Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Blown Away Again in Birmingham: The Festival of Quilts 2016. . .

This is becoming an annual pilgrimage and a happy one at that.  Even though the crowds get bigger each year and the venue becomes hotter, I absolutely love this show and always come away completely inspired and eager to get sewing.  Here are just a few of my favourites, among the many, many, many amazing quilts that were on display. If you want to see more, just head over to instagram at this link.

To begin with, this was the one that took first prize by Laura Kemshall. Yes it is a quilt.  What you can't see that well in the photo are the various words and phrases interwoven among the landscape. Just amazing.

As is this one - The Photographer by Constanze Botel and Britta Beutnagel.   I took a close up of that "knitted" sweater cuff, but there's nothing knitted about it - that's all clever fabric choice and stitching.

Loved this huge quilt too: Ruins 6 by Leah Higgins.

Below are a bunch of other jaw-droppingly beautiful pieces.  I'm sorry I forgot to write down the names of all the artists, but you can see the variety of styles and stitching techniques on display.

The one in the top left corner is Tartan Tatoo by Linzi Upton.  Below is a close -up of some of the amazing stitching in each square.

This was my favourite in the Pictorial Quilt category: Harbour at Low Tide by Kate Dowty.  I love how she even got the shadows of the balls into her quilt  (that long diagonal shadow in the top left corner actually is a shadow - it was a bad angle to take the photo, sorry.).

There were some smaller quilts in a display by the Yorkshire Quilter's Guild inspired by Charlotte Bronte and created to celebrate the 150th anniversary of her birth.

And some very colourful quilts from Japan and Korea.

Heather, Peat and Lichen by Julie Bower used woolen tweeds and some very impressive stitching to create all this texture. It reminds me of one of those miniature Buddhist sand gardens,

Kaffe Fassett was also there, with an exhibit of quilts from his own collection - ones that have inspired his design work. I caught a glimpse of him later at a book signing where he was knitting a striped sock. He'll be giving a talk in Liverpool later this year - already have my ticket!

I loved all the colours in this one.

Of course there was also a marketplace but I was relatively restrained.   My favourite booth was Linladan Embroidery with their gorgeous selection of flax threads.  I bought a book of Swedish historical embroidery patterns that would also work well for knitted colourwork.  I couldn't resist - look how beautifully they packaged it, with a little bundle of free tapestry wool thrown in,

I also got some wonderful 100% wool felt to back a crocheted cushion, some sashiko samplers and thread, some calico for an upcoming eco-dyeing workshop that I'm very excited about, and some fun fat quarters. I particularly like the "paint by number" fabric which could look fabulous with some embroidery dotted here and there, Swedish or otherwise.

All in all it was a great day out.  I'll be back next year for sure.

No comments: