If you had asked me a few days before Festival of Quilts if I were planning on visiting the show my answer would have been no. Then along came a ticket giveaway from The Crafty Quilter and my plans changed. Fortunately I was able to book annual leave at short notice and last minute train fares were not prohibitively expensive, so on Friday I found myself heading down to Birmingham. The times of the cheap trains meant that I only had about four hours to spend there, but I was determined to fit in as much as possible.
I had been lucky and won a pair of tickets, but could only use one so the first thing I did was find a random person in the ticket queue and share my good luck with them. Next was to try to work out the stand number system and find the Sizzix stand in the hope of getting a space on one of their workshops. I was successful on all counts and had great fun trying out the Big Shot machine and making a block using the square, rectangle and half square triangle dies.
I then had 45 minutes free as I had arranged to meet Helen from the undomesticatedscientist blog for lunch and to hand over some spare dinosaur fabric scraps for her dino-loving daughter. I used the time for a whistle stop viewing of the quilts, taking photos of any that caught my eye. There were a lot of quilts that were just not my “thing” (such as pictorial and pixelated quilts) and a couple that I felt stretched my definition of a quilt. I'm pleased to say that the only patchwork clothing I spotted were these shirts in the children's display area.
The quilt that I found most relevant and inspiring on a personal level was one of Cathedral Windows in which different coloured "frames" had been used and not every “window” had been filled. After learning this technique at Fat Quarterly Retreat, I was intrigued to see this interpretation of the pattern and it is something I will consider when I try making my own Cathedral Windows quilt.
Four hours is not really enough time for the show – looking at other blog posts there seem to be so many quilts that I missed seeing. With a last minute trip like this, many of the official workshops were fully booked and so perhaps next year I would like to go for a couple of days and book some of the workshops in advance. I’ll end this post with photos of the quilts that caught my eye for various reason, and I apologise for fuzzy photos and not getting any of the quilt makers’ details.