Thursday, 18 August 2011


Now where were we? Ah yes, we were all shopped out and were off to look at the real-life quilts at the NEC's Festival Of Quilts. Sister is ready and looking fetching alongside a pretty diamond-pieced number with scrumptious Kaffe Fassett fabrics. There's something about his colours, they just glow.

A few prize winners, then. Here is the winner of the best traditional quilt category. I appreciate it's a bit hard to see the detail from this photo and it was one very huge quilt. Somebody put a lot of effort into that one.

Something a little quirky and fun was the winner of the group quilts category, "", featuring some lovable meerkats. This quilt was made by eight ladies from the same patchworking group as my sister and was a real achievement as a lot of the ladies had worked on techniques out of their usual comfort zone and managed to bring the project together coherently.

Loved the little bits of humour and the attention to detail.

Keeping to a similar theme, being feline-mad, I loved this one as each of the "most wanted" furry friends had a name and a description of their crime, such as "seen loitering under bird table" or "stole the cream"!

Please excuse me that I can't tell you who made each of these quilts. One criticism I have is that the name of the maker or any details of the quilt, other than the name, is not displayed by the quilt. Instead, you have to buy a copy of the programme, which I didn't do as I don't think it's that interesting for £6. I think that's rather mean-spirited, it is £14 a day just to get in after all. As such, I can vaguely tell you that there was a display area (non-competitive, I think) which featured these largely pinky quilts taking Jane Austen as a theme.

On the whole, they were quite modern in feel. I rather liked them, being very pink, of course, and this one featuring Liberty fabrics...

This one featured rather lovely quilting and beautiful sumptuous fabrics...

The little appliqued love letter was a cute finishing touch.

Back then to some more of the competition entries. The colours of this quilt really glowed and the quilting was pretty fine, too.

Just look at those quilted feathers in the border triangles.

I was taken by this one which had been made largely out of old shirts donated to the quilt maker. Such an attractive colour palette, I think.

This one was pretty amazing and had been made by a Dutch lady (the Dutch seem to make very fine quilts). The sampler panels had been embroidered by the quilter's elderly mother and I think it may also have included some treasured family fabrics which had memories attached to them.

This unusual quilt received a judge's commendation in the modern quilts category. You may not be able to see clearly from this photo...

...but it was made up of knitted and crocheted panels. Great texture!

Couldn't resist including this shot of a traditional hand-pieced hexy quilt (Grandmother's Flower Garden). Wow, how long must this have taken to make!

Moving on to the miniature quilts category, and some of these were quite mind-boggling, they were so tiny.

We thought this flying geese quilt was really well executed. How to attain such perfection on a minute scale?

Loved this one, Liberty fabrics and beautiful colours, that says it all! Just shows quilts don't always have to be complicated.

Now I do love a bit of mixed media and admired these quilts for some time. This one comprised long panels featuring spoons and happy days, vintage embroidered cloth!

It also had a panel of hand-pieced cathedral windows in very pretty colours.

Here is yet another lovely quilt, featuring lots of vintage trimmings and bits of fabrics.

You could enjoy that one for a good while, I think.

Finally, there were two areas featuring exhibits by museums. One was by the quilt museum in York with simply stunning Victorian crazy patchwork quilts but sadly, no photography was allowed and rather annoyingly, they were not even selling postcards (lost business opportunity!)

There was also no photography allowed in the exhibit by the American Museum in Bath. Their quilts were stunning too, (I must visit this museum), and I took this photo well outside the quilt area so you can get a flavour of how beautiful these antique quilts were. They were in wonderful condition, too.

Ah, I feel quite tired after that. But very inspired...


  1. You had amazing few days.
    I love looking at other peoples quilts - there are a lot of ideas out there. Love that knitted one, that one has given me an idea, I hope it comes into fruition oneday!
    Julie xxxxxxx

  2. Thanks, Hen, that was a wonderful tour of quilts. All stunning, such a lot of work.
    The one with all the vintage materials was really interesting, so much to study and, of course, loved "Most Wanted".
    Carol xx

  3. Thanks for showing us these lovely quilts. My sister and I were at the show on Thursday, only getting to see about one third of what was on offer, so your pics have shown us a bit more.
    We're both working on our first quilts and felt inspired rather than intimidated by the exhibition. Sue

  4. gosh there is lots and lots of hard work there!
    I haven't the patience! well done to them all.
    PS I returned from France to find the lovely article about your beautiful house in Homes and Antiques, well done it was great to see you in print!

  5. meri pour les photos ... comme cla on peut aussi apprécié
    c est très gentil à vous de nous en faire profiter
    bonne soirée .. et beaux rêves de patchwork
    Marie Claude

  6. Wow! They are truly inspiring! I had a chance to see the red and white quilt show in New York earlier this summer and I was totally blown away. I think these quilts are equally stunning. Thanks for posting them.

