Saturday, August 20, 2011


Back from the Festival of Quilts

I returned from the Festival of Quilts at the beginning of this week, weary and rather sad that I wasn't able to see as much as I had wanted to, during the short time I was able to be on the floor.

Sue, Carin, Ros and I arrived at lunchtime  on Friday (thanks to Sue driving) and after a quick snack, Ros and I spent the afternoon on the Quilters' Guild stand, promoting the new Block of the Month quilt I have made, to raise funds for Region 9 and the Young Quilters.  To be honest, I felt it didn't need a lot of promoting, as many people had already read about it and had made their way to see the quilt and pick up an application form from the stand and then going off to buy some fabric.  Ros and I also visited Heide Stoll Weber on the Farbstoff stand afterwards, where I was able to give her a sample of her hand dyed cotton sateen fabric I had used.  Apparently, she had already had enquiries and had no idea what people were talking about, but now she does.  She has agreed to dye some cotton sateen for us, similar to the one I have used and it may be obtained by contacting her through her website  Just say what you want and she will send it to you @ £27 per metre plus £3.00 p&p.  You will be able to pay in stirling, thus avoiding the currency conversion charges.  Having said that, there is no obligation to use the same fabric as I and I look forward to seeing very many different versions at the end of the nine month course.  If you don't know what I am talking about here, there is a photo of the quilt and an application form on the homepage of my website.  All are welcome to join in and Ros and I have been bowled over by the interest already shown.

Saturday was the only day I was on the floor to look at the exhibits and visit the stands but I wasn't feeling my best and this was also the first time I had to use my new funky walking stick, which is still at its 'running in' stage.  However, as I was stopped by almost every second person for a chat which, together with attending the Kemshall's fantastic lecture in the morning plus Carolyn Ferguson's in the afternoon, it left me with very little time to see anything and to buy nothing!!  This for me, though is what I enjoy about the FOQ - it is the people who make it.

I am pleased to say that my Academy workshop on the Sunday, went very well.  It was full to bursting with great, enthusiastic students and we had a very good day.  Unfortunately, I was initially disappointed with the state of the room we had been allocated and the tables on which we were expected to work.  There was no-one representing Twisted Thread around to sort it out, so I had to clean everything myself, the best I could, before the students arrived, including having to find an extra two chairs. However, I am glad to say everyone went home happy. The cushion I had made for that workshop was won in the raffle by one of our Swiss students and I was able to close the door behind me at 4.30 feeling that I had made yet more friends and hopefully inspired another class to do something different with their wholecloth quilting.

It is always a long job when I get home from a few 'working'  days to unpack, write emails and make sure I contact all those I have said I will but, whilst I was doing this, I received an email from Rosemary Hillman with a very important photograph.

Three years ago now, I designed a small Block of the Month quilt for the Traditional Group of the Quilters' Guild.  Approximately 120 members joined in and I was sent many fabulous photos of the finished articles (all different).  Rosemary specialises in making bed quilts and considers anything smaller as a miniature.  She determined to make her small quilt into a bed quilt and I was fascinated to know how it would look.  Well, after all this time, she has finished it and here it is.  I think the way she has adapted the original North Country patterns is just fantastic and it is a quilt to be proud of.  I hope that Rosemary can now be persuaded to put it into a Show next year so more people can see it 'in the flesh'.  I was very glad to see two more of the original sized quilts (one by my friend Carin), in the competition, at the Festival of Quilts this year and still am sad that we haven't been able to organise a bigger exhibition of them all to date.  If you would like to see more of Rosemary's wonderful quilts, just click on my links section on the homepage.

Just to finish everything nicely, at the end of this week, I had an email from Christine Porter, telling me that my quilt 'Lux Aurumque' had won the Best Handworkmanship Award in the Traditional category of the World Quilt Show which is being held in New England, USA .  I was absolutely amazed and very excited.  I feel that the best workmanship awards are always the most rewarding to win.  I am not a great designer, but I do put a lot into my hand quilting, therefore I feel so honoured to have been awarded this particular prize.  It is such a shame that this type of award no longer exists at the Festival of Quilts, but thrives at the Grosvenor Shows which, I am sure, gives great encouragement to all quilters. 'Lux....' will now go on to tour the USA visiting all the glamorous places I haven't yet had a chance to go to and ending up in West Palm Beach, Florida in November.  My son Nick is already planning a road journey!!!!!!!!

Well, the summer (such as it has been) is nearly over now and the children go back to school in two weeks time.  This then gives us the time to start, with a vengeance, on all those ideas we have had over the holiday period.  I am still writing articles and designing projects for various magazines which, I hope, you will see over the coming months and still have some in the pipeline.  As for quilting?  Well, I am having to adapt to accommodate my arthritis and am a lot slower but, I think I can promise one or two new items by the beginning of the next Show season.

Happy quilting,


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