Karey Bresenhan is proud of her five generations of Texas Quilters. She has made quilts her life’s work, not as an artist but as a businesswoman. She opened a quilt shop know as Great Expectations in 1974. She has operated the International Quilt Festival, which is held annually in Houston, Texas, and created Quilt Market, a wholesale trade show, in 1980. She took the conference format known as Quilt Expo to Europe in 1988, and the European Quilt Market is now a part of the conference.
Her collection of quilts began with inherited family quilts, but she has added 19th century as well as contemporary quilts. Due to her interest in Texas quilt heritage she and her cousin, Nancy O’Bryant Puentes, researched Texas quilts and prepared an exhibition of the most outstanding quilts. Two books resulted from the project: Lone Stars: A Legacy of Texas Quilts: 1836-1936 and Lone Stars: A Legacy of Texas Quilts: 1936-1986. She co-authored, with Robert Bishop and Honoree Bonnie Leman, Hands All Around: Quilts From Many Nations for the Great American Quilt Festival in New York City in 1987. Her name appears in the book 88 Leaders in the Quilt World Today.
With Shelly Zegart, she founded The Alliance her American Quilts. This organization recently received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to set up the International Quilt Index.
Founder, Quilts Inc. and International Quilt Festival & Market, author, collector. Inducted in 1995 at The Quilters Hall of Fame Celebration, Marion, Indiana.
Research Associate: Robert Ruggiero