Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Festival of Quilts 2014

It's that time of year when festivals abound so a couple of weeks or so ago I headed for the NEC and the Festival of Quilts, Europe's leading patchwork and quilting show. For any textile artist, indeed just about anyone that is creative and who is interested in stitch, this is one of the most exciting events of the year. These are just some of the quilts and exhibits that caught my eye this year starting with this traditional quilt  made from colourful African wax prints.

I love Liberty fabrics and this one was made up just using Liberty fabrics.

Onto my favourite category the Art Quilts.....

Although not strictly a quilt this one really appealed to me. Called 'Trousseau'  it was made from a wedding dress capturing perfectly the essence of femininity.  

There were quite a few quilts marking the centenary of the outbreak of World War I

As well as the large display of quilts, within the festival are numerous solo and group exhibitions.   Art Textiles: Made in Britian is a newly formed group of some of the best textile artists in the UK and their aim is 'to promote Art Textiles in Britain and to ensure their future; to introduce them to new audiences and to continually stretch the boundaries with new, vibrant work'. This was their first group exhibition each bringing their own interpretation to the chosen theme of 'Identity'. Below is the embroideries of one of the artists Rosie James whose figurative work I love. 

Louise Baldwin..

and the quilted mono-prints of Christine Restall...

This is the work of Hungarian Eszter Bornemisza who had a solo exhibition at the festival.  She creates huge wallhangings by trapping newspaper, paper, text, maps, etc. between dissolvable fabrics which she then stitches into in a grid form. 

Also quite a bit of mixed-media work caught my eye which can mean a range of work combining textiles, fabrics and stitch with other media such as paper, paint and collage using various creative techniques and processes.  Here Dutch artist Gabi Mett has used a combination of mixed-media including tea bags. 

On then to SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) who promotes and defines the art quilt as a 'creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layerered structure.'  and simply the most stunning quilts of the festival.

Finally The Festival of Quilts would not be complete without a visit to the The Cotton Patch stand. Here are Nadine and Becky busy at work.....

and on their stand were some blingy Converses made by Anna.


Another great festival and I came away full of inspiration and that definitely next year I will enter a quilt of my own.

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