I decided to spend one of the nicest Sundays so far at the lovely concrete jungle that is the NEC in Birmingham. Why? Because even though I don't consider myself a proper quilter, I do love to look at what proper quilters/sewers do. And the last seven years has seen the Festival of Quilts become the main exhibition for both those that want to show their quilts and for those that want to sell things that are part of the world of sewing – from the latest line of fabrics, to the sewing machine that can hoover your house whilst sewing (just kidding – but it is probably around the corner!). A few of the highlights for me were:
- Bumping into Kaffe Fassett while he was signing his new book Quilts en Provence - I have to admit I didn't realise who it was (even though I know all about his contributions to the world of sewing and fabrics). I politely said excuse me and then noticed a flurry of ladies pointing whilst he made he way through the crowd – where he made his way to his table and started to sign. Below is a photo of a section of one of his quilts on display - the photos don't do them justice as they really have to be seen close up to appreciate how he works with colour:
- The Cotton Patch stand was gorgeous – so many sewing related items to chose from that it really is hard to concentrate on just what you would like to buy. I kept my hands in my pockets as my Mom recently brought me a very large addition to my stash but temptation was all around me!
- Speaking of temptation, Amy Butler is bigger than ever and was a big part of the Cotton Patch stand. It is easy to forget that she is a designer so therefore, she can turn her hand to anything – not just fabric. And she has started to do that – wallpaper, stationery etc.
Check out the rain coat!
- The most untraditional but incredibly striking quilts that I saw were made by a lady named Pauline Burbridge . All of her pieces were black and white (with grey thrown in) and had this incredible amount of detail that made them look like block prints or pen and ink drawings. You looked at them from a distance and they had almost an ethereal presence but then as you got closer, the detail became more obvious and you saw them in a whole different light. They made my eyes water with the amount of work she must put into them – even the small wall pieces were stunning. I would love to try her method and she apparently holds a short course at West Dean College in Chichester. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps……..