Festival of Quilts 2017

I made my annual journey to the UK’s largest quilt show, and some say the largest in Europe this week. A positive feast of ideas, inspiration and talent. But what stood out for me this year is the sheer hard work on the part of the traders who come to do business. Maybe because my energy levels were a bit  low having just come from Colorado and I was still suffering from jet lag but you have to admire people who pack up their shops, load it into vans, drive for hours then unload it all, grapple with tables, furniture and stock to set up an attractive stand….. and then pay a small fortune for the privilege. Oh and then to top it all stand all day…..

This is Viv’s Purple Stitches stand with Helen Steele in front debuting her new screen printed panels.


Helen Steele with some of her lovely screen printed panels.

But having said that I didn’t buy masses of stuff. If you could see my sewing room you would appreciate that I’m not exactly in need of fabric. But I did get some spoils of war.

You may see some batiks lurking there, not my usual cup of tea. But I’ve been meaning to have a go at a cat portrait of Minty who we lost earlier this year. Batiks have the variations which make it look more natural than solids. Well time will tell but I knew a big show like this would get me the variety I needed.


But of course the main attraction were the quilts  I was looking forward in particular to seeing the Quiltcon exhibition. Quiltcon is the modern quilt  show in the world.  The best overal winner and a selected few are sent on a world tour of quilt shows.

Rarely do I think the judges’ winners are the one I would have chosen but this year the winning quilt by Cat Jones of Tasmania was totally deserving of that accolade. How you begin  to conceive let alone construct it is beyond me. I loved everything about it even it’s name Bling! But for reasons I don’t know, but presumably a simple admin error, there were no names or acknowledgement for each quilt. They really need to do something about that and quickly.



Back to home grown quilts. There were some of my favourites that I’ve watched develop on IG.

Jo Avery’s


Two from Abigail de Graf’s studio 


Some new ones for me of various genres but just caught my eye

I like a quilt that has a powerful message…. this by  Kate Crossley  called Dreaming of Europe


This was the winner of the Modern category by Judith Lynch and was beautifully executed……

IMG_0420But if I had  been picking this was my favourite… it is by Anna Galvin and was given a Highly Commended.

IMG_0381Other Quilts that caught my eye in order were River by Jenny Haynes, the group quilt by the Modern Quilt Group as part of the Cottonopolis exhibition and Fraction by Lou Slough


And then coming to the Quilts I had in the show.  Firstly the couple I did for the Cottonopolis exhibition (top left and the raindrops one towards the bottom respectively)  I’d wish I’d got a better picture but the one I really would have liked to have made was the one above mine!!!



And finally the proper show quilt I entered Division which caused me such agony… there was at least one quilt I saw with the name Never Again.  I sympathised.

I have to say the quilt was in pole position and was the first quilt you saw as you entered. This comes about when you enter your quilt with minutes to go….


If and when I get the judges’ comments I will share them in an update….then again if they are too awful….

UPDATE….. well they weren’t too awful it fact the judges were very kind. There were 3 judges, each indidually marked your quilt against criteria such as design, piecing accuracy etc. The majority of marks were excellent and the rest good. Do you know I may do it all again!!!


3 thoughts on “Festival of Quilts 2017

  1. How exciting to see your quilt in such a prestigious show! It looks stunning!
    Many years ago, I entered what is still my favourite quilt into the National Patchwork Championships and although it didnt receive any officilal accolade, I did overhear some positive comments and was pleased to see lots of visitors having a close look.


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