Festival of Quilts 2021
Well, it was so good to be back at the NEC! Although I'd forgotten - as you do - quite how much work it is to up sticks and open my little shop at the Festival of Quilts.
Packing up shop...
The frantic to-ing and fro-ing and hurried 'hellos' of set up day never quite prepare you for the sheer beauty of the show. It always makes me catch my breath when I step into the hall the next morning.
And this isn't any ordinary year. The organisers, Immediate Live, worked tirelessly to make sure that exhibitors and visitors could enjoy a calm, safe show: wider aisles and expansive seating areas, timed entry and constant cleaning by the wonderful NEC team, ensured that everyone could enjoy the work on show and each others' company.
Before and after...
I usually take ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ but pared things back this year to keep the stand uncluttered and easy to clean. A limited number of quilts meant I was able to kit all of them and I had a lovely time arranging little rainbows of fabric :-)
Although opening hours were extended this year - to allow for the staggered entry times - exhibitors still had an hour or so to wander through the galleries before the show opened and I'll share some of my many (many) photos in another post.
An enormous thank you to everyone who stopped by the stand for a chat or to buy a pattern or a kit. It was just so lovely to spend time with you. And I have to give a special mention to my lovely friend Lindsey, who popped by the stand every day to check I was OK. She's a treasure. I also got to meet up at long last with my lockdown zoom-buddies Jo Westfoot, Sonia Spence and Lou Orth (we missed you Anna).
And I caught up with so many of my lovely friends from Today's Quilter, contributor's Jo Avery, Sarah Ashford, Karen Lewis and Anne Williams, plus my gorgeous editor Fiona (we had a quick catch up about a special project that I'm longing to share with you). I honestly can't believe that nearly a week has gone by since I was packing to leave. Did I dream the whole thing?