Festival of Quilts in Birmingham

Yes!  I did go!!!  So very exciting.

The nicest thing was that I got together with two lovely friends.  Lisa flew from Ontario and Nan from Frankfurt (well, sort of as she was already vacationing in the UK), so the three of us met at the NEC in Birmingham.  Nan arrived first and met with Lisa who got to Heathrow before I did and took the bus to Birmingham.  I arrived at my planned time, and made it through Customs and Immigration in a flash, and found myself at the bus station 3 hours ahead of my scheduled bus.  For an extra GBP10, I took an earlier bus, napped for a bit on the way (nothing to see for the most part as it is highway), and arrived at the airport where I got off and proceeded to walk to the NEC.  Left my bag at the coat check and paid the GBP 15.00 to get in.  Walked around for a bit … found the Stef Francis booth (danger, danger!), of course had to stop and peruse and purchase … What a treat! Her work is stunning!  Here are a few of the photos I took:

photo_sf_2 photo_sf_1 photo_sf_3

Isn’t her work stunning?  I loved all the samples.  And you should have seen the threads, all color coordinated, and the fabrics, scrim, silks, metallics, silk cocoons, etc.  you get the idea …

After I felt more relaxed with my purchases, I kept walking around looking at quilts and vendors.  I had promised myself to skip all vendors with commercial fabric, as I am not using that much anymore, and didn’t make much sense for me to stop and look at fabric we can get here.  But there were lots of stands of hand-dyed fabrics.  And I did end up purchasing a few pieces here and there.

I finally made my way to Laura and Linda Kemshall’s booth at the back of the show, stopping here and there to shoot some photos.  Very interesting work.  All kinds, all types.  One thing I didn’t know, and I was told later, is that everything that people send gets in.  So it is not a juried show, although there are judged categories and prizes.  But the big difference with the shows in the US and Canada that we are so used to, is that you find a very basic quilt beside something much more elaborate. They consider, and I agree, that it is important for people to see their quilts in an exhibit.

I got to Laura and Linda’s and Linda is telling me that they weren’t expecting me until the next day, as Lisa and Nan had stopped before … and I turn around … and there they were!  So hugs all around, of course, and we kept going.  I bought a couple of pieces at the Kemshall’s from their Footprint fabric printed collection.  There were tons of fabric to pick from, and I would have purchased it all, but I restrained myself.

Here are some photos of some quilts from the SAQA Exhibit:  Metaphors on Aging:


This one is by Canadian Mary Pal and is called “JBW”


This one is by American Lea McComas and is called “Sweet Song from an Old Fiddle”.  Stunning threadwork and quilting.  A detail below.


This is a close up of the fingers!  Look at the detail …

This is by one of my favorite quilters, Linda Colsh called “Second Hand”. A detail below:



The description says:  “The old woman’s broom sweeps, rhythmically moving dust away; a reflection of the clock’s metronomic, relentless second hand sweeping life toward dust.”

This is it for this entry.  I will show you some more photos of the quilts in the exhibit later on.  In the meantime, hope you are enjoying the last few days of Summer, and remember to make time in your life to be creative … and keep quilting.


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