Price: $7 for adults, $4 for children 3-12, children 2 and under get in free
Season passes are available for $25 each
Hours: Mon. to Fri. – 4 p.m. to Midnight, Sat and Sun – 10 a.m. to midnight

Houston is host to the largest annual quilt festival in the world each fall, but the Western traditions of quilting can be found in Houston during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo as well. Through the Houston Metro and Area Go Texan Committees, quilts from the various parts of Houston as well as the surrounding counties are displayed and judged by a panel of professional experts. This year, the Go Texan Quilt Contest has 63 stunning entries from across the state.

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Only one entry is selected from each of the Go Texan areas, making this show really the best of the best. Quilts were submitted in mid-January, and the best from each area will be entered into the contest and put on display in Reliant Center from February 28 through March 18, 2012.

The judges will be critiquing the entries on five areas: overall appearance, workmanship, suitability of color, originality and design. Each quilt will be placed in the division best suited for it based on its styling and construction, and the judges will award blue, red, white, green and Best of Division ribbons, in addition to the coveted Best of Show ribbon. 2011’s Best of Show was taken by the Go Texan Alief/Southwest entry – be sure to see what that area’s submission is this year.

(credit: Thinkstock)

The Go Texan Quilt Contest has been held annually since 1985 and is meant to show rodeo-goers part of the area’s Western heritage. All entries are modern, however; the rules require that each quilt entered into the competition was made in its Go Texan area within the past two years. This mix of fresh fabrics and fresh ideas with the tradition of quilting and historical inspiration creates a unique learning experience and breathtaking visual picture that cannot be found anywhere else.

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If you are inspired by the quilts in this year’s competition and want to create something yourself, make sure to check out these craft stores in the Houston area.

High Fashion Fabrics
3101 Louisiana St.
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 528-7299
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

This warehouse in midtown has more than 30,000 square feet of apparel fabrics, patterns, trims and more. Anyone interested in finding that special fabric that sets your project apart from the others needs to check out their giant store, sorted by fabric type.

Sew Contempo
6302 Highway 6, Suite S
Missouri City, TX  77459
(281) 333-5322
Hours: Monday – Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

This Houston-based shop has been in business for decades, selling fabrics, machines and offering classes at all levels. Want to learn a new machine technique? No problem. Need to know which end of the needle is up? Sew Contempo can turn even the most reticent seamstress into a quality crafter in no time. Classes for kids are also available, making crafting something the entire family can do together.

Texas Art Supply
2001 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 526-5221
Hours:  Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Sunday, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Texas Art Supply has been serving the artistic needs of Houstonians for years. Not only does the story carry paints, pastels, canvases and anything else you could think of to create fantastic art for your walls, but they also have an entire section dedicated to fabric crafts. Be sure to check out this Houston institution before you start your next project – you won’t regret it.

Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at