Thursday, 21 August 2014

Festival of Quilts 2014

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to spend a couple of days at the Festival of Quilts.  I have been a couple times in the past, just for a day and found it was never enough time.  So this year I decided to stay in Birmingham Thursday and Friday night so I could have all day Friday and most of Saturday at the show.

Surveying his domain by Lata Narayan

This meant I had enough time to have a proper look at the quilts, as well as fitting in lots of shopping and meeting up with lots of people.  I do have to admit the downside was I spent way more than I ever expected - think maybe I left a bit too much shop time on the schedule!


Paris by Anna-Karin Andermo


The quilts were breathtakingly beautiful, it was worth the extra day to be able to take my time and have a proper look at those. It does make me wish I could find some time to quilt, I felt so inspired by the quilts I saw.  The detail on the quilts was amazing, take a look at this close up of a quilt below called Norfolk by Harriet Wilson.  All those tiny little embroidery stitches.




What was even more amazing was the quilts by primary school children, they totally put my quilting to shame!

The magic of summer nature in my garden made by Mary Elton Primary School in Clevedon


I particularly like quilts (or fabric) with trees or leaves on.  They are my personal favourite.  There was a display of quilts made by countries around Europe. They each picked a season and made mini quilts with their interpretation of that season, below is one of the winter displays, from France.  It did make me realise that you don't have to make a huge quilt, but that in fact a mini quilt would take less materials and a little less time but look just as good, and can be used as a piece of art of hang on the wall.  I've decided I want to have a go at making a mini quilt.  It's on my list of things I want to try for 2015.



I got to meet up with lots of lovely people including Katy from I'm a Ginger Monkey who was there promoting her new magazine Quilt Now,  Sara from Sew Little to Say, Lynne from Lily's Quilts, Jenni from Love Patchwork and Quilting, fabric designer Nel Whatmore, Justine from Simply Solids, Linda from Search Press and many many more. If only I'd had more time to chat. I also got to meet several of my customers and sponsors who were exhibiting there.

Justine, Laura and Lisa on the Simply Solids stand

As for the shopping... it was amazing!  There was stand after stand of beautiful fabrics and lovely accessories, plus textile art and even quilts for sale. I went with good intention, I took £100 cash with me thinking I'd split that over the 2 days.  Of course by the end of day 1 that was gone!  So I took more cash out the next morning, and by the afternoon was buying on the card too.  I'm too scared to add up how much I actually spent in total, it might make me cry!  I was planning to go to the Westpoint show next month but after spending so much at this one I've decided it would be safer for me to stay at home.

My haul!

Above is a picture of my haul, in the back are 3 notebooks, 2 silk painted and one textile art one (I have a notebook addiction as well as a fabric addiction).  Next to them, on the back right, are 2 embroidery kits and some embroidery silks.  Far right is crushed walnut shells (for pincushions) and dried rose petals.  Then pretty much all the rest is fabric, some lovely Japanese fabrics, lots of nature themed ones, trees, leaves, animals etc.


Closer view of the fabrics I bought

Plus some Star Wars and Angry Birds fabrics to make things for my son and husband.  Under all of that lot is an A2 cutting board for my new sewing space, it perfectly fits that desk which is next to my sewing machine. Near the front on the left is some iron on bias for making stained glass style quilts which I fancy having a go at, perhaps one of the mini quilts I plan to make.

So as you can see I got a little carried away...  This is why I should stick to trade shows where I can't buy anything instead of retail shows!  I have no will power when it comes to fabric.

Amy Butler
I forgot to say I saw Amy Butler on the Cotton Patch stand when I was rushing past.  Unfortunately I didn't get chance to meet her but it looked like she was having a great time.

I'll leave you with a few more shots of the stunning quilts that were on display.

Fantasy to reality by Kathleen Matthews





The Frog King by Daniela Pippig



Snowing by Abeer Al-Khammash

The Magic Dream by Vera Skockova


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