The first thing to say to anyone thinking of going to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC is to book online. This is the queue to pay on the door at 11am on the first day, a Thursday.
Before I got that far, I had seen a man settling himself down in a coffee shop, equipped with a large coffee and an even larger paperback novel. Obviously a veteran of many previous campaigns.
Well, as you would expect, three halls of the NEC hold a lot of quilts, and all manner of useful things to tempt us. And yes, I did weaken and buy something. More of that when I have made the kits up!
It is a while since I’ve been to one of these things, and in the intervening years the powers that be have given up forbidding photography. I did overhear someone asking “How do I take a picture of the back of this quilt without touching it?”
Other overhead gems included:
- “Some of these are quite good.”
- “Do you think it takes them a long time to do them?”
- And from an American lady, demonstrating a quilting ruler: “It is 25 dollars at home, but I don’t know how much it costs here.”
Anyway, here are the pictures I took. Not the best, as they are over and round other people, so there are some interesting angles, strange shadows, and some dodgy focusing.
None of these quilts were winners. When I arrived, they were all in a designated area, covered in black fabric, with a large sign saying they would be unveiled at 2pm. By 1.15, people were already milling around, occupying all the nearby seating in anticipation. When I went back at 2.30, the unveiling was still in progress. Two lads were working their way round, climbing up matching bright yellow step ladders to unscrew the batten holding the black fabric, and lifting it off to reveal a winner, before moving on to the next.
Not everything on show was a conventional quilt. Here are some of the other items on show. And yes, those are individual leaves, making up a rather holy umbrella:
First of all, some need to be kept together, so you can see detail and/or different angles.
I’ve been thinking of doing a house quilt for a while. Here are three ideas to add to the list of possibilities:
I like the border on this one:
Here are interesting takes on some traditional ideas:
This beach scene has a spectacular pier quilted onto it, and some shingle detail:
This floral one was rather spectacular:
And here is the gallery of all the other pictures I took. I can’t decide which I like best. The maps are very clever, and I like the ones with large areas of very quilted background. But the landscapes are very clever, and then there is the face, and the distorted blocks….