Sunday, 26 August 2012

Festival of Quilts 2012 - Part 1

After much prevarication I decided to go to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham which was held last weekend.

I was not too keen on going. It is the 10th year of the show, and somehow over the past two years or so I had got rather tired with it all. None of the workshops had appealed and over the years there have been a proliferation of what I would prefer to call machine embroidered pictures with rather too much painted fabric and a reliance on software - fine if you can paint and have an expensive sewing machine that does fancy embroidery stitches. My machine is a sewing machine, not an embroidery machine, and I like to see some element of pieced and/or applied fabrics onto a background to provide colour and texture rather than a whole load of coloured threads and paints - well, that's my opinion...

I also like to see some antique or vintage quilts at shows - in previous years there had been a passing nod to this group, with a couple of antique quilts on display, but I think some forget that antique quilts can be just as inspirational as contemporary/art quilts. What is the difference between these two classifications? As you will see from the photographs below, interpretation of the associated definitions leave undertsanding wide open and I just wonder whether soemthing needs to be done about this?

This year we had a couple of bonuses - Dorothy Osler had a small display of Welsh and Amish quilts to promote her new book which investigates the relationship between the Welsh woolen quilts and the Amish quilts of the 19th and early 20th century. I went along to her lecture and I will be writing more about this in another blog. Pam Lintott of The Quilt Room in Dorking also had a small display of vintage quilts in her collection which had inspired her to design and write a new book based on "Jelly Rolls." We were allowed to take photographs of quilts in both stands, but curiously, the Quilt Museum stand would not allow photography of their quilts which was based on a theme of Turkey red - I really do not understand why - they are all owned by the Museum and this prohibition hardly encourages quilt study. But time now to get off my soap box :-)

So, make a cuppa, sit back and I hope you enjoy the photographs of some of the quilts that took my eye:-

Art Quilts

Canal Country
Alicia Merrett, Wells

Karin McKelvey, London

Close-up of Elliegoat
"Machine pieced and quilted... with some hand quilting to add a bit
of structure"

Alliums II
Marianne Mohandes, Newbury

Close-up of Alliums II
"Raw edge applique with hand and machine quilting
incorporating machine embroidery on my Husqvana software,
plus button embellishments"

Golden Days
Janina Moore, Weeley

Close-up of Golden Days
"Cotton, silk, vilene. Procion and plant dyes, silk paint
termofax screen printing, discharge, batik, drawing pens.
Machine appliqued and quilted"

Vikings Beware
Jane Appelbee, Milltimber

Close-up of Vikings Beware
"Machine and hand quilted. Wholecloth. Hand dyed (with snow)
Egyptian cotton. Markal paint sticks. Cotton wadding"

Wrapped in Gentleness
Hiromi Yokota, Yokohama, Japan

Close-up of Wrapped in Gentleness
"All hand: applique, embroidery, quilting, piecing, piping cord
and 70,000 beads hand sewn to quilt"

And... in my opinion totally in the wrong class when compared to the
Winner of the Art Quilt Class
Olga Gonzalez Angulo, Girona, Spain

"Photography, photo re-touching with Photoshop, photo silkscreen in the fabrics
has sewn piece with a straight stitch, quilting by machine"

Contemporary Quilts

There's an Echo in my Cherry!
Trudi Wood, Lincoln

Colourful Kaleidoscope
Tracy Aplin, Deal

Kay Bell, Hawick

Reach for the Stars
Liz Cornish, Kidderminster

Not sure why some of the above were not in the Traditional class...?

Winner of the Contemporary Quilt Class
Byland Pieces
Linda Bilsborrow, Sale

Based on remnants of the tiled floor of Byland Abbey, now in the
collection of the British Museum
More photographs to come tomorrow...


  1. I, too, skip shows with mostly art and/or 'modern' quilts. While they may fit the strict definition of a quilt, they don't fit MY definition of a quilt. I very much prefer shows of traditional quilts, especially if those shows include antiques. If I know they won't be shown, I do something else. Maybe it's just my age!

  2. I like the scrappy "Reach For the Stars". Probably because it is more traditional in style.