Monday, 10 August 2015

Festival of Quilts

Last week I spent 3 busy days in Birmingham at the Festival of Quilts.  As ever it was a really enjoyable time spent walking miles (exhausting!), meeting lots of friends from far and near (lovely) and viewing all the beautiful quilts and artwork on show (inspiring and tiring).  Unsurprisingly there was some shopping too.

So what did I see?  Lots of photos following.

 My very dear friend Carolyn Saxby's beautiful work, "Watching The Dark Sky".  Carolyn will be blogging about this quilt soon.  It was lovely to meet up with Carolyn and Margaret Garrood who had travelled up to the Show from Cornwall.

 Annabel Rainbow was on her Through Our Hands stand painting her latest quilt during the Show.  It was interesting to stand for a while and watch her process.

These beautiful and enigmatic portraits of her mother were also part of the Through Our Hands display and are so poignant.  These were only two of a much larger collection.  If you click on the detail you will be able to see that they are made with wool sewn onto net/tulle.

This is Susan Lenz's Wall of Keys and it took her 9 hours to assemble on site.  She brought it across from America in two suitcases.  She gave a very enjoyable and thought provoking lecture on how a series of work might develop with regular references to The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.  If nothing else it made me realise how many ideas for potential work pass in and out of my head while I'm working without ever being captured. 

I was on the lookout for different ways to display your work and this nifty sletchbook hanging caught my eye.

There was a huge amount of work in this beautiful piece by Lin Crompton called Shallow Waters.  The individual pieces were all hand cut (I was told) and I love the flow of colour throughout.  The quilt had been juried into the Fine Art Quilt Masters section.

 I loved this piece by Australian quilter Cathy Jack Coupland entitled "Australia My Way".

 Another Fine Art Quilt Master "Sharon & Co" by Ann Smith.

My Facebook and blogging friend Amo House made this wonderful quilt called "Dragons Ho" and won her a Highly Commended!  Well done Amo on your first outing at Festival!

These wonderful creatures are by Vladimir Telnykh who had his own gallery.  Some of the works, like the fish, were mounted on wood.

I love this fabulous Fish Monster by Daisy May Collingridge.  "This is the fish monster that wished for legs and walked himself out of the water evolution complete".  You can see more Quilt Creations behind him.

Mavis Walker made this wonderful Chess Set and it won her First Prize in Quilt Creations.  It was almost impossible to photograph it for all the people admiring it.

As my mum remarked this morning when I described it to her, you need to see it in real life to appreciate this superb coat by Marijke Van Welzen, who you can find on Facebook.

Equally popular was this winning quilt in the Pictorial Category.  It is by Claudia Pfeil and is called Turtle Bay.  The photos don't show up the crystals that cover it and give it flecks of light.

Don't give up, we're nearly through it all.

 Another blogging friend, Frauke Schramm, entered this quilt titled "Passion Always Wins" into the guild Challenge category.  

Finally a little shopping including an apron I bought from Alison Hulme.

Yes, I could have made myself an apron but I liked the screen printing on this one and you have to support fellow artists, don't you?

Well done if you've got this far.  I think you deserve a drop of your favourite tipple.  I did take even more photos but I'll spare you them.  

PS Here's mine on display

That's yer lot!

Saturday, 25 July 2015


I have a lot of catching up to do again as most of my time has been taken up with working on my quilt for Festival of Quilts.  More of that in a future post.  What I havn't had time to talk about is our trip to Cumbria at the end of June to go to Woolfest.  I've seen adverts for Woolfest for several years but never managed to go so this year we decided to make the effort.

Woolfest is held annually in Cockermouth cattle market and the stalls are all set out in the pens.  The setting is eccentric and as well as showcasing all things woollen and fibre-y it showcases many rare breeds of the wonderful providers of said fibres, sheep.

The exhibition fills two halls and it was lovely browsing up and down the aisles seeing all the amazing things people make with wool and fibres.  

If you click on the photo above you can see the name of these very cuddly sheep.

Sedbergh, Farfield Mill and Pagoda Arts of Liverpool were advertising an upcoming Sheepfest at Sedbergh in September with a variety of manmade sheep in amusing poses and a coat of many colours woven by 650 children, each square hiding its secret dream in its lining.
If you get a taste for a fibre festival from this post you can catch Sheepfest here.  

This weaving above is Saori weaving which is a very free way of weaving.  I would love to be able to do something like this.

These coats above, left to right,  are made by Linda Chapman (Cobble Coat) and Ruth Strong (Flora of the Fells) (I didn't get the name of the third coat, sorry).

I was tempted to do a little shopping with the Woolly Pedlar.

You'll have to wait and see exactly what my dear DH bought me from this stall.  It's far too warm to model it at the moment ;-)

The best part of going to exhibitions is the people you meet up with.  This time was no exception and I met up with the very lovely Jackie Cardy who had a stall selling her beautiful brooches and pictures.

I sneaked up on Jackie and took a photo of her while she was deep in conversation.

Her stall was kept very busy all day.  Sadly I didn't think to get a photograph of the two of us together.  Doh!

Before I finish I would like to refer you to the work of Iona Mackenzie Laycock.  I had a lovely chat with her about her stunning work but again didn't get a photograph.  Iona's work incorporates fibre and paint and she has spent a long time perfecting her technique.  If you get the chance to see her work it is well worth seeing.  It is so vibrant!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

The Quilt Museum

A couple of weeks ago DH and I ventured up to York to visit the Quilt Museum which will sadly be closing later this year.  Their last major exhibition is Ancestral Gifts and is running until 5 September.  The patron of the Quilters Guild, Kaffe Fassett, selected 15 quilts from The Quilters’ Guild Collection dating from 1780 to 1949, and created 15 new pieces in response to them.  The exhibition space at the museum had been renovated over the winter closure and looked wonderful.  Kaffe Fassett had encouraged the Guild to have the walls painted grey instead of white and this tone really set off the quilts.

I've always loved this beautiful space even though it may not have been ideal for its purpose as an exhibition space.  

This beautiful quilt below received a bright and modern re-interpretation.

The Elderton Log Cabin quilt inspired the colourful quilt below it.


Side by side below, a bed quilt and Kaffe's version on the wall above it.  

As well as the quilts Kaffe had provided some of his beautiful embroidered clothing:

 I am so in awe of the stitching on this jacket.  I can recognise some of the vintage fabrics that underlie the stitching.  Wonderful!

You may recognise the photographer who saw a creative opportunity in the design wall and fabric squares.

There is still time to visit this interesting exhibition and if you've never visited the Quilt Museum now is almost your last chance.  It is a beautiful building and I will be sorry not to be able to visit it in the future.  There will be one more exhibition after the Kaffe finishes and the museum closes for good on 31 October.  It sits in beautiful grounds nestled below a section of city walls, with a stylish restaurant on the same site and an art gallery too.