Thursday, 23 August 2012

Fabulous Festival

So last week, I dropped off the radar for a while and escaped microwave meals and my tip of a home as I hot footed it to the much awaited Festival of Quilts at the NEC, a trip which has now become something of an annual pilgrimage.   In truth, I didn't actually intend to take photos as it is hard to lug a big heavy camera round all day and then there's the camera or fabric purchases debate?  Hmm, no decision there then.  At some point however, I remembered I could snap with the iPad so I present to you a little fuzzy album of this year's highlights at the festival.

As always, the shopping was incredible.  Oh golly me, I was restrained and yet still had a fair haul when I unpacked.  However, I made sure I spent a good amount of time enjoying the quilts on display this year and purchased the catalogue which accompanies the festival to enhance my viewing pleasure.  There are no details next to each quilt save for a number so if you want to read a little background to each quilt and find out the maker, you need to stump up your £6, albeit grumpily.  Unfortunately, I also failed to note down who was responsible for each of the quilts I snapped (bearing in mind there are hundreds of quilts, there was no way I could match them up afterwards). Some very very talented people, at least.   On to some amazing quilts then.

This display was so very right up my street.  

It showcased some stunning vintage quilts, mainly of the 1930's feedsack era I love so much.  A new book, "Antique to Heirloom Jelly Roll Quilts", has been released by the well-known jelly roll book authors, Pam and Nicky Lintott, this time the idea being to present patterns for quilts which are updated versions of their vintage counterparts.  Not sure I love the new quilts so much, mainly because of the swirly free motion quilting,  but then put them next to the "real thing" and there can only be one winner in my view.

Such scrumptious fabrics.

Gorgeous 1940's bow-tie quilt on the left and lovely older tumbling blocks quilt on the right.  I wonder how long that one took to make!

Just so you know that there's a huge variety of quilting styles on display at the show, take a look at this one.  What do you think? 

The following is a selection of quilts which caught my eye from the many stunning ones on display. The photos do not honestly do them enough justice.  I felt in need of some inspiration as I've had no time for quilting recently but I am hoping that's going to change and if you are not inspired when you visit this festival, I think you must be a little nuts.

This quilt was made from any stripey fabric the maker could get her hands on including socks!  I do love a bit of fussy cutting.

Loved this one, so vibrant and colourful, it really reminded me of Sarah Fielke's work.

Even if a quilt is not necessarily your cup of tea or something you can see yourself making, they are always admirable for the skill and dedication involved.  I thought this one was like a lovely quilted painting.

Hexys were definitely popular at this year's festival.  These ones were cute.

Did you guess they'd be this miniature?

This quilt is very much my sort of thing.  The top had been made back in the '30s and only recently quilted by the original maker's grandaughter (I think I have remembered that much correctly).  

The fabrics are so divine and because it was only a top and had never been used previously as a quilt, they are in great condition.

I always love this sort of quilt, too.  I squirrel things away telling myself I will make one but so far...

Ok, get ready to be wowed!  I was so thrilled to turn the corner and behold a "Dear Jane" quilt.  Now that really takes dedication.  It was beautiful, and to use the Munchkin's favourite word, "awesome".

It's not really easy to take shots of any of the many many stalls where you can go crazy with the pennies (or rather, the pounds!)  However, I am always inspired by Kim Parker's stand and take photos every year to drool over once I am home.  This year, Kim's display didn't disappoint with the addition of a vintage furry friend.  You may recall that I used one of Kim's "Worn and Washed" jelly rolls to make my flannelette quilt last year (sorry, link won't work here, you can find the link in my right hand sidebar, the "Not Just a Load of Old Flannel Quilt", if you wish).  

I LOVE everything about Kim's quilts.  So snuggly and soft, the beautiful slightly washed out colours, the shirtings, stripes, spots, florals.  Yes please!  Well, the inspiration worked and with this year's  strip roll of vintage fabrics from Kim, I have made good headway this week on my latest quilt.  Phew.


  1. Yes,the Munchkin is right..they are all truly AWESOME!
    With all that inspiration,I bet you came away with your head buzzing with new ideas Hen. :0)

  2. Wow! What a wonderful show and thank you for sharing. It just amazes me, of all the incredibly talented people out there in this big wide world.
    I like the creativeness of that one quit, but for a public show, maybe she should have had a swimsuit on. I can just see little boys with their eye popping out of their heads seeking over to that one for a second look.

