Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Quilts UK at Malvern

Last week it was Quilts UK at Malvern, and I was lucky enough to go on a bus trip organised by Ruth. No stress, no strain, lots of chatting on the way there, and a little sleep on the way back! I have to say that while I thoroughly enjoyed the day (due in no small part to the good company I had in Paula!) I was underwhelmed at the display of quilts. There were, of course, some fabulous ones, but the majority of quilts looked like something I could make myself, but which I would never feel worthy enough to put in a show. The show guide (while reasonably priced) was very confusing, and it took ages to work out where the descriptions of the quilts were (surely letters should be listed in alphabetical order?) and where the traders were too. Still there was lots of good stuff, and here are my highlights.

Having made an aeroplane quilt myself this year, I was interested in this one. A blurry photo, but an easier block than the one I did! An unusual quilt with three dimensional flowers. This was designed and made by Kate Elgood, and it repaid a closer look. Not only was the workmanship excellent, but look at this gardening fabric she has used as a background! You would never have thought that it would work, but it just enhances the whole theme of the quilt! Here is a beautifully hand-quilted strippy. It's a copy of an old, damaged one found at a house clearance. This is so sophisticated in colour - an absolute gem! (Sorry I didn't get a clear view of this quilt. The show was very busy, and it ws impossible to find a quilt without admirers! )This one is made me cross. I recognised this quilt straightaway as Bonnie Hunter's design 'Christmas Stars'. In the show guide there is no mention of Bonnie at all, just a self important statement about how the maker has designed her own continuous-line quilting design, "and this is something I like to do on every quilt I make." Now, Bonnie is very generous with her patterns, putting them on her website free of charge and giving blanket permission for the maker to display designs to be used in shows or even taught in classes. But that is no reason to just take the design and not even credit her! Just rude behaviour.
This one caught my eye for its superb use of colour. The African fabrics are used to great effect.This group quilt came from a challenge to use only black and white, and make a small hanging the size of a ruler. I'm sure a member of this group would be able to easily identify the makers of each part! I loved this whimsical seaside quilt (Paula didn't, thus proving that we are all different!) The centre was delightful, but the border of beach huts was fabulous.Here is a close up of the border, and you can see the fun the maker has had with the details, both the applique and the quilting.

My favourite part of the show (apart from the shopping, which was excellent!) was the theme quilts, all on the theme of Log Cabin. This block is so versatile, and its design was pushed to the limits!
This one was a log cabin in a log cabin. Very striking.

This one must have sent the maker's eyes funny - but it emphasises the log cabin effect wonderfully.
A fabulously bright and cheerful one, embellished by huge strippy flowers.A prize winning quilt, made from pieces of blue Ikat fabric. It looks good from a distance and equally good close up. Here the log cabin blocks have been cut into quarters, shuffled, and sewn into new blocks. The sashing gives structure to the higgledy piggledy blocks. Facsinating.

Courthouse steps meets Kaffe Fassett. A worthy pairing.A crazy log cabin quilt, with bags of attitude. the colour scheme makes it look very traditional at first glance, but the craziness of the blocks adds loads of interest and movement.And finally, a quilter's notice board, with snippets of this and that, and lots of advice! Every quilter should have one! And as to the shopping, I managed to buy a certain number of things! Notably this copy of 'Dear Jane', which I'm hoping will be the pattern for a new quilt. Look out for news of this soon!


Contented Caroline said...

I agree with everything you mentioned Lynda. I also thought some of the quilts were hung very badly too. I noticed a lot of stalls selling the same patterns and BOM's (all from the US), no offense to American readers but just thought it was a wee bit peculiar - heard LOTS of people talking about that too.

Liz said...

Dear Jane is the most extraordinary quilt and the book is lovely to read as Brenda writes letters to Jane chronicalling her research and her journey. Do you fancy a house group to keep us all on track and sharing techniques tea and cake etc?

Amo said...

I missed this year, John has been wonderful enough for the past two to take me there so perhaps a miss was a good idea. Why is there a block around the wrong way in the court house steps??? Was that intentional? It's very uncomfortable to look at.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

I enjoyed your post...I missed Malvern this year..though I did wave to the quilters in Dunchurch as they made their way! :o)

I have to agree with Amo...I found it strange that the block is twisted in that log cabin..makes me a wee bit uncomfortable too!