22 Aug 2012

atomic quilts and liberty prints

Last Thursday I ventured northwards, my destination: Birmingham's NEC. Why? The Festival of Quilts of course!

That's right, it's that time of year again. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of women (and some disgruntled looking husbands) came to bask in the glorious light of Europe's largest quilt fest - and I, thanks to work, was one of them. Having attended the pervious year I felt a little smug, thinking I knew what to expect and how to attack the day in order to get the most out of it. I was so wrong. The vastness of the event had clearly escaped my memory. There was just so much too see and not enough time!

There were numerous mini exhibitions by quilt collectives, individuals (professional quilt artists as well as textile graduates) and museums. The highlights for me were:

Kate Findlay's Atomic Quilts. Her collection of work was inspired by the Large Hadron Collider (how amazing is that? Sewing and science coming together)!

Pictures courtesy of Kate Findlay - her quilts really were spectacular, you can see the whole series on her website

From (super) contemporary to stunningly old skool - this antique 1930s American 'Ocean Waves' block quilt caught my eye, or rather the fabrics did - I'd quite fancy a dress made out of one or two of them! 

And lastly this impressive piece of patchwork by a Russian quilter whose name I can't track down in the FoQ guide. Her work is full of texture and three dimensional elements which was v.different and quite astonishing! One of the pieces in her collection was a quilt depicting her grandmother working in the fields, all made from labourers clothing - I'm just sorry I didn't photograph it!

I also managed to have a quick look around at some of the competition quilts these were my favourites:
Simply Blue - Pauline Mulford

Kaleidoscope - Iris Hills

Seasons - Margaret McDonald and Susan Campbell

From the miniature quilts section:
Geese in the Garden - Jane Sully

Another great thing about going to this years festival was that I got to meet, in person, a few of the ladies I'd interviewed (either by email or over the phone) for the magazine. Janet Bolton was my favourite - she was such a nice lady and her work is quite beautiful - the words homey and cosy spring to mind when I look at her textile pictures I can't really explain why but I do love them!

And lastly, Liberty's new lifestyle fabrics range was on sale at the festival. As a little treat to myself (and practically using the last of this month's money) I got some of this - isn't it lush?! I'm hoping to make a dress so watch this space!
Here's some of the other prints and colours in the range, the whole collection isn't on the Liberty website for some reason but I'm guessing they have it in store...you can definitely buy it from these lovely people - Fabrics Galore. Here's some of the other ones that I particularly like (yes, blues are my favourites).

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