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I'm back baby! Festival of Quilts 2023

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

I finally made it back to the NEC Festival of Quilts this year for their 20th anniversary. It would have been rude not to!

For those who've not read my blog before. I'm not a quilter (apart from very simple ones) but I like to go to the Festival of Quilts, partly because as the biggest quilting show in Europe, it attracts amazing sewing stalls from across Europe, but also because you can take amazing inspiration from the quilt designs and stalls.

The first thing I noticed this year was a slight air of sadness. That might just be from me as I've just lost a close friend. But it wasn't quite the celebratory mood I'd expected for a 20th anniversary.

I started with the stalls and though they were fabulous as usual. I was aware that lots of my favourites just weren't there. It is clearly difficult times.

A few favourites were the Tent Makers of Cairo,

the amazing cross stitch kits of the Cross Stitch Guild and Sue Hawkins

and these textile bird kits from Alexandra Waylett

Lots of great present ideas!

On the upside as a dressmaking person there were noticeably more dressmaking fabric stalls. I think I did very well not to spend spend spend!

There were also a lot more seats. It's a long day and they were so needed!

I always love the buzz of the show. You can tell you are around creatives as the clothing people wear is just so much more colourful and textural and everyone is so friendly.

So - to the quilts!!! I took LOADS of photos so I've tried to categorize them below, with little comments.

In terms of trends, denim was a big one, fewer photographic designs and some GORGEOUS modern designs.

I have to say I wasn't in agreement with the winners at all, so there isn't a separate collection. I'm not a quilter so I'm sure I just didn't get some of the nuances. I've included them with the others where I actually liked them.

Hope you were as inspired as I was. Put it in your diary for next year!

Stay colourful,


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manahil.b bhatti
Oct 07, 2023

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