Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Festival of Quilts NEC 2013

Okay, I have to admit, this is the first time I have ever been to the  Festival of Quilts. But hey, it is in August (just when 2 of my men have birthdays) in the middle of summer holidays and we are usually in France at this point.  So, all things considered it was more luck really that I could go this year and it took a lot of forward planning on my behalf to facilitate it too.
I had booked my hotel almost as soon as the dates for the Festival had been announced and then, as soon as the workshops became available for booking, I was online and booked the ones I wanted to do. Dates were blocked out in my diary and NOTHING was going to interfere with my plans.
I had booked full day masterclasses for Thursday and Saturday, with a lecture and twilight class on Friday, which left the rest of Friday and all day Sunday to do shopping and look at all the wonderful quilts.  Had a lovely dinner on Thursday evening at The Boot at Lapworth with friends from the Japan trip, then had coffee with some more friends on Friday morning, where we discussed possiblities of future trips.  Met up with some friends from Colorado trip too during the day.
Managed to get quite a bit of shopping done too, despite not a lot of free time for this.  I have decided not to buy any fabric, but as usual could not resist.

What I did buy lots of was paints, acid paints, Procion paints, transfer dyes as well as paints to use with the sets of thermofax screens I bought, and stencils as well as Inktense colour blocks and some mica paints.
I also managed to find some Karisma glue pens with refills, which I have been trying to find since I have seen them used by Yoko Saito in her appliques, at a stall selling Appliquick tools. These are amazing and having seen them demonstrated, I bought the full set and will report in a future blog about them. I also bought the Sizzix Big Shot, with hexagon dies and small circle dies which will speed up the process of cutting out these shapes enormously.  It is a pity they don't do a diamond shape yet as I have over 500 diamonds to cut out for a project next January.

I did 2 workshops with Wendy Cotterill, first Layers of Illussion, where we printed images onto fabric and then used transfer dyes on laser copies to transfer text onto Crystal Spunned Bonded which was laid over the fabric collage. I now have a lovely piece of "art" to refer back to when I want to use one of these techniques.  All that remains now is to sew the 2 layers together and then jazz it up a bit with stamping in a glittery paint.

Using transfer dyes on Crystal Spunned Bonded

Printing an immage onto fabric

Assembling the collage

Overlaying the collage with Crystal Spunned Bonded

Wendy's class sample

 In the second workshop, we used acid paints to dye Evolon and then sprayed glitter paints over the dyed Evolon, before soldering chiffon ribbon onto this.  We learned techniques like painting bondaweb and applying this to the Evolon and overlaying this with more chiffon or tulle studded with crystals (more playing with soldering irons)  and then produced our own little notebooks.
So much fun and Wendy was an excellent tutor.

Some of the materials used to produce notebook

My completed notebook

I also did a workshop with Deborah O"Hare called 'Picture it with paint'.  Deborah provided us with 3 kits complete with all that we needed to produce 3 pictorial little quilts, although we did not have time to complete all 3, the techniques to complete the 3 quilts were all learned and we had a lot of fun experimenting with Pebeo paints and aftersun gel (!).  Deborah was such an enthusiastic tutor and if I have the chance, I would do more workshops with her.

Deborah on the right with samples of what we are aiming for

One that Deborah has done earlier

Another one that Deborah has done earlier

WIP - showing how to add detail to flower fields

Another version of Tulip Fields by Deborah

After the class, I looked in on Deborah's stall and ended up buying loads of her hand dyed fabrics, I have put them aside for now, I have some ideas of what I would like to make with them, but it will have to wait a while so that I can finish some other long standing projects first.

Despite being so busy with classes and shopping, I managed to make time to see all the wonderful quolts too. Needless to say, there were so many lovely quilts on display and it was so hard to decide which photos to put on, so this is just a small collection of some of my favourites.

'Otono'  -  Angelines Artero
Close up of 'Otono'

'On the edge' -   Hilary Beattie

'Windfall'   -  Christine Restall

Close up of Windfall

'Transition dragonfly'  -  Sandra Wyman

'Arabesque'  - Antonella Cibin

'Inner circle, Flower of Scotland'  -  Kay Bell

Close up of 'Inner circle'

'Festival in the city 2011'  - Kathy Unwin

'Dragon challenge' -  Susan Orchin

'Extreme weather'  - Kjersti Thoen

'Will you stay with me'  - Pauline Barnes

'As time goes by'  -  Lene Romann-Aas

As always, I am in awe of the skill of the quilt makers, but have also come away with so much inspiration.  What a wonderful quilt show!


  1. Thank you for doing my class.
    You have some truly beautiful work here!

  2. LOVED your class, all my friends want to do your class too ... hope you will be at FofQ again next year, and I will buy loads more of your gorgeous fabrics ;-)