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Things to Know about the Houston Quilt Festival If You’re Planning to Go

Things to Know about the Houston Quilt Festival If You’re Planning to Go

Across the world, there are over 85 million crafters and one of the most popular ones is quilting. The Houston Quilt Festival is one of the country’s biggest celebrations of the art form.

The festival isn’t your grandma’s ordinary quilting club. It’s a vibrant collection of patterns and colors, where the fabric themselves tell the tales of their artists. 

Whether you’re a seasoned quilt enthusiast or just someone wondering what goes on in this festival, join us on this journey through a quilted wonderland, where stitches speak louder than words at the Houston Quilt Festival!

What do I need to know about the Houston Quilt Festival?

The International Quilt Festival is the largest quilt show, sale, and educational event in the entire United States that’s held in Houston every year during the fall season. 

The Houston Quilt Festival began in 1975.

Image Source: International Quilt Festival Houston Official Website

Back in 1974, the seeds of the International Quilt Festival were planted by Karey Bresenhan. Her journey began when she opened an antique store in Houston that has now grown into a huge quilt shop.

The story took an exciting turn in the following year when Karey decided to express her appreciation to the community that embraced her vision. 

That’s when the very first thank you show, sale, and event for customers happened. Year after it it got bigger, and was made into an official event, marking the humble beginnings of what would grow into the International Quilt Festival.

The International Quilt Festival in Houston is open to the public. 

Image Source: International Quilt Festival Houston Official Website

The International Quilt Festival is a 4 day event that is held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston every year. The festival usually takes place anywhere between the end of October to the beginning of November. 

The 2024 Houston Quilt Festival will be held from October 31 to November 3. A ticket  usually goes for $15 and grants you 1 day entrance and access to all the activities too. You can check the displays as well as purchase some of them from the booths there. 

The festival has been continuously drawing in a global crowd of 55,000 quilting enthusiasts from over 35 countries to exhibit their own works or view the collection spanning more than 1,600 quilts and textile masterpieces from different artists. 

But the magic doesn’t stop there. There is also a special exhibition and shopping pavilion for accessories featuring beads, buttons, and jewelry. Another pavilion brings back the romance of bygone eras with lace, linens, teacups, and antique postcards.

The International Quilt Festival in Houston is open to the public. -2

Image Source: International Quilt Festival Houston Official Website

The festival isn’t just a visual feast either. It’s an opportunity to learn. With 550 classes, forums, and lectures catering to all skill levels, it’s also a hands-on journey into the world of quilting, where beginners and seasoned quilters alike can refine their craft.

There are Business Seminars, Take & Teach classes, and lectures that delve deep into the art and business of quilting. Sampler instructional classes on basic and more intricate quilting are also available. 

The Schoolhouse Series and Demo Alley add an interactive flair, offering insights and demonstrations on the latest products and techniques. Here, seasoned quilters do live demonstrations or share personal experiences that might help you.

Address: 1001 Avenida de las Americas, Houston, Texas, United States 

Phone Number: +1 713 781 6864 


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You can enter a piece to the Houston Quilt Show.

Image Source: International Quilt Festival Houston Official Website

The Houston Quilt Show is an event that’s part of the International Quilt Festival in Houston where quilts submitted from across the globe are displayed. 

Anyone can submit an entry to the Houston Quilt Show for a non-refundable fee of $20. The show has multiple categories and one person is limited to 2 submissions for every category, with no limit to how many categories you want to join. 

You can enter a piece to the Houston Quilt Show.-2

Image Source: International Quilt Festival Houston Official Website

Each category will then have its own set of rules and restrictions for your entry to be valid. You can check them here

Once you have completed your piece, you send a picture to the organizers. A qualified jury then makes a decision and if your piece qualifies, you’ll be asked to ship it in advance to be displayed at the event. 

There are cash and non-cash prizes up for grabs including 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in each category and special awards like Best of Show, Viewers’ Choice, Judges Choice, and others

The Quilt Market is a wholesale trade show held during the International Quilt Festival. 

For 3 days (October 26 to 28 for 2024), you’ll have access to around 600 booths from quilting material like fabrics to sewing machines and books. 

You can join the market as an attendee or as an exhibitor. But, since it’s a trade show, It’s only open to people with employee credentials or business owners, both to attend and to be an exhibitor. 

To attend, you will fall under any of the 2 categories which grant you a badge if you fulfill the specific requirements. The Buyers Badge will be given to proven shop owners, retailers, or purchasing employees. 

The Industry Professional Badges grant businesses within the industry but aren’t involved in the direct buying and selling of quilting supplies. 

To become an exhibitor, you have to be a business that provides wholesale supplies to anything related to quilting and fulfill their requirements too. 

Pro Tip:
Don’t miss out on the Sample Spree that happens the night before the market floor opens where some exhibitors offer samples of their goods for sale while they set up.
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