Sunday, 22 August 2010

Festival of Quilts

We have been away for a few days, but I was determined not to miss the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham, so we returned yesterday, and I have spent a lovely day viewing, being inspired and shopping! I started at the Traditional Quilt category (where better to start?) and was very impressed by the standard of entries.

Unfortunately I didn't pay attention to all the makers of these quilts so apologies in advance to all those who are not credited. This was a beautiful wholecloth hand quilted in the Welsh style by Hazel Ryder for her 25th wedding anniversary. Stunning!
Alexandra Rankin calls this design Indian wedding ring. It was foundation pieced and then all the applique, Celtic knots and quilting were done by hand. She says herself it was 'a challenging quilt'!
This quilt isn't really a prize winner (sorry Karen Hrbek) but I thought it was very good use of a printed panel. I think it appealed to me because it is very like the English medallion quilts, and the colours go together so well. Karen says she just 'started with the panel and worked her way out'! It certainly looks more planned than that!

Two things which struck me this year, were the number of landscape quilts and the use of photos. This hanging by Annie Eggink-Steenhoek is the 4 seasons. I'm sure you can work out which is which. She has used photos and printed images in a really meaningful way - they are part of the quilt design, instead of just photos surrounded by fabric, as can sometimes happen.
This quilt shows that the sampler quilt is alive and kicking!
This quilt made by Tracey Asplin was started by a pack of templates! She fussy cut fabrics to make all the different stars and hand pieced it in the car, on holidays and waiting for children! Apart from the superb choice of background colour, I like the way she has dealt with the tricky problem of the edge of a hexagon quilt. She has added bricks to allow them to float in a lush green field. Excellent!I have no idea who made this quilt, but I thought the marriage of the 'liberated' centre and the lively appliqued borders was perfect! This quilt, Fusion, is in fact a group quilt. Four people worked on it, and it's very suitable for today's trends towards self sufficency - and such an unusual design.
I was lucky enough to be treated to a view of the back of this fabulous quilt by Ferret, and it is even more beautiful than the front - if that's possible! The back is black, and all the feathers have been quilted in yellow, so there is a ghostly bird on the back as well! Thank you quilt angel for this opportunity.
This crazy quilt was sumptuous and must have been a delight to work on. A new quilt from a traditional idea by Fine Cell Work. The signature quilt isn't one often seen today, but the signatures on the stars are of important figures whose lives have some bearing on design, textiles and prison.It was hard to read them (unless one did complex acrobatics!) but here is Tracey Emin amongst others.While traditional quilts are my first love, I am firmly of the opinion that there is room for all in the quilting world, and enjoyed the many contemporary and art quilts too. This landscape quilt was lovely. You could just lose yourself in the scenery!

Another landscape - well, more of a map, really. Great colour choices.Ulva Ugerup calls this 'Fly out, dear Swedish ladies!' She has made applque and stitch portraits of famous Swedish ladies, not many I am able to recognise, but Anita Ekberg is the glamorous one in the top row.This was more of a shrine than a quilt, but Dorothy Crossley's 'Love Conquers All' looked great fun. It was for sale, but I didn't think my husband would be very pleased if I staggered home with it! The theme for the Young Quilters was Citiscapes, and there were many charming quilts made by individuals and school groups. This fantastic town in the air was made by Italian schoolchildren from Varese. Without wanting to detract from the achievement, I'm always wondering how much adult help or instruction went into it. Well, nevertheless, it's gorgeous!

Of course there were many exhibitions by professional quilters, but I couldn't photograph thier work, so what else did I do with my time? Shopping! Lots of temptation there! However, I was very good, and tried hard to buy only what I needed, and not what I wanted - tough with so many goodies on offer! I have never actually tried stack and whack, so bought a book on that. I bough some bargain red fabrics for a Christmas quilt I plan to start soon, some reproduction fabrics for my challenge quilt, including some V&A fabric which was all half price, threads, and tape to make cards or something. A great day, and lots of inspiration. Now for a pot of tea for twelve and a nice sit down!


orchidlover said...

Thnks for the photos. I couldn't get to Birmingham this year.

Love and hugs Gina xxx

Tonya R said...

looks like a fun show. love that "liberated" center with applique - yummy!

Contented Caroline said...

I went twice too - once just to look at the quilts( i still didn't get to see everything). That one of Ferret's was a particular favourite. Buy anything nice!!!! I seemed to have raided the Cotton Patch's booth - all those gorgeous Tanya Whelan, Amy Butler, Tilda and Kaffe Fasset fabrics.

Kathie said...

the quilts are amazing, thank you so much for sharing the pictures with us. I am always interested in seeing quilts made in other parts of the world.

Barb said...

OMG what a great show and tell, thank you so much!
I loved the first one with the welsh quilting. I sooo want to start an amish quilt and do lots of quilting, maybe in 2011.