    Come on over and see what I've made from recycled candle-holders and small lamps. Are you curious?

    Have a great day. Connie :)

  3. Lovely inspiration, but just need the time to make.......
    Julie xxxxxx

  4. The Dear Jane was awesome indeed- I particularly like the triangle border on it. I liked that one with the 'dinner plate' pattern as well- really vibrant. I'm still recovering form my visit...and trying out the new machine.

  5. I did see you at the FoQ actually but I was too shy to say hello. xx

  6. Wow Hen!
    I agree with munchkin...Awesome :o)

    I love these, and would never be able to choose a favourite!!
    Thankyou kindly for showing us my dear.

    Hope the quilting goes well.
    Have a great week lovely lady!
    Love n hugs,
    Donna x

  7. wow!! Those 30's quilts are right up my street too! So pretty, giving me lots of inspiration for new quilts to make, thanks for sharing. I'll definately have to pay a visit next year.
    Jessie, xo

  8. It Looks like you had a really interesting time. Although i admire the skill used to make the quilts i like the simple ones best i have used lots of kim's jelly rolls before. Sarah x

  9. What fun you must have had. Thank you for this sampling of the variety of quilts on display. It seems to me that your i pad did just fine!

    Some day, some year, maybe some Decade, I would like to attempt on of those traditional English paper hexagon quilts. Do you recommend cutting your own card hexagons, or buying them already nicely prepared for you?


  10. Thanks for the pics of the show; I could not get over (from the US) this year as I had a rug hooking camp! I DO love Kim's quilts and have bought several of her packs. I have taken pics of her stall but from a distance- I think there was a "no Eazatypr 9photos" sign at Malvern but not sure!

  11. My aunty is visiting and is making a queen bed size quilt with hexagons - it's relaxation at night while watching tellie! I'll have to show her these ones - that one with the girl is amazing.

  12. i missed foq this year but looking forward to next year!

  13. I always have a mixture of feelings at these shows - usually one of inspiration swiftly followed by depression because I can't ever imagine being able to make something quite so gorgeous! Anyway, we do what we can and I bought some of Kim's worn and washed fabrics some years ago and I remember some of my sewing friends being a bit 'sniffy' about them because they looked 'old'. However, using a cotton batting and washing it afterward so that it shrank a little, they had to eat their words as it looked instantly soft and cosy and lived in and gorgeous.
    Thanks for the lovely photos.

  14. Great photo's. I was there on the Saturday and I did see a lady taking pictures on her I-pad - I wonder if it was you?

  15. I absolutley adore adore adore the 'a stitch in time' and have the perfect spot in my house for it.... but alas I do not have the talent or patience. I am always in awe of quilters, you guys amaze me xxxx

  16. I've been around quilts and quiltmakers all my life, and I believe that one you called "Vibrant" with all the circles and triangles and colors is one of the most gorgeous I have ever seen!

  17. What wonderful creations of art! I'm not a quilter, but I admire them and the creative women who can create such wonderful pieces of art!

  18. Blimey Hen, I was at the same show yet your photos are totally different to mine. I LOVE tha antique Triple Irish Chain on you've shown. I think I missed the miniatures/ small quilts...often I come away knowing I've missed a row somewhere. And I mentioned in my post that like you, I rather resented paying £6 just to find out the makers' names which could so easily be pinned next to the quilts.

    I love Kim's Worn and Washed, and did succumb to a small - well, smallish !- roll of gorgeousness, I must say, but really was quite restrained!

    I bet you make something with yours long before I get going on mine - too many other quilts in the queue!!

  19. Interested to see you showed a photo of one of the quilts that caught my eye too at the FoQ. The boxer shorts and socks one - so clever! I've mentioned your blog on mine ( I follow your blog and love reading your posts.

  20. Thank you Hen, that (to quote Munchkin) was awesome.
    My top favourites would be the tiny hexies and the quilt finished by the granddaughter of the orginal quilter.
    Yes, even if you don't like every design you can appreciate the skill and creativity of each and every one.


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