Festival of Quilts

Another thing I did in Birmingham last weekend was go to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC.  I met up with a couple of fibre friends and also met some new fibre/cyber friends that I’d met via my blog and the QA email digest.

It was a great show and I especially loved the contemporary art quilts made by some Northern European quilt artists.  I like seeing other people’s work and how they apply techniques.  I wish it were possible to get more of the essence of the meaning and inspiration behind the work, but it’s difficult in such a large venue.

I had a couple of quilts in the show too.

Manhattan Angel, 60″ x 28″


Ivory Fish, 39″ x 39″


I was really happy to have my quilts in the show and especially proud of Ivory Fish. I’ll tell the story about that one later on.  There has been a lot of discussion recently on the QA email digest about entering juried shows, acceptance/ rejection of work and untangling critique/ feedback/validation of one’s work.  I’m not too bothered at this point about competing and critique.  I’m really focusing on what I want to say with my art work and don’t want to be led by entry deadlines or criteria.  I’d also rather show my work in venues that take into account what is beneath the surface and will be looking into shows like Sacred Threads.

I met up with Bonnie McCaffery, a quilt teacher who also produces monthly vidcasts of quilters and quilt shows.  She has the privilege of getting to hear about what is beneath the surface of a quilt, the meaning and inspiration.  She told me about a few from the FoQ that will appear in her upcoming vidcasts, which I am looking forward to watching.

One thing I like about the FoQ is that there are small galleries in which an individual or group can show their work.  Being an INFP, I get overstimulated by big crowds and lots of visual input, so it’s nice to go into the smaller galleries and chat to the makers.  I also took a few breaks.  Two years ago, there was a chillout room which is there no longer.  However, I asked a nurse who was coming out of the Medical Centre there at the NEC if she knew of an alternative and she let me come in for a lie down.  So I had forty winks and went back in feeling refreshed.

I shopped for some pretty trinkets, leather cord and suede ribbon to make some more stuff from.


I talked to a few people about how to put metallic text onto dark blue fabric and came away with some supplies to play around with and develop into my next art quilt.  I practically haunted the Art Van Go stand whenever I wasn’t looking at quilts.


Finally a few snapshots I took outside of the NEC.









2 thoughts on “Festival of Quilts

  1. I love the diversity of your quilting styles Melinda. The Manhattan quilt is a knockout. I could see that snapped up in some New York gallery, top dollar being paid.

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