I’ve barely unpacked all the goodies I bought at the Festival of Quilts (last month) and apparently it is almost time for the Knitting & Stitching Show** – with the local Big Textile Show* in between.
Festival of Quilts at the NEC Birmingham is always a favourite of mine – it is an hour away so I can visit as much as I like but also sleep in my own bed. There are exhibitions, there are workshops (I always teach a few), there is catching up with friends and there is always a lot of shopping! These days I only tend to buy small things – threads, needles and tiny scraps of fabric – rather than the huge bolts of quilt wadding and kilos of fabric you see people lugging around. I always make a beeline to the Embroiderers’ Guild stand to hunt through their ‘treasures’ – bits and pieces of old embroidery, samples and materials. I was very pleased with this lovely dragon this year. I’ll be sharing a closer look at him soon.
For the first time in a few years I didn’t have a quilt in the open competition. I didn’t have anything suitable ready for this year but I am already making good progress on something I plan to enter next year – sneak peek below.
I found the exhibitions at Festival of Quilts were not as interesting as usual, to my taste anyway. The Fine Art Quilt Masters was good but I thought a little limited compared to last year. This year it included a lot more actual quilt pieces, whereas last year the definition was much looser and it was a contemporary art textiles selection. Of all the pieces, I particularly loved this by Raffaela Gottardell. You can see better photos on her Flickr page and Pinterest board.
I also liked some of the quilts from the Russian Gallery, made by Elena Folomyeva. The simple colour schemes and graphic plants on textured white backgrounds are really lovely.
*The Big Textile Show takes place this weekend 27th & 28th September in Great Glen, Leicestershire. I will be there in studio capacity, selling books, vintage fabrics, haberdashery and workshop tickets. I’m also teaching Trapunto Quilting on Sunday afternoon and will probably be shopping the rest of the time!
As for the **Knitting & Stitching Show (8-12 October), I am also teaching a couple of Trapunto (spot a theme here?) one-hour workshops on Thurs afternoon and Fri afternoon. The galleries look great, particularly the work of my friend Caren Garfen and Black Sheep which I have already seen and it is great. And of course, there will be shopping – you will find me trying not to spend hundreds of pounds on spectacular Japanese threads at Habu.