International Quilt Festival: Stories behind the quilts

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The intricate work behind the hundreds of quilts at the International Quilt Festival goes beyond just the fabric and threads.

With tens of thousands of people from more than 50 countries descending upon the city of Houston, quilters and fans of their work came to admire the techniques and unique designs displayed at the festival in its 43rd year.

The stories that make up the hundreds of pieces displayed at the George R.Brown Convention Center are inspired from a variety of sources.

Kathy Wylie is from Whitby, Canada, and has been quilting for more than 20 years. She's been a participant in the festival for years.

This year, she chose time as her theme for her quilt, which she named "For Such a Time as This."

"I started off with the idea of 12 because of 12 hours and 12 months. I divided the medallion in 12 and included birth flowers and birthstones, leaves changing color with the seasons, moon phases and shapes of an hourglass and infinity," Wylie said.

It took Wylie three years to complete the quilt, but all that hard work was worth it. She won the top prize in the traditional appliqué category.

Another quilt at the festival called "Family Reunion" was created by Barbara McCraw of Denton, Texas. Her inspiration came from doing research about her family on

"I found several members of my family that I had long hoped to find. The center shows a vision I had of my great-grandparents getting married at the Oakdale Plantation. Each block arranged around the center depicts my life and all that I hold dear. It was made in honor of my family," McCraw said.

Karlee Porter, an artist from Utah, took home the blue ribbon for the surface design category for her piece called "Disparity."

"The inspiration for this design was the word disparity. The skull was used as a centerpiece to remind the viewer that all life comes from something that must one day die.This piece is my statement on the idea that beauty can come even from within the darkest places," Porter said.

The quilt festival runs through Nov. 5. Click here for more information.

Report a typo to the ABC13 staff
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.