A Quilter’s Conundrum


I had three very short hours to visit the Festival of Quilts (FoQ) due to remarkably poor planning on my part. Coming back from holiday on the Wednesday and then going off again on the Saturday was not clever.

Now the FoQ is the premier quilt show in the UK and runs over 4 days, with something like 800 plus quilts on display, special exhibition areas  as well as a vast number of retail opportunities. It’s huge. Most go for the full day and many go for two days. Me I had a very frenetic three hours to catch as much as I could. So my conundrum was what to squeeze in in such a short time and what to leave out.

Well for starters the principal attraction for me is the modern quilt section of the display. Last year I entered this quilt but this year time was just too short.


There were so many wonderful quilts. I particularly enjoyed seeing those of people I know or follow. Especially those quilts I have followed block by block on IG


Like this one by Nicky Eglington.




Another example is the quilt above called Circles by Heather Hasthorpe. Sorry the lighting is so bad Heather.

Heather’s co-conspirators in the Modern Quilt Group of the UK’s Quilters Guild, Helen Howes and Helen Butcher had these beautiful quilts entered as well.


There is no doubt being technically very competent as these quilters are  in addition to having a good design eye makes for a very impactful quilt. I particularly liked this one by Abigail Sheridan de Graff.  The addition of the apple green really makes it stand out. But the precision is amazing, that tiny block in the middle is 3/4” square. It deservedly got a highly commended .



These others caught my eye. Apologies for the photos the NEC maybe very convenient for me at least geographically but it has very poor indoor lighting .


Modern Love pieced by Jo Avery and quilted by I’m afraid I can’t remember…..


This one above is by Jo Westfoot who is one of the Siblings Together Bee members


And finally I always try to choose a quilt that I’d like to take home and for me it’s a toss up between this one below by Sophie Zaugg and…



…. this one by Sarah Hibbert and quilted by Christine Perrigo. This quilt is well travelled having  been to America for quilting then home to the UK to go back to the US  again for Quilt Con then home again.



This one above was the overall winner of the Modern Quilt section and is by Mary Palmer. It has very skilful quilting which must’ve taken forever given the size of the quilt and the number of words picked out by being the relief to very dense quilting.

F8C61FDC-2F2B-4000-8703-21E63A880FD4I flitted through the Traditional category and  I particularly liked this quilt by Trudi Wood.  She writes a lot of patterns for magazines and has an eye for design that packs a punch without necessarily being too tricksy or time-consuming. That’s my type of quilting!


The key display this year was to celebrate the tercentenary of the 1718 coverlet. A coverlet is basically a quilt without the wadding in between. In fact just what I could have done with this hot summer.

This is the oldest surviving quilt in the world. It is in fact so delicate that it is shown only infrequently and has now been tucked away carefully in storage for a break. For goodness sake, it even had its own bodyguard! Not that I could really imagine any quilter desperate enough to peel back the plastic protective layer and wrap him or herself up in it.

If I’m honest I was rather underwhelmed, it looked threadbare and faded. Mind you after 300 years I guess most of us would!

FDCB32ED-6F72-446D-9C9B-6E90A1E428F0I’m sure skill went into it and those same skills 300 years later went into producing some beautiful modern versions. Now these I did like, not least because I’d never have the stamina to complete one.  My favourite of these was this one. You can see from the one behind how different they were. This was by Deborah McGuire.




As to all the shops I’m afraid other than a quick flick through I only stopped at Beyond Measure and bought some bias binding and some buttons from Grace who is another Bee member. I’m very partisan! Hardly the haul of the century but I’m really trying hard to use what I’ve got… My mum would be pleased!



5 thoughts on “A Quilter’s Conundrum

  1. Very interesting. Such huge variety and evidence that this is indeed an art form as well as a cozy hobby. What makes an English or British quilt obviously different from an American one?


  2. Oh, I have enjoyed your post on the FOQ show! It felt like having a quick visit myself, thankyou. I was in awe of the 300 year old quilt , not so much the modern versions, and wonder if any of this century’s quilts will survive long enough to inspire others in the far distant future?
    Thanks again for the personalised tour. Kate


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