Friday, 14 August 2015

The Birmingham Quilt Festival 2015. . .

Last weekend, my mum and I headed off to Birmingham for their annual Quilt Festival.  As usual it was pretty crowded and chock full of inspiration and artistry.

This was not only the winner for Best Traditional Quilt, but also won the grand prize of  Best in Show - Kaleidescope by Janette Chilver.  At first glance it might just seem like a very beautiful but nothing out of the ordinary type of  quilt.  But take a closer look. . . 

. . . at all the intricate stitching!  So precise and neat. You can see more details of the work, including the back of the quilt (also gorgeous), at her blog here.

Other amazing quilts that made me stop and stare were Earth Bones by Dianne Firth.

And this is (I think - my photo of the label was a bit fuzzy so apologies if I've gotten this wrong) Wheel Star by Liz Hands,

It really shows how playing with different coloured threads can add a whole new dimension to a quilt.

You'll Never Sleep Alone by Valerie Abbott,  an homage to Liverpool FC,  was bound to catch my eye.  This is her first quilt.

 And keeping on a sports theme, I absolutely loved Le Peleton by Wendy Kennard.

The landscape quilts were absolutely stunning. This is Horizon by Kerstin Andersson.

And Marshwood Vale by Kate Dowty.  I love the horizontal stitching along all the fields. And those trees?  All created with stitches and black thread.

And this is Safe Harbour, Robin Hood's Bay by Nancy Wren. I love how she's captured the colours in the cliffs.

And then I was introduced to the work of Gillian Travis.  She makes these lovely jumper quilts out of felt squares with stenciled designs and embroidery stitches. This is a mini quilt called Wear a Woolly Jumper.

Her larer, full size quilt, Scandinavian Jumper won 2nd Prize in the Art Quilts category.  I absolutely love it.

Here are some close-ups of the various blocks.

I was only able to visit the show for about three hours so missed tons of the exhibits.  I didn't even see that Travis had her own booth and was selling her new book on her jumper quilts.  She lives in Yorkshire and does a lot of teaching around the country so I will definitely be on the lookout for one of her workshops. I did manage a really mad twenty minute dash around the marketplace and found some Moda packs of plain grey and cream squares to balance all the Kaffe Fassett material I got last year (and still haven't used).  And Mum was inspired to start her first quilt. We found some lovely pre-cut packs, again from Moda, in her favourite British colonial colours/prints - navy, burgundy, cream, mustardy yellow and grey.  We're assembling them now so that I can help her sew them up with my machine and she can quilt them over the winter months.

At one of my favourite booths - The Eternal Maker - I picked up some jazzy Japanese mix and match zippers, and found this fantastic material which is just calling out to be a project bag or tote.

Now if  I can only put the knitting down for a moment and pick up a sewing needle. . .

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