Sorry for the extended period of silence.
I've been working on lots of boring admin and I've just come back from visiting my Mum in Newcastle.
It was another busy visit, with birthdays and a lot of jobs that needed doing and of course I chose the hottest weather possible to do them!!
I got back in time to visit the annual mecca that is The Festival of Quilts. I always like to visit, both for inspiration, a bit of trend research and of course who can forget the fabric shopping (it's something I am very good at!).
So without further ado, I thought you might like to see my favourites, for those who didn't see them on my social media feeds.
This quilt reminded me of my own trip to Australia, where I also collected a few aboriginal design fabrics. I also loved the burnt orange and brown fabric combination.
Firstly I love the choice of contrasting colours and the constrained curvyness! Reading more about the quilt, it was made by 5 different people, who each did a strip. They were each given 3 colours of fabric (black, magenta and petrol for a background) and asked to add one other colour. I love the result!
Don't you love a picture where you can feel you are there?
This quilt totally did that for me. They got the colours and the texture just right with the sort of overexposure you get on a really sunny day
This quilt was so refreshing. You can totally see why it was Highly Commended.
Like standing in a garden at Chelsea. The mix of quilting and hand painting with acrylic inks makes the flowers and foliage really come alive. A labour of love dedicated to the quilter's late mother and husband.
What a great idea for a Group Quilt!!
This was made up by 23 members of the group.
I loved the clever mix of techniques and textiles used to express the texture of a drystone wall. Especially the detail of the beading for the lichen. Phenomenal!
I love a bit of monochrome with a flash of bright colour. This sampler quilt uses a series of different techniques, hand applique (as seen in the close up), as well as machine quilting. There were a few ideas even a very simple quilter, like me, could use.
Ok - so I was totally drawn to this because of the rabbits.
There is something really free and joyful about them.
I also love the colours and that when I looked closer there were unexpected octopusses (or is it octopii?). Still not quite sure what they were about but I liked them because they were quirky.
"My name is Alison and I like glitter!"
This quilt is glittery, but it uses it's glitter subtly and it doesn't overwhelm the design.
I particularly loved the detailed quilting of the hearts at the edges.
Much as I love the bright coloured quilts, as perhaps my choices illustrate, I also love muted or slightly "dirty" colours, which give a lovely vintage ageless classic look. They are just so comforting.
And the use of daisies. They always make me smile. A remembrance of the simplicity of childhood daisy chains.
The central glimpse of toile de jouy is like a window out onto a rural landscape. I loved the fact that some the animals were individually quilted. Particularly the fox, you can see in the close up.
Now this quilt was one of my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITES! In fact - in my opinion it should have won First Prize not Third.
The colour was amazing! The photograph above just doesn't capture it.
I loved the way relief was created via shadows around some of the design elements. As the close up shows, this was due to intense stitching of a slightly different shade.
I'd assumed that the quilt had been quilted via a computerised long arm machine. So I was totally blown away when I discovered that it was all stitched free motion.
I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that this was based on Dame Edna!
A really happy quilt with amazing use of a variety of trims. I particularly loved the feathered effect around the edge.
Loved the simplicity of design of this one, the colours and the sense of movement.
This quilt again has that sense of age from the muted 'dirty' colours. I was also drawn to the slightly rough folk symbols, especially the central hand.
So I got African and tribal with shields all the earthy colours of Africa. But I discovered this is actually Peruvian based on memories of a visit to Machu Picchu.
This smaller long narrow quilt was very different from the other items on display and really stood out. I loved the layered felt applique and the shimmering beading.
I have always loved the look of quilted gold material on quilts. Especially simply used on a black background.
This reproduction of a Klimt painting used the quilting of the rich gold and metallic sheen of indian raw silk to give a beautiful effect.
The beautiful colours of a dragonfly are reproduced brilliantly in this quilt. The clever use of shiny and matt fabrics and silver threads makes it really come alive.
Really complemented by the art deco style background.
This quilt again uses the muted aged colours I love.
It looks to be handpainted with a mix of machine quilting and hand embroidery.
Oh the attention to detail!!!
This was one of the few photographic quilts I saw this year. It was absolutely beautifully done and loved the element of hand embroidery.
You can totally see why it was the Winner of the People's Choice!
And now to the WINNERS!!
This quilt had everything!! So much colour, incredible detail, beautiful crystalwork. A very worthy winner.
Another worthy winner. I found this quilt very earthy and organic.
It uses silk, hemp and non-wovens to depict a network of natural tissues.
This is so similar to a previous quilt I liked, it seemed rather unfair. It was beautiful and perhaps more colourful and the daisy quilting is quite lovely.
I have to say - I wasn't a huge fan of this one. It did have an immense amount of detail though and some lovely linens.
The Festival also has various other collections of quilts from around the world.
There were a couple that I really loved.
I particularly loved the depiction of flowers in this panel. They seemed so real!
So, congrats if you got this far!!
This was my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE quilt displayed in the whole show.
I love Spode and the Willow pattern and this is inspired by both.
This is the one I REALLY wanted to take home. It was GORGEOUS!
I'm sure my husband would buy it for me. It was only £2750.....