. 31). The show is produced by Quilts, Inc.