I’m back! And it was great! Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England was larger than ever with so many beautiful quilts that your eyes were in constant danger of popping out of your head. (And I will not talk about the multitude of vendors and the money I left there.)
I brought back a lot of pictures, a lot more than I can show you at once. So I will break them up in manageable quantities and you will be treated to wonderful quilts the next two weeks. So today let’s start with the winning quilts.
The winner of the Art Quilts category is Susan Orchin of England with her quilt “My Lady”. It is a whole cloth quilts with a printed photograph, with some threadpainting and trapunto, with beading and with a painted dragonfly. The quilt is machine quilted.
Artist’s statement: The quilt emphasises the model’s beauty, hair texture, vulnerability and the floor grain. The dragonfly symbolises beauty and the short life of living creatures.
“Without Colour I have no Voice” by Lesley Brankin of England won the Contemporary Quilts category. Lesley used hand-dyed and commercial fabrics and stencilled some of the fabric with acrylics. The flowers are machine appliquéd, embroidered and embellished by hand. The idea for this quilts came out of her sketchbook where she created flowers using pages from old books.
The best Pictorial Quilt was “Turtle Bay” by Claudia Pfeil of Germany, a quilt inspired by her scuba diving experiences. It is pieced, hand and machine quilted, couched and embellished with Swarovski crystals.
There is a special Two Person Quilt category mainly for quilts which were given away for the quilting. The winner here was “Mellow Mood Medaillon”. The quilt was pieced by Alyson Wells and long arm quilted by Mandy Parks (both live in England). The flower panels are hand appliquéd, the borders are machine pieced. A beautiful traditional quilt.
Each year The Quilter’s Guild of the British Isles has a challenge with the quilts premiering at the Festival of Quilts. This year’s winner was “Log Cabin Crazyness!” by Joy Salvage of England. Wether you like traditional quilts or not – this one was breathtaking. Look at the detail on the left. There was no size mentioned but my estimation is that the quilt was approximately 250 x 250 cm (100 x 100 inches) and one block 5 x 5 cm (2 x 2 inches). It is machine pieced, hand tied and machine quilted.
The artist’s statement: After being inspired by the Log Cabin exhibition in York, I decided on creating a big quilt, using a small scale block. It contains over 40,000 pieces and has kept me very busy during a whole year. I adore small und fiddly things, and log cabin is my most favourite block of all time.
There is a special category for First Quilts. The winner was “Derelict” by Catherine Groves, England. The quilt is foundation pieced with appliquéd details, incorporating processed photos on fabric. It is machine and hand quilted.
Artist’s statement: This quilt comes out of conversation with my elderly Aunt Rose about her family house which she had to leave when it was condemned as unsafe. Through talking to her, I began to appreciate the key importance of home in grounding our memories. Buildings may crumple, but memories remain strong.
The winner in the Group Quilts category was “The Show Stoppers” by the group The Exhibitionists (9 members). This quilt is hilarious and shows so well the attitude of the British not to take themselves too seriously. Click on the details below to read the text in the bubbles.
Statement of the artists: We sometimes wonder what people think when seeing our quilts, so we chose a ‘show and tell’ theme and imagined the amused reactions of the audience to the ‘Exhibitionists’ standing beside their quilts. These miniature quilts showcase a variety of techniques and highlight the dynamic diversity of the group.
As always the category Miniature Quilts was a jawdropping one. I can not imagine how quilter can do such intricate designs on so small quilts. For me every miniature quilt was a winner but the official one is “Tempest” by Kumiko Frydl, USA.
The quilt is foundation paper pieced, reverse appliquéd, free-motion quilted, machine embroidered on the binding and is made of silk and cotton.
There is one category called Quilt Creations. This category is for everthing quilted which is not a quilt. So in there goes garment, bowls, bags, textile installations and more. Usually I am not too interested in this category but this time there was not only a wonderful steampunk elephant but also a great winner – “The Chess Set” by Mavis Walker of England.
The chess board was a simple quilt of black and white squares (what else?) but the chess pieces were whimsical dolls which made you smile. I stood there for a long time looking at all the different faces and the lovingly worked details (click on the details to see a large picture). Although not a “real” quilt it was a real show stopper and one of my favorite pieces.
The Festival of Quilts tries to be a platform for the young quilters as well, encouraging them to show their quilts. The category is called Young Quilter/Young Embroiderer and is divided into different age groups. And of course I will show you the winners as well. Who knows – one of them might be the big name in quilting in 5 or 10 years.
This is the first part of quilts of the Festival of Quilts but I have a lot left to show you. Check back on Friday for more or subscribe (top of page on right side) so you want miss a post.