We had a very busy week exhibiting at the Festival of Quilts at the Birmingham NEC last week. The show was incredible and we were in awe of some of the work displayed by some unbelievably talented quilters. The work on display certainly got our creative juices flowing!
It was inspiring to see what had been created and there were definitely more than a few which caught our eye. It was also so lovely to see messages & meanings behind some of the artwork as it makes the piece take on a whole different meaning once the back story is revealed.
A perfect example of this is The Women’s Quilt 2017. This was always surrounded by a crowd of people which, of course provokes some curiosity from the start. The quilt is a collection of 598 patches, each one embroidered with a woman’s name. The enormous patchwork is part of a project to commemorate the 598 women killed by their partners or ex partners between 2009 – 2015 in England and Wales. The outcome is a beautiful patchwork quilt, with a very powerful message to share.
My goal seemed impossible at first as I tried to adapt a full-size pattern to miniature quilt only one-twentieth of the size of the original piece. However, when I changed to original applique on the border and sashing to ribbon embroidery, the impossible became possible. – Kumiko Frydl
My work is about time, I record the effects of time through the Darnings and also record the instant expression on a face when a photo is taken. Photos taken a moment apart in 2011 are translated into these two portraits made over 8 months, between 2016 and 2017. They stand as a testament to my mother and her life. Each thread sewn brings together the female body in relation to the threads that tie generations of women and makes tangible the emotional as well as biological ties between mother and daughter. – Jenni Dutton
It wasn’t just the artwork on display which caught our attention. There were so many stalls around the NEC selling everything from buttons and embellishments to sewing machines and handmade gifts – there was no way anyone could walk out empty-handed! It was also so refreshing to see a variety of crafters at the Festival, showing that there really was something for everyone!
Besides the quilts themselves, we also loved having a natter with a lot of you who have already travelled with us or are due to travel with us soon. It’s always nice to meet you all face to face and hear your thoughts on what you like about our trips and what we could do to make them even better. This year we asked the question ‘where in the world would your ultimate crafting destination be?’. Your answers certainly inspired us and we are busy working with our experts on putting together fantastic 2018-19 program so watch this space!