Friday 9 August 2013

The Festival of Quilts 2013

I had a fun day out at The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham yesterday. I went to the festival for the first time a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it but I sadly couldn't go last year as without booking in advance the train fare was just too pricey (£60-£100 for a return from my new hometown depending on the route! Eek!). But this year I discovered that if I blagged a lift to a nearby station on a different line I could get a much more affordable ticket (just £28, hurrah!).

So, I got up early yesterday and headed for Birmingham. I met some lovely ladies who were getting the same train to the Festival which made for a very nice journey, despite a half hour wait for our connecting train :)

Then I met up with the lovely Lucie Summers & my fellow felt-obsessive Kirsty of LovePaperFish and spent the day nattering & looking at all the awesome quilty goodness (I also bumped into Charlotte at the station on the way home which was a nice surprise!).

I know next to nothing about quilting (though I am currently working on a very simple quilt that I started sewing way back when I was a student) but it's always nice to spend a day looking at pretty fabric and other crafty things. Here are a few of the quilts that caught my eye...

This quilt was so pretty, I love this mix of colours and shapes. There are a couple of great posts about the process of making of this quilt over at Little Island Quilting - HERE & HERE - with lots of yummy photos.

A fun "snail mail" -themed quilt:

Rows and rows of triangles:


Lots of butterflies! Did you know the collective noun for butterflies is a "kaleidoscope"? I think this quilt looks rather like a kaleidoscope:


A tree & a flock of birds:

A colourful dragonfly - I thought I'd leave this photo uncropped so you can see how some of the quilts were being displayed. 

A very detailed quilt made up of lots of small squares, each with a little illustration & a bit of text about what the maker did that day, like a little embroidered diary entry. I love this idea!


A cool quilt where the white stitching marks out a blueprint design:


Pretty quilted paper panels:


A fancy all-white quilt:

Lots of yummy greens - I love all these shades of green together & the organic feel of this design:

A collection of designs with a London-theme:

Cute mini quilts - a nautical quilt (love the tiny bunting!) by Jane Wheble and a quilt with pretty embroidered birds, by Judith Beevor:


It was also great to see the two quilts Lucie had on display. I love the colours & shapes in this one...

... and all those horizontal rows of stitching:

I'm really looking forward to Lucie's book, Quilt Improv, coming out next month!

Oh, and last but by no means least I was also delighted to see Kristy Daum's  fun Doctor Who "pixel" quilt on display:


I loved reading about the construction of this quilt (which is called "The Tenth") over on Kristy's blog this spring, it was great being able to see it "in real life" after admiring it (and all the work that went into it!) through the magic of the internet :)

All in all, a very nice day out! I haven't booked a day to "take the day off work to go look at interesting things" in my diary for ages and I really should do that more often.

(PS The Amazon link in this post is an affiliate link)


IamSusie said...

Quilt shows are such fun! Thank you for sharing your pictures. Quilting takes such time and effort and it is such an honor to have a quilt displayed at a show. Hopefully next time you will take more care to name the artists along with the images of their inspired creations.

Bugs and Fishes said...

I totally forgot to take a pen & notebook with me so I could write down the names of the quilts & who they were by! :(

If anyone recognises them / knows who any of the quilts are by do let me know & I'll happily edit the post to include a credit.

Blooming Felt said...

wow ! Looks like you had a fab day ! A couple of my friends went yesterday as well and said it was amazing. Love the butterfly quilt, the London theme ones and also the all white quilt - gorgeous ! x

Little Island Quilting said...

I'm glad you liked my quilt. It's the first one ;-)

Bugs and Fishes said...

Blooming Felt - yes, it was a great day! So much yumminess all in one place.

Little Island Quilting - thanks for your comment! I did a lot of "ooooh"-ing while looking at your quilt :)

IamSusie said...

I learned when photographing at quilt shows to take a photo of all the info panels right when I photograph the quilt. It helps a lot! One year, early on, I tried to just use the guide from the show, but that was impossible. At a recent big show here in Chicago, I saw several versions of the one you captioned "loads of triangles". That block is called Lady of the Lake. I'd like to try it with a whole lot of scraps.

Katie said...

Wowww this looks amazing! I especially like the London themed ones and the daily diary. Maybe I'll have to go next year.

Bugs and Fishes said...

IamSusie - Oh, that's a great idea! Much quicker/easier than scribbling down the info or buying a catalogue (and then having all that trouble of deciphering your terrible rushed handwriting, or matching up quilts to catalogue listings).

Thanks for letting me know what that block is called, too. It would be a lovely one for using up scraps.

Katie - Ah, you should! Such a mix of different quilts and soooo many stalls with nice fabric etc.

Silly Little Sheep said...

I love the green and the dragonfly. Now I am intrigued and really want to get into quilting!!! :))

Charlotte said...

it was fab to finally meet you! So glad you said hello to me :-D
It's so funny that I was at the same show and managed to not see most of those quilts - there really are so many!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Silly Little Sheep - they're very inspiring, aren't they!

Charlotte - yes, I keep seeing photos popping up on Flickr & peoples blogs of their fave quilts from the show and lots of them are new to me! It's very hard to take everything in during just a day trip... especially if you're busy chatting at the same time :D

Julie said...

I was there too! (Just catching up on blogs after a week away from the laptop.) On the same day as well - but then my friends and I went back on the Sunday also. We learned last year that one day just isn't enough! It was amazing and inspiring - and I picked out some of the same favorites to admire! :)

Bugs and Fishes said...

Julie - glad you enjoyed your visit! I would love to make a longer trip of it sometime and really take the time to look at everything... might be a bit dangerous though, as I'd have more time for fabric shopping, haha :)