I've been trying to go to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham UK, for a few years. Unfortunately for mums of young children it falls slap bang in the middle of school holidays and has previously clashed with the much needed family camping break.
But this year for a number of reasons I was determined to go.
(Children were dutifully looked after by grandparents - thanks B&E)
A textiles enthusiast from ACE was keen to go too, we agreed on a day and made a plan,
booked tickets, got on a train and went to the NEC - hurray!
I had been to the Ally Pally and the NEC for other crafty stitching events, but nothing prepared me for the scale of this one. As well as the multitude of retailers and demonstrators and textile artists to admire and be tempted by there were just hundreds of quilts to marvel at. Of all shapes and sizes, traditional and contemporary.
I didn't take photo's of everything, just bits and pieces that I liked here and there. The catalogue was too huge to instantly work out who was who and what was what so I'm afraid some of the pics are rather abstract and uncredited. But I know what I liked.....
This free-motion quilting design:
This is detail from an Indian Vintage quilt. I love the layers and colour and detail, simply achieved by years of wear and tear. We spend time and money trying to achieve this effect now when all we need is a little planning and 100 years of life!
Earlier this year I had been hoofing around the internet looking for images of embroidery on rust dying I think.....or was it vintage inspired embroidery, I cannot remember. Anyway, I came across this little beauty and did some research. Part of an exhibition from Australia and New Zealand :( coming to the UK for the Festival of Quilts - hurray again, I had to see it. So here is it, dyed and stitched by Dijanne Cevaal. Inspired by the lost culture of the indigenous people who were thrown off their land by European Explorers in the name of progress and new beginnings.
Beneath the Southern Sky is a beautifully curated and arranged collection of quilts.
Well worth having a look around the website if you have not seen it in the flesh or fabric as it where.
This one was just texture on texture, lovely colour and weaving details by June Buxton in Australia.
Debra De Lorenzo from New Zealand is representing the landscape of the Antarctic being damaged by Man's intrusion. She does it with a cleaver and lovely collection of shibori dyed fabrics. It's also just a lovely simple composition of techniques and pattern.
Moving away from the Sky's we found this little teaser. Felt circles shaded with oil pastels and suspended within black netting. It looks like very cleaver shadow quilting, but actually its very cleaver transparent quilting playing with real shadows from real lighting. Rather lovely we thought.
I've worked out that this is Nower Wood by Karen Farmer, I like the hand dyed subtle colours and simple quilting.
Puzzled......I know I like it, but I don't remember where I saw it - sorry! Lovely detail and simple monochrome palate with a couple of accent colours and it concertina's at the floor. We thought it looked like fields but I have a feeling it didn't represent fields - perhaps I will find out in due course?
In the same contemporary exhibition there was this large spiral of texture and stitch.
Oh blimey, I could drive myself mad with trying to work out what is which from the catalogue, next time I will do a better job! This one was HUGE but did not photograph well in it's whole self. Something about the sky - day into night and night into day?
While flicking through the book I've just found this and now lost it again - puppets from a textile artist in Pontypredd Wales - let me google that!!
Nope, no luck. I did like the amazing painterly quality of this work. I will try and find out who stitched it and get back to you.
In complete contrast, this pretty floral quilt caught my eye. I then read that the flowers are hammered real flowers and the silhouettes are sun printed (remember my journey into sun-printing?)
Midsummer Melody - her website seems to be down at the moment, although I have found her on the dreaded Facebook. I love the quirkiness and composition, all very pretty.