Friday, 24 June 2011

Quality Quilting

This time last week, my sister and I headed off by rail to Esher in Surrey and found ourselves at the Sandown Quilt Show. It's one I'd not been to before and whilst on a much smaller scale than the beloved International Festival of Quilts, it's easy for me to get to and there's plenty to wander round in a day.

This event is an opportunity to shop, as there are lots of fabric and quilting supply shops, but also to look and admire a lot of quilts for it is also a quilt competition. Below, behold the pretty darned spectacular winner of best in show.

The mind boggles at the amount of work in this. The hand quilting is beautiful and the piecing is very accurate. Whether or not each and every quilt is necessarily to your own personal taste, you cannot help but admire the skill and dedication that has gone into these works of art.

This one was very cute and contained some flannel fabrics so appeared very tactile (though I didn't touch, no no no!)

The quilting on this one was beautiful and the flowers had been hand painted.

I loved this traditional Grandmother's Flower Garden design but sister and I agreed that we were not a fan of the modern swirly quilting. Each to their own, of course.

I do admire machine quilting, it's a definite skill, and I love it on whole cloth quilts such as this one below where I feel it's appropriate for the quilting to take centre stage. I suppose I am a fabricaholic so I don't personally like it when the quilting overpowers the fabric and piecing. Sister and I noted that there is a definite bias towards swirly machine quilting at the moment.

Some quilts went for the pictorial look which I do rather like for its whimsical quality.

Sorry this is a rubbish photo but there was a whole row of these cute appliqued quilts and I fell in love with the miniature quilt you can see in each one.

More very skilled applique featured in this quilt. This didn't win anything which many of us observers commented seemed a shame. It must be devastating to put in all that hard work and not see it rewarded. It's always interesting at competitions to see who the judges choose to win and whether or not you agree!

Shopping? Who said shopping? There was a very large area full of quilty loveliness to buy but I didn't take many photos because it was firstly very busy, and secondly, I was too carried away shopping myself! Sister and I had made a pledge that we were not in need of any more fabric. Well you can imagine the outcome of that, can't you?!

We were pleased to find a stall with some vintage fabrics for us and the stall holders were delightful and knew of my blog which always seems funny!

There is fabric of every variety on offer and you can find the odd bargain if you look hard enough which is necessary now cotton prices have gone through the roof. I've noted all the fabric and batting I buy has gone up in recent months between 15% and 25%. Ouch!

We were amazed by the lovely cross stitch cards on this stall, oh if only I had the patience or the time!

This fair is well worth a visit if you live nearby and advance tickets are only £6 each which I think is very good value. We had a lovely time and ended up running for our train home, as usual, trailing bags of batting in our wake!


  1. These are beautiful although I don't know how the makers have the commitment. I'm always wanting to get on to the next project! The heart one is my fave.

  2. Wow, what a wonderful show!!! So much work and love went into these quilts...hours and hours of work I'm sure! I think thats why I love them so much!
    I admired every quilt you posted...just beautiful!
    Chris :o)

  3. I love the swirly FMQ myself. For me, thats where the real skill lies, but thats probably because Im not bad at peicing but rubbish at FMQ! Thanks for sharing :-)

  4. Wow...the hours and hours of work that has gone into every quilt. Beautiful. Quilting is something I haven't dared try but I love the finished product, real labours of love!

  5. I prefer the quilting where there are lots of different fabrics too. The hand painted flower one is lovely, I think I might like to make something like that. Thanks for sharing your trip. I see we have a new patchwork shop opening here in Bristol soon, I'm going to have to get myself down there soon!xx

  6. Oh those quilts, next time you go let me know;~)!
    Have you ever been to see the Ameriacan Quilts at the American Museum in Bath? I'm sure you will enjoy the place.
    You really shouldn't have shown me those cards, my brain is now working overtime:~0!
    Julie xxxxxxxxx

  7. It was fun to meet with a fellow blogger! I am a great advocate that the machine quilting should enhance rather than overpower the piecing on the quilt.

  8. It was fun to meet a fellow blogger. I am a great advocate of machine quilting which enhances rather than overpowers the piecing! All unpacked now and exhausted after the show at Sandown.

  9. Some amazing quilts there - I can quite see why the best in show won that accolade - love the design and the colour palette. I agree that the seashore-inspired quilt looks worthy of a prize too...Looks like a great day out (not too far from me - maybe next time!)

  10. The quilts are amazing. The winner was certainly my favorite. But kuddos to all of the women who put so much time and talent into each piece of art. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos. I have recently found your blog and it is wondeerful. Ellen.

  11. Beautiful quilts, amazing work.
    What a lovely day out.
    Carol xx

  12. Sounds like you had a great day, Nice to have a like minded sister ,I'm lucky that I have too.

  13. I particuarly love the seashells & seahorses.
    T x

  14. gorgeous stuff, love the book quilt and the cross stitch
    Twiggy x

  15. Price of cotton gone through the roof?Phew! Thank goodness I have enough fabric in my stash to see me out...sounds and looks like an excellent day out.

  16. I can say is WOW those quilts are amazing the quilting is stunning. What a fab day out, dee x

  17. Great photos. I loved the winning quilt. I always come out of those shows with my head spinning and no photos worth having! Glad you enjoyed it, I used to go to Sandown when we lived in South London, now I'm just down the road from the Malvern one - definitely have enough fabric to last me several years but I can't resist going...

  18. My taste is exactly the same as yours when it comes to quilts Hen. I was hoping to see a quilt like one of yours, but I do love that house with the quilt on the washing line, so nostalgic and wonderful. I tell myself things like, no more yarn needed, but the only way to not add to my stash is not go anywhere near yarn, so it was a hopeless case when you went to the fair Hen! Looks like those spotty fabrics were well worth buying, one can never have enough of lovely spotty fabrict! Love Vanessa xxx

  19. Beautiful, looks like a lovely day out

  20. Such beautiful quilts,all that work,gorgeous results! thanks for sharingxx

  21. I love the quilt with the house and the mini quilt so lovely! Fliss xxx


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