Festival of Quilts 2019...

August 13, 2019

I’ve unpacked, caught up with my emails and restocked the website, so it’s time to look back at the whirlwind that was this year’s Festival of Quilts. 

 

I had a slightly bigger stand this year, which gave me a bit more wriggle room and the utter extravagance of a table (I know...) for my new quilt kits. Luckily my technical support had the presence of mind to take before and after photos. Taking centre stage this year was my newest pattern, Hazel, which was a big hit with Festival goers and sold out every day.

 

Before (with step ladder) and after...

 

As the Festival is the only time I get to ‘set up shop’ it’s a real treat to meet so many customers, especially when they share photos of their works in progress or tell me which exhibit has inspired them this year. Preparing for a show is hard work and it’s difficult not to feel a bit drained in the weeks leading up to set up day, but I always leave feeling SO full of inspiration. Even if my feet are killing me.

 

 New kits and my Sailing By & Spellbound Sampler books, with the Wise Owl Library Cushion and Dolls' House Mini. The quilts in the background are Vintage China, Spellbound Sampler, Jolly Brollies, Speedweel and Hazel...

 

 The other side of the stand with my Jardiniere quilt from Today's Quilter, flanked by Wintersweet and Auriculas, with the Sailing By Sampler and Day Out Mini in the foreground...

 

As well as the competition galleries at Festival there are always specialist exhibits and, as always, I am drawn to the antique quilts on display, so let me share a few of my highlights with you...

 

Baltimore Albumn quilts

 

On loan from the International Quilt Study Centre & Museum in Nebraska, all of these exquisitely stitched quilts were made in the port of Baltimore, Maryland between 1845-55. IMQ has a wonderful website if you've got a few hours to kill ;-)

 

 

 

And I was thrilled to find a modern interpretation - which received a Judge's Choice award - in the traditional section of the competition galleries...

 

 Carol Donnison's Mary Simon Re-visited

 

Sandie Lush

 

The highlight for me this year was an enchanting collection of hand quilted cot quilts made by Sandie Lush, each one exploring the Welsh paisley pear motif. Sandie employed many different combinations of fabric and thread - I was especially smitten by the red woollen flannel in the last photo - and they've inspired me to try using different kinds of fabric in my quilts.

 

 

 

 

The Quilters Guild of the British Isles

 

It's a special year for the Quilters Guild and they launched their very first Block of the Month programme at Festival. Designed by Jenni Smith and Kay Walsh, it's a fresh interpretation of the C18th Red Manor Coverlet in the Guild's collection. Jenni and Kay have included some of the quirky, personal details that made the original so unique and fascinating.

 

 

 

The Guild had a wonderful birthday dinner on Thursday evening and I was excited to be on the same table as my Instagram chums Deb McGuire, Sarah Ashford and Jo Avery. And - brace yourself - Jo had invited one of my quilty heroines, the very lovely Jen Kingwell, to sit with us. I hope I didn't stare...

 

Then, on Saturday morning, this happened:

 

The one and only Jenny Doan, of the Missouri Star Quilt Company...

 

I'm internet-taught and watched all of Jenny Doan's You-Tube tutorials, so it was absolutely wonderful to get the chance to thank her in person for teaching me to quilt. Of course, generous lady that she is, she stopped for a photo. I look quite excited don't I?

 

Jenny has Swedish heritage and spotted my Dala Horse gift bag as she was walking past. But I was off taking photos in the galleries and my neighbours at Olive & Flo Handcraft were about to send out a search party. Luckily I arrived back just in the nick of time to speak to Jenny and her lovely husband, Ron. I was floating on a cloud for the rest of the day.

 

Until next year, FoQ...

 

Nicola xx

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