I have to admit to knowing very little about quilts and the wonderful world of quilting (I have never made a quilt in my life) but after seeing so many fab quilting projects on other peoples blogs lately I've been very tempted by it.
Then I heard people mentioning this mysterious thing called "FoQ", found out more about it and could not resist buying a ticket. I'm very glad I did, because it was quite wonderful!
If you've never been before, The Festival of Quilts is a mix of exhibition spaces (displaying quilts and other textile pieces) and retail spaces (selling fabric, thread, buttons, felt, embroidery patterns, books, magazines, stitched wares by an array of designer/makers and all manner of other crafty goodness). Oh, and there are classes and talks too though I didn't go to any of those.
Here are just a few of the quilts which caught my eye...
Stars and hexagons quilt by Lu Summers of Summersville (made using her own screenprinted fabrics)
Huge quilted flowers:
Teacups quilt! Complete with panels made from old tablecloths, 3D teacups, ring marks and (if you look closely at the bottom there) brown seed beads spilling out of a torn "teabag".
One of the competition winners. The detail and bright colours in this = amazing.
A lovely traditional quilt - I loved the pattern and fabrics used in this.
A knitted quilt! Knitted pieces, stitched together in the log cabin style and quilted. So many hours must have gone into this...
Black and white quilt with circles of richly textured & incredibly detailed colour embroidery. Gorgeous.
A detail from a quilt made as a series of panels. This quilt makes me want to make an embroidery sampler RIGHT NOW.
A memory quilt about the quilter's teenage son's travels in his gap year. There was a map of his journey in the centre and then the rest of the quilt was covered in extracts from his emails home during the year. (Apologies for the very blurry photo - my camera is rubbish!)
I was also very pleased to get a chance to see Lu Summers' Portholes quilt (which won its category at last year's Festival) as it was displayed on the Fat Quarterly stand...
... and I got to meet lots of lovely crafty people, including Lu (Summersville) and Kirsty (Love PaperFish)...
... plus Katy (I'm a Ginger Monkey) and Ruth Singer.
I was also delighted to discover the work of Janet Clare...
... who sells gorgeous embroidery and applique patterns over in her Etsy shop including (be still my beating heart!) two sets of patterns for making quilts appliqued with British birds.
I didn't do much shopping - though I wrote down a lot of shop names to visit later when I've got the funds and/or a specific sewing project in mind - but I did treat myself to some wooden flower buttons and some super cute mini ric rac.
I've included some standard sized ric rac in the photo so you can see just how tiny the mini ric rac is. I bought the buttons & ric rac from different stands, but I was clearly in the mood for those colours that day, huh?
All in all: total textile overload! I'm already planning to go back again next year, maybe for two days as there was just so much to see.