2023 International Quilt Festival Winning Quilts


Mark Bach discusses the winning quilts from The 2023 International Quilt Festival. Learn and see the quilts now.

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2023 International Quilt Festival Winning Quilts

The International Quilt Festival, held in Houston, Texas, sponsors a large quilt display with several unique exhibit categories each year. The always hugely popular Festival, held November 2-5, 2023, follows a "trade-only" International Quilt Market held at the same George R. Brown Convention Center from October 28-30, 2023.

2023 International Quilt Festival Winning Quilts


Quilts are entered in 31 categories in addition to these judged major awards. Seeing these award winners will undoubtedly boost your creativity and awe for the craftsmanship displayed by the entries. There are six major winners.



Best of Show --- Monkeys in My Hair - Evie

Deborah Hyde made this original quilt to celebrate her granddaughter Evie. The attention to detail in this quilt was incredible, and the quilting helped to make the entry striking. She only uses commercially available fabrics and figures out what colors she needs to help make the portraits. Look closely; you might see the monkeys in the granddaughter's hair.



Master Award for Machine Artistry --- Filigree Calligraphy

This quilt has so many elements, from a free-motion alphabet to hand-dyed fabrics and linen. Janet Stone indicated it is her 25th quilt in her Alphabet Quilt series. I would love to see the first 24! She started the series in 2008. She is self-taught in machine embroidery. After that first quilt won some praise and awards, she repeated the theme and look what happened. Each one takes 6-9 months each. Aren't we lucky she kept on going?

Machine Artistry


Master Award for Traditional Artistry --- Beauty in the Broken

The quilt is nearly six feet by six feet and is another original design. Canada's Kathy K. Wylie felt this quilt helped demonstrate how "there is beauty that is only experienced in hardship." The subtle colors reinforce that intent, and the soft, lacy edging helps to define this great quilt. Look closely as she made an applique quilt with holes in it. Everywhere you see "black," that is not background fabric that is an actual absence of any material whatsoever. Truly amazing.

Traditional Artistry


Master Award for Innovative Artistry ---Those Darn Boys

Another original design by Judy Crotts shows how fabric can help display movement via the children's clothing. At the same time, the facial areas consist of multiple pieces seamlessly blended into great, artistic looks.

Innovative Artistry


Master Award for Contemporary Artistry --- Summer Shower

From Japan, Akiko Matsumura brought this tranquil, gardenesque design. You can see the light blue sky peeking through the array of green leaves. She added, "the sight was very pleasant to me, and I love this place." So naturally, she crafted her award-winning design.

Contemporary Artistry


Master Awards for Thread Artistry --- Fullness

Another winner from Japan, the embroidery was added to a traditional "Baltimore" design to help the applique stand out. Stand out it did; Yoshiyuki Ishizaki ended up with a jaw-dropping work of art.

Thread Artistry


These quilts and more (over 1,600) will be displayed during the International Quilt Festival. It is the largest annual quilt show in the United States and will contain over 1,000 booths selling the latest fabric, patterns, and supplies. The Festival also hosts over 550 classes and lectures for sewists.

I can't wait to see them in person. Will you be there?



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Attaching individual pieces of fabric to a background to form a design.

Same As: Appliqué

See Also: Freezer Paper Applique, Needleturn Applique, Machine Applique, Reverse Applique, Shadow Applique
Background Fabric
The fabric used as the background when placing Applique pieces.
Mark Bach
Mark Bach is an accomplished freelance writer covering multiple fields and embroiders on his wife's projects. He features new trends in the quilting industry and is always on the lookout for new tools and tricks to make quilting easier.
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