Monthly Archives: August 2016

My Day at The Festival of Quilts

It is five years since I had the chance to visit the Festival of Quilts at the NEC and I spent a fabulous,  inspiring day amonsgst some amazing quilts. It takes a lot to get me to spend the day indoors when the sun is shining, but I was so captivated, I didn’t waste any time leaving the halls!

Viewing-quilts

New Technique

Also unusual for me is spending most of the time in silence, awed by the feast of colour, design and techniques. In fact my only real conversation was with South African textile artist Pam Stallebrass, which started when I overheard someone warning her to be careful using the poisonous Potassium Dichromate. The talk of poison was enough to bring me out of my silent trance and I was able to discuss Pam’s Playing With Light exhibition with her.

Pam Stallebrass Cynoprintl

As I already teach cyanotype printing with light onto textiles, it was lovely to see Pam’s examples and discuss suppliers for the chemicals. I also really enjoyed learning about Van Dyke printing onto fabric. Van Dyke Brown Printing is nearly identical in simplicity and low cost, but yields a rich brown color as opposed to the blue of cyanotypes. I loved the feather images Pam had achieved and will be adding Van Dyke printing techniques to my workshop programme, so watch this space! Rest assured, I’m not going to be using the poison though.

My Strategy

One day was really not enough to get the most from:

20 international textile artist showcases
the display of nearly 800 competition quilts
300+ exhibitors selling specialist quilting and textile art supplies

as well as another look at many of the the Bronte Challenge quilts and the after hours fashion show.

So my strategy was to concentrate on the quilts knowing I could contact exhibitors at another time. This also meant I didn’t make rushed, non comparative purchases. So on the train coming home I felt quite virtuous reviewing my  purchased 11 fat quarters, and a few of trims and threads.  I do have a growing wish list though!

Did I agree with the judges?

Generally no!

The Winner of Best In Show, Sandy Chandler’s quilt was all cream so although expertly quilted, it left me cold. I was more inspired by another cream quilt: Some Flowers by Elsbeth Nusser-Lampe, which had a little colour, transferred using Vliesofix. This is a technique I might explore more and add to my Botanic fabric workshops.
Some Flowers by Elsbeth Nusser-Lampe
I was often surprised by category winners as there were others I was more inspired by.
But the Winner of the Miniature Quilts category, OtherPlaces by Sandra Newton, would have been my choice too.
Minature Quilt FavouriteI feel the simplicity suits the category, and I was captivated by both the materials used and the dance poses and quote about places teaching us to dance.
Sandra Newton Other Places Detail FOQ16
In case you are wondering if I have gone off colour all together, my favourite in the Modern Quilt category was Bubbles of Joy by Anne Lilliholm Jorgensen
Bubbles of Joy by Anne Lilliholm Jorgensen
Detail Bubbles of Joy by Anne Lilliholm Jorgensen

My Favourite in the Two person Category was a Modern Sampler: Black by Helen Howes and Helen Butcher

Modern Sampler Black by Helen Howes and Helen Butcher

My Favourite in the Traditional Quilt category was Dahlia by Gillian Smyth

Dahlia by Gillian SmythI’m not really sure I would categorise this as a traditional quilt, but it certainly produced a wow from me!

A Common Theme

I was indoors but was transported to the coast by the many seaside inpired quilts. The whole of the young category was on the seaside theme and my favourite was A Relaxing Day at the Beach by Agnes Shaw, which was a small deckchair along  with a cloth book to read and won the 2nd prize in theYoung Quilter/Young Embroiderer 9-11 Category

A Relaxing Day at the Beach Agnes Shaw

A second deckchair, full size this time, was Sittin’ in the Morning Sun by Burgess Hill School for Girls, which won the Secondary School Competition

Sittin' in the Morning Sun Burgess Hill School for GirlsI loved the bunting detail here

Bunting Detail Sittin' in the Morning Sun by Burgess Hill School for Girls

Another seaside quilt that I spent some time enjoying won the Anne Tuck prize Finding Perspective by Jill Rose Brennan

Finding PerspectiveOthers were:

Elements by Hilary Beattie

Elements by Hilary Beattie

and Happy Memmories of the Seaside by Christine Ireland

Happy Memmories of the Seaside by Christine IrelandHappy Memmories of the Seaside by Christine Ireland Detail

Breaker on the Beach by Susan Vogel

Breaker on the Beach Susan Vogel

On the Beach with Maggi  by Linda Forey

On the Beach with Maggi Detail by Linda Forey

Pebbles on the Beach by Sheilagh Webb

Pebbles on the Beach by Sheilagh Webb

On the Beach – A Waste Land  by Kathy Unwin

On the Beach - A Waste Land Detail by Kathy Unwin

Memories of Times Past by Ann Beare

Memories of Times Past by Ann Beare

Gateway by Hilary Beatie

Gateway by Hilary Beatie

Keeping watch #2 by Roberta Le Poidevin

Keeping watch #2 by Roberta Le Poidevin

It was a thrill to have some of my work exhibited: My Bronte Challenge Quilt and my quilting group piece with Totley Brook Quilters

Helen Moyes Designs Bronte Challenge Quilt at FOQ16

 

Totley Brook Quilters Through The Window FOQ16

My looking into a window block is middle right

Helen Moyes Designs Looking In the Window

Group Quilts

So do I think our group quilt should have won in that category? Probably not. There were so many wonderful group quilts, I would have found it hard to pick winners!
The winners were Sussex Spectrum, with Dyeversity.

Dyeversity by Sussex Spectrum group quilt

Other  favourite group quilts of mine were:

Stansted House Hampshire by Artworks

Stansted House Hampshire by Artworks

The Ochils in Autumn by Alva Divas

The Ochils in Autumn by Alva Divas

Tranqullity by Totally patched Group

Tranqullity by Totally Patched Group

and Liberated Black Line by Meon Textile Artists which was highly commended.

Liberated Black Line by Meon Textile Artists

If you haven’t had chance to visit the show, you can still enter the festival competition until 29th August, 2016, to win one of the biggest quilting hampers of all time!

If you have managed to visit the festival I would love to hear what you thought. Please post comments below.