Thursday, 20 August 2009

The Festival of Quilts

Today I went to Birmingham to the Festival of Quilts - 'the best quilt show in Europe' as I heard someone describe it! It's certainly a fabulous show, with the quilts (naturally), the shopping (of course) and exhibitions from lots of famous and talented quilters and groups from all around the world. Here are some of my favourite quilts from the show.

This Russian quilt was called something about honey, and had bees and fabulous stitching on it.

This gateway had been made nearly life-sized, to give the impression that you could step right through it. It certainly works for me.
The 'Tree of Life' with abundance surrounding it. Fabulous.
A contemporary quilt called 'Energy'. Amazing.
A French quilt where the workmanship was amazing. Not only was it hand appliqued, but it was heavily hand quilted too, mainly in stippling. A real labour of love.
The winner of the Young Quilter 12-16 age group. The theme was 'Pearls of the Orient' and the onion shaped domes of the Royal Pavilion suggest the opulence of the East. Pearly buttons complete the allusion.

I've just realised that nearly all the quilts I liked were appliqued! Here are two which aren't. This one is a sampler quilt made from patterns to be found here and inspired by a Jennifer Chaverini book 'The Master Quilter'.

There was a super exhibition of Ferret's work, including this wholecloth-on-acid! The black fabric has been heavily machine quilted with black and white thread, to stunning effect.

And as to the shopping, well I couldn't resist! A pack of '10 fat quarters for £10', some neutral fat quarters, a black design from 'Aussie Dreams' to be included in my next quilt as a memory of our play, four reels of thread, two notebooks to be embellished and two books. One is the Quilter's Guild new 'Quilt Studies' essays and the other 'Slice 'Em and Dice 'Em Quilts', showing how to make simple blocks and cut them up to make more complex ones. More of that later! If you would like to see how the group quilt which Ruth and organised fared in the exhibition, lok here, but be warned, it doesn't make for happy reading!