  7. Lovely I really must go next year.
    Loved the cathedral window one and the garandmothers flower garden of course!
    Thanks Clare

  8. Goodness! I can see why it takes days to get round- there is just so much to see in all those quilts.The Jane Austen ones are delicious- and the miniatures are astounding...that mixed media one is really interesting...the shirt fabric one is so fresh and as for the colour in the Kaffe Fassett...I do find myself wondering what else the ladies who do so much quilting on each quilt do with themselves - other than quilting.
    The American Museum is well worth a visit and has good shows in the exhibition building next to the main museum.Great cake too.And Bath has some lovely craft shops.
    Thanks for the tip about the stitch and knit show only needing one day,I can use it as basic training for a proper multi-day visit to the quilt show next year.

  9. So much amazing eye candy I don't even know where to start! I'll give it a shot by saying that I adore all of these colors. What amazing quilts and other art. I stand in awe, and I'm so glad you shared this with us. That first quilt just stopped me in my tracks. I've never seen colors move like that on a quilt, and I love it!

    What a treat to find your blog. I feel as if I've fallen down a rabbit hole into a wonderful world of color and fun! It is really a feast for the eyes, and I see in one of your pictures that you have a ginger cat who could be the twin to my late big bad boy.

    Your header is adorable, too. Love that bunny SO much. His face is quite expressive, and all the colors are perfection. Yes, I believe I have found a new blog to enjoy!


    Sheila :-)

  10. I hope I wasn't just deleted. I don't see my post... I'm really not an advertiser. ;-)

    Love, love, LOVE your blog, and this post is amazing with all of the COLOR. I will leave at that in case the other post shows up. Don't want to look like a blog stalker, but guess what? I am going to be stalking this one. I'm attracted to color like magpies are to shiny objects!


    Sheila :-)

  11. What lovely quilts, thanks for posting those! I love the meerkat and the knitted quilts! :)

  12. They are truly inspiring! thanks for the post !

  13. So many unusual designs, both big and small. It looks so inspiring. x

  14. Wow, those quilts are very inspiring. I'm just thinking of all the skill that goes into making one; not just the needlework skills, but the whole processs from the initial design, to choosing the colours and those little details that make each one special like that envelope.

    I do agree that it isn't very good form not to include the maker's name on the information displayed. If one of those were mine, I'd want everyone to know it was me who made it!

    P.S. I'm currently knitting log cabin squares for a quilt very similar to the knitted one in your post. Its very easy as its all in knit stitch, but its taking a long time knitting each square and don't even mention darning in all those loose ends!

  15. What a wonderful array of quilts. Thanks for showing us.

  16. Wow-weeeee! I am so pleased you shared this with us. I love quilt - having only made one - and fear it could be something I could really get into! I just need more patience!

  17. Lovely inspiring quilts! I almost bought the diamond templates in a shop yesterday and thought it might be a bit boring but now I've chnaged my mind after seeing this! Diamonds here I come!xx

  18. wow... so many lovely quilts! My fave is the one with bits & bobs on, love the knitting on the safety pin! Also of course the knitted & crocheted one. I've visited the Museum of Bath, it was great :) x

  19. The American Museum at Bath is well worth a visit, and not just for the quilts. Of the quilts you have shared here I would particularly like to run away with the one made from shirting, it's the real essence of what patchwork is all about, recycling, and I love those soft blues.

  20. Thankyou Hen,for sharing your few days,what an amazing amount of talent out there!If only.....

  21. Thank you for all the lovely photos. I have been unable to attend this festival as it always coincides with my daughter's drama group performance and not being next door I have to support her. Maybe next year??

  22. Oooh- lovely! Show and tell. It has been exciting visiting the quilt fair with you. I do admire those quilters gifted with accuracy, but I'd rather get stuck in and create than panic too much about the mismatched corners. Imagine those quilt show judges pursing their lips.
    By the way - I feel like I've found a new best friend now I've discovered your blog! You are amazingly inspirational, plus you love Kaffe and vintage, plus pussycats :). Yay! I'm off to make Ginger Jasper a little quilt because everyone else has one. Hmmm- vintage or Kaffe? XXX

  23. very beautifull... Thank you !

  24. Hi Hen, the Vintage dress with the Rose buds, is I think a size 10, I am a size 12 and can't quite do it up! It is actually navy blue in colour, being made of quite a heavy fabric with little brass buttons down the front. It's very pretty, Email me if you are interested still.

    The quilts are stunning, particularly like the mixed media ones,

    Sophie @ fading Grace x

  25. I have been told that the reason the names aren't shown is so that the judges do not know the maker at the time of judging.!! I would have thought they could pop them on afterwards in some way. I agree it is expensive to buy the catalogue to find that out.
    Loved the piks Hen, you chose some of my favourites.
    BTW I am the lady (?!) who accosted you in the foyer on Saturday!!

  26. At a summer school at Bath Uni in 2003, I had a wander over to the American Museum, which is beautifully situated up in the hills, for a start! I found it helped that I'm familiar with other aspects of American history, so you might like to read up a bit before you go :)
    I would have liked to have a little more time there, so allow plenty, as you can sit and enjoy the views for a bit, too... Quilts are marvellous things, no matter who does/did them, they are a huge achievement!

  27. patchworkandlace22 August 2011 at 20:02

    what gorgeous quilt , really inspirational and a lovely post as always

  28. Ditto to all the above comments but my favorite is the 8 panels of weasels looking at quilts at a festival. So funny and detailed.


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