Well, another year, another fabulous festival. Back in August (it seems so long ago!) we headed up to Birmingham again, the boys went off to the Severn Valley Railway and I spent two glorious days immersed in all things quilty. You really cannot do justice to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in one day so I always treat myself to a hotel and a couple of nights.
Howdy! Here I am all ready to leave the hotel and hit those stands running. Let me at it!
It's a little mini trek (fifteen minutes) through the NEC to get to the actual halls where the festival is held. Luckily, adrenaline/euphoria gets you through pretty quickly whilst along the way you admire the ladies heading the same direction with their patchwork bags which are pretty much de rigeur. Here's mine, empty and ready for action!
The first stand I invariably come to, I suppose because it's massive, it's more than one stand for a start, and it's pretty much at front central of the festival, is that of the The Cotton Patch. They always have some sewing celebs on the stand signing their latest book or showcasing their latest range of fabrics and I had a natter with the delightful Amy Butler again. A more pleasant and genuine lady you shall not meet. I cooed over this bag she had designed, clever old stick, and bought the pattern and some fabrics and trims from her range to make it. One day. It is so very tempting at F0fQ, you end up being completely inspired and enthusiastic and before you know it, you have enough projects to keep you going for the year. And beyond.
There was a new stall with oodles of Liberty Tana Lawn and other pretty lawn fabrics. A feast for the senses, don't you think?
Let's look at some quilts, shall we, because it's not all about shopping, is it? I suppose I am a bit of a traditionalist, what I want to see are classic patterns, 1930s will do nicely thank you, and if you can make them in real vintage fabrics of the period so much the better. Pretty colour, yes please. Liberty Tana Lawn, wouldn't say no. Florals, most definitely. I suppose that a lot of the quilts exhibited at the festival are not really my cup of tea, therefore. It's not to say I cannot admire the handiwork but there's too much modern and too much grey and brown and too much free motion quilting for me.
Sorry, I shall step down from my soap box now!
Thus quilt had some cute details. Anything with cats on is good in my eyes.
I did think this one was very clever and the maker had designed the pattern herself. I think you can really sense the movement. Impressive and nice to look at too, don't you think? Personally I think I would find it hard to stick to so few colours (knowing me you know this too!) so I applaud this.
This was probably my favourite quilt. Pretty fabrics and cotton reels, what more do you need?
Anyway, back to the shopping. I had a very small list because I am not really a believer in a shopping list at the FofQ, you need to just go with the flow, but as it turns out, I had left it on the table in my Den. Very useful. No matter because I seemed to manage to fill those bags quite easily! I always love getting back to our room at the end of the day and unpacking all my goodies onto the bed for a good gawp. There seems to have been a bit of a pale and interesting theme this year.
Whilst perusing, I came across Jo Colwill's stand, Jo runs Cowslip Workshops in Cornwall. In my last post, I showed you the cushions I had made from the patterns in Jo's book. She had beautiful fabrics on her stall alongside samples she had made and I am going to make myself one of these little hare hangings one day.
Liked this quilt very much. There's just something about little houses?
I always find the miniature quilts a little mind boggling. I've even held up my tape measure so you can see just how small those pieces are. Yikes!
There was a lovely display once more by the National Quilt Museum from York but as usual, no photography was allowed. It focussed this year on paper pieced quilts, notably hexagons, with some very beautiful examples. Even more fascinating almost, were the samples you were allowed to touch and turn over to see the old letters used as templates with their beautiful script writing on the reverse. They still haven't listened to me, you still can't even purchase postcards of the quilts. Anyway, here is another EPP quilt from elsewhere in the festival, so there!
Last but not least, don't you just love this quilt top? This was hanging on the stand of Eternal Maker and if my memory serves me correctly, the pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman. Foxy love!
It's true. Even at the Festival of Quilts, awash with row after row of stands selling fat quarter after fat quarter of modern fabric, I managed to dig out some vintage barkcloth.