There are so many fabulous places to find creative inspiration. I visited just one yesterday in the form of the Festival of Quilts at Birmingham's N.E.C. It's the largest quilt show in Europe and is a complete treat for the senses. Not only is there a bountiful supply of work by hugely talented people on display, there are also oodles of eye-catching stands full to the brim with things to tempt you!
Here's a little look at how I spent my day...
I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing the fabulously talented Amy Butler! I'm going to be writing an article for Sew Hip magazine all about it, so watch this space. Amy and I talked about all sorts of things, from her new fabric line and favourite shops, to her cats, garden and travels. She's such a lovely person...I could have chatted away to her all day!
As well as the quilts that were entered into the competition by patchworkers and quilters from all over the world, there were booths featuring the work of well-known artists/makers, groups and students. The artistry on show was really quite breathtaking.
I was really taken with the quilts that were bursting with colour. I've always admired people who can work with colour...I'm not very confident in my own abilities with using it successfully. I was talking to Amy B. about this and she had some very wise words to say on the matter (which I'll share in my article for Sew Hip!)
Going to shows is a great way to meet talented people. It's wonderful to be able to chatter away to someone who 'gets' the whole creative thing and who shares a passion for tinkering with thread and fabric! I was thrilled to meet Janet Clare, who creates the most gorgeous designs using machine embroidery, fabric and her imagination (oh to have such glorious designs in my head!) She even gave me one of her little embroidery 'doodles', which I intend to frame and put in my work room (thank you so much Janet - a lovely surprise!) I'll be sure to include it in a future post.
This bunch of quilted flowers put a smile on my face as soon as I saw them. So cheery!
The creativity and skill of the patchworkers and quilters showing at the festival was really quite incredible. Many quilts were more like pieces of art...like this one by a group called Damss, entitled 'Duomo di Milano'.
'Bushfire Sunset' by Lisa Walton and Nic Bridges - made using a variety of fabric strips, pieced together, with a silk organza overlay. The colours were really intense and it looked just as good up close as it did from a distance.
A detail from 'What a Hoot', by the Club Class Quilters. There were owls aplenty on this quilt, but I liked this little chap in particular!
This was one of the quilts in the Quilters' Guild Challenge and was made by Eva Melhus from Norway. Everything about the design appealed to me, from the subtle colours to the shapes of the cow parsley.
'Black Rose' by Bethan Ash. This quilt just jumped out at me...I love its graphic qualities. It's so different to the traditional designs that I think of as being 'patchwork and quilting', yet is sits perfectly amongst them.
Having had a fairly quiet summer in terms of creativity and textiles, I feel ready to start planning, designing and making again. I'd love to have a go at making a quilt from hexagons of all the little pieces of fabric I have sitting in my scraps basket.
There's still so much to share from my day at the Festival of Quilts, but it will have to wait until my next post...