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  • Nicola

Festival of Quilts 2023

A rather different Festival for me this year as I'd given myself the year off and was really looking forward to being a customer. And I think I was pretty successful on that front! I was able to stock up on some Fat Quarters, mixing different designers and ranges - which you can only really do in person - and colour matching embroidery threads; browse at Kaleidoscope Books, coming away with a copy of Yoko Saito's I love Houses, which she surely wrote just for me; and treat myself to some hand-dyed felt and Colette Moscrop's hand-printed linen.

It was also a wonderful chance to spend time with friends from my local guild - thank you for your lovely company Karen and Jane - and to meet up with quilty friends I don't see so often, including my British Sew-a-row sisters Yasmeen, Sonia, Lou and Jo. Plus I got to dish out some hugs to some of my Block-of-the-Month ladies (Braintree Belles you are always a dose of sunshine).

And there were quilts.

Every year the International Quilt Museum in Nebraska send a themed collectionof quilts from their archive and this year was my favourite: Turkey Red & White quilts. Some of you may remember the 2011 New York exhibition, Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts by collector Joanna S. Rose, and the accompanying book (I treasure my copy). She has since donated her collection of 650 red & white quilts to the museum for quilters around the world to enjoy.

All of those tiny triangles and intricate stitches could only be marvelled at...

And some quilts - over a century old - looked so amazingly contemporary. I was particularly taken with the stripy quilt, above right, constructed from diamonds and simply, but exquisitely, quilted with straight lines.

Not red and white, but equally exquisite, was this blue & white quilt called Indigo Star, made by London quilter Viv Philpot. Believe it or not this quilt was in the Miniatures competition gallery - quilts measuring 12" or less - and if you're viewing this post on a PC is probably life size!

And while I was in the competition gallery I also went to have my picture taken with my London Town quilt, which I entered into the Two Person category with my lovely quilter, Jayne. It felt very surreal to see it hanging there amongst such accomplished company.

My thanks to my friend Karen for taking the photo

And of course I took along a matching bag - made with the Liberty block from London Town and my Storybook Bag pattern - because you cannot take just any old bag to the Festival of Quilts ;-)

Refreshed and inspired I'm looking forward to releasing the London Town pattern book later this month - along with individual block patterns if you'd like to make a Liberty tote of your own - and working on a secret squirrel project (never was that saying so appropriate!) that I've been hatching with Andrea.

But first, I have some squirreling away to do in my stash...

Nicola xx


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