Quilts, Quilts, Glorious Quilts!

festival of quilts

As expected, it’s been another busy week, culminating in a trip with my mum to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. And what a Festival it was! There were so many wonderful quilts to see – traditional, modern, big, small…and I am going to share a few of my favourites with you, dear reader.

First up, my absolute favourite in the show. It was an entry in the Contemporary Quilts category, by Tracy Aplin from Deal and it is called “Colourful Kaleidoscope“. I love the colours, the design, the rickrack, the hand stitching. Well, everything about it really. What’s not to love?! Here it is:

colourful kaleidoscope

And some close ups:

colourful kaleidoscope detail 2colourful kaleidoscope detailcolourful kaleidoscope french knots

On the way back on the coach, I mentioned to one of other ladies how much I liked this quilt and the way the circles had been appliqued with rickrack around, and she said something rather dismissive, along the lines of “she only did it that way because she didn’t know how to attach them properly”. Gah. Quilt Police. Yuck. I love this quilt, whether it is technically amazing or not. It sings with joy and makes me want to do the same.

Another quilt I loved in this category was Jenny Rolfe‘s quilt “Branching Out“. I love the different shapes of trees and leaves and the contrast between the subtle hand dyed fabrics and the bold black and white of the borders:

Branching Out

And some detail:

Branching Out -detail

Branching Out - detail 2

A third quilt I particularly enjoyed was in the Quilters Guild Challenge. The challenge was to produce a quilt on the theme of “Britain – What it Means to You”. It seemed that, to a lot of people, Britain means cups of tea :-). But I was particularly taken with this interpretation by Julie Mary Humphreys, which she describes as “The colour and richness which comes from welcoming immigrants to our culture – it is Britain’s hidden strength” Amen to that, and love this quilt:

julie mary humphreys quilt

The faces dangling from the bottom of the quilt are just super. So quirky and expressive! I particularly love the policeman 🙂

julie mary humphreys quilt -headsjulie mary humphreys quilt - head detailjulie mary humphreys quilt policeman head

This year I was particularly wowed by the Miniature Quilts. These quilts would all be awesome if they were full sized, but to see this level of detail on something just a few inches in size is totally amazing. I have no idea how they do it, but it makes my jaw drop!!

miniature quiltsmore miniature quilts

Another highlight (as in previous years) is the exhibition from the European Quilt Association. This year they produced quilts 20 x 50 cm in size on the theme of “Crossroads”. I love seeing the different interpretations of artists from all around Europe.


Of the prize winning quilts this year, my favourite by far was winner in the Pictorial Quilts category, “Graceful Dance” bu Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga. It is beautiful, don’t you think?

Graceful Dance

As far as buying stuff this year, I was remarkably restrained, coming away with a small amount of fabric and just a couple of new books…but I have certainly filled my head with inspiration and a renewed enthusiasm for taking up needle and thread, and that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day 🙂

If you went to the Festival, I would love to hear about your highlights…

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9 thoughts on “Quilts, Quilts, Glorious Quilts!

  1. stuff I said says:

    Oh wow these are beautiful! Thank you for sharing. x

  2. Wow, they are absolutely stunning.

  3. Ben Naga says:

    What she said. 😀

  4. Kerri says:

    I my gosh, these are so amazing. Thank you for sharing your photos.

  5. Tracy aplin says:

    Hello, Tracy Aplin here who made the quilt you have shown here! Thank you very much for the lovely comments. It is so nice to know that my work is appreciate . As for the lady saying that i don’t know how to sew the circles on!!……look out for my next quilt at this years foquilts, 2013.
    Thank you again and happy sewing Tracyx

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