Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Festival of Quilts 2014. . .

I travelled to Birmingham last weekend to visit the Festival of Quilts and the show was an incredible riot of colour, creativity and inspiration.  I've only ever completed one quilt, which is really more a wall hanging, though I do have half a quilt sewn up somewhere in a bag that I really should dig out.  I'd definitely like to improve my sewing and quilting skills and this may have been the kickstart that I needed.

Though there were some extraordinarily detailed patterns such as the one below. . .

. . . many of the quilts had rather simple templates; it's their creators' talent for matching colours and patterns that brings such vibrancy and energy to these works of art.  These quilts were all hanging in the stall of Birmingham's own The Cotton Patch which was an explosion of colourful fabric.

I did do a bit of shopping but was really there to see the juried quilts on display.  Again, here is a simple pattern but the colour choices really make it pop.  This is The Colour of the Square by Petra Niermann.

Guantanamo by Louise Donovan was also striking, but again, simple stripes and simple stitching done to great effect.

And here are a couple of others that I really liked:

Sew Large by Sandy Snowden was part of the Contemporary Quilt category.

Mosaic from Aquileia by Rossana Romani was really clever.

And I just loved Paris by Anna-Karin Andermo

The Visitors by Susan Chapman was filled with interesting textured stitching.

This was the winner of the Miniature Quilts Best in Show: A Hundred Acres by Roberta La Poidevin.  It's about the size of a tablet. 

And if you want to feel really inadequate, look at this gorgeous quilt by the Young Quilter Award winner in the 12-16 year old category!  This is Unwanted Guest by Millie Ayers.

This was perhaps my favourite quilt among the hundreds on display: WWI Centenary by Janet Bevan.  I love the ghostly detail. 

There were also exhibits by professional artists that I admired very much but they requested that there be no photography. Ann Johnston's quilts inspired by the Sierra Nevadas were breathtaking - they looked like photographs.  You can see some of her work here

One of my favourite booths was The Eternal Maker - they had such an interesting collection of fabrics, many from Japan and I loved their bunting.

And here is some of what I bought: beautiful buttons, really funky, interchangeable zippers from Japan, some Kaffe Fassett fat quarter packs (how could I resist?) and some lovely Donegal tweed to back my knitted "quilt" afghan should I ever finish it.  I will, I will. . .


Dayana Knits said...

Thank you so much for this post, amaaaaazing.

Ok, I really do feel inadequate, though. Knitting is crap compared to all of this. But I can wear what I make, maybe that's what I need to take comfort in? Also, how long do some of those quilts take, omg!

Blithe Spirit said...

Some of them must take months and months. Oh, right, that Rowan mystery afghan has also taken months and months. . .

But yes, at least we can wear what we make. I also made a discovery - if you wear a knitted shawl to a wool show, no one really notices - everyone is wearing something knitted. Wear that same shawl to a quilt show and you get tons of compliments! The other main difference between knitters and quilters (and of course many do both) is that quilters show off their handmade quilted tote bags. Some of the ones I saw at the show were absolutely gorgeous!

Dayana Knits said...

Ah, clever -- and a bag is a small enough project that you can probably do amazing things. Where I am probably moving in Maine, the local shop is for quilting and scrapbooking, not knitting. That might be a good indicator of what the major craft is as real estate is expensive in town. Who know where my crafting future may take me. Thanks for the inspiration.

Totally believe you about the shawl at knitting shows -- no one says a word!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for Your compliments. I'm very happy You like it.

Kindly Regards
Rossana Ramani