Saturday, 27 August 2016

Moving on

For the last three years we having been teaching from Yateley Cricket Club and whilst it worked well we have always hankered after a studio of our own. 

Finally our dream has come true and this week we moved in to Sunfield Studio!

We've been building print tables (thanks Ben!),

painted shelves,

and, amongst many other things he's done for us, Chris installed our bargin sink units - which had come all the way from Southend, care of Gumtree!

It's not looking very tidy just yet and

we have stuff piled up everywhere until we can work out the best place to put everything but

at least we know it works as a creative space!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

How small is small?

All quilts entered into the open competitions at The Festival of Quilts have to measure at least 1m in any one direction, with the exception of the miniature quilt category.  Miniature quilts need to, in a photograph with no indication of size, look like a full size quilt and be no larger than 30 cm in any one direction. 

As with all the other competition categories the rules are widely interpreted!  Many 'journal' sized quilts get entered into this category, but to be in with a chance of wining the maker really needs to keep in mind not only the scale of the fabric and threads but the theme, stitch length, embellishments  etc, preferably with a 1/12 th scale.

Here are a few that caught my eye this year:

Roberta Le Poidevin

Jacqueline Bahi

Julia Gahagan 

Heather Hasthorpe

Kamiko Frydl

Phillippa Naylor

Sorcha Torrens

Leah Higgins

Dorian Walton

Mine!  If you visited the show you may have noticed a trend for quilt artists to enter a miniature version of another of their quilts in the show. I was no exception this year!

If seeing these mini creations has inspired you to make your own minister piece then why not take a look at the two one day workshops we have coming up this autumn?

We'd love to see you and welcome you to our new studio!

Is this art?

All the competition categories at the Festival of Quilts are open competitions, ie anyone who fulfills the entry criteria may enter and have hung, a quilt.  However there is one exception and that is the Fine Art Quilt Masters, which is a juried competition and is judged by a panel of leading figures drawn from both the art and quilting worlds.  Anything goes!  Here are just a few we liked that are on offer in this year's gallery:

Sara Impey, social fabric

Helen Parrot, Nine yards or thereabouts 

Helen Parrot, detail.

Maria Thomas, Borrowed ( Henry Matisse, Tom and me)

Alison Garrett, Headlines 2015

Alison Garrett (detail)

Sarah Welsby, To thine own self be true

Sarah Welsby, detail

Julie Bunter, Layers of meaning: define art quilt

Jette Clover, In other words

Jette Clover, detail

Mary Bird, The Stour in winter

Ruth Singer, Criminal Quilt.  Winner

Leah Higgins, Ruins 5

Liesbeth Williams, The lie of the land

Janet Twinn, Green Blooms

Anne Smith, Gabriel is missing.

Jackie Ketley, Betty.

Jackie Ketley, detail.

Friday, 12 August 2016

So many quilts......

.....but too busy to look today!  But here is one of our favourites:

Made by the children of Fishergate Primary School, York, it's called Seagulls on the beach (looking for picnics)!  

Take a closer look at the gulls' expressions, don't you just love them?


Thursday, 11 August 2016

Let the fun begin!

Day one of Festival is always a very early start because all the show workshop tutors get together and network ( ahem, eat croissant and drink coffee and chat....) then the countdown to the 10am opening starts, stand by your stalls..and we're off! Four whole days of quilts, quilts, shopping, chatting, more shopping, meeting old friends and making new ones.  Exhausting, but SO much fun!

Terry and I are on the stand for much of the time, but we had half an hour before the show opened to make a start on looking at the 1000 or so quilts on offer. Our first section:

The Guild Challenge

Open to all members of The Quilters' Guild and European Quilters' Guild, this year the theme was 'On the beach'. Over 40 quilts were entered and here a few which caught our eye:

First prize was awarded to 52 32'N 04 03W by Laura Kemshall.  It was huge and beautifully displayed on a specially built curved wall, which accentuated the panoramic view,

You could almost smell the sea, have your hair ruffled by the breeze and feel the sand between your toes.

Over 200 hours of quilting and embroidery went into its making before she printed a digital copy of her photograph over the entire surface.  A very modern whole cloth and so beautifully executed.


Walking on the beach is the title of Terry's quilt.  Inspired by a brisk beach walk on a clear day and the collection of interesting finds picked up along the way:

Rust from Lyme lands lips and Eastbourne's fishermen's beach, holed oyster shells and tatty feathers.

On the beach with Alice was my offering, using the silk and linen fabrics created on a recent workshop with Alice Fox inEastbourne.

Jane Appelbee's quilt Starry, starry night featured hand and sibori fabrics to great effect to portray a calm, bright, full-moonlit walk along the beach in north west Scotland.

Whilst Bob Dylan's 'Mr Tambourine Man' was the inspiration for Sandra Newton's Out to the windy beach. The text was beautifully done in fused appliqué, so neat, so effective.

Julia Gahagan's I love beach huts made us smile.  We love them, and if you do too then keep a look out for Julia's workshop for us next year.

Ebb and flow by Robbie Le Poidevin is a personal favourite.  I'd like to take it home!

Ann Beare was inspired by fond childhood memories of summer holidays playing amongst the grass covered sand dunes in Lancashire for her Memories of past times.

Kathy Unwin's On the beach used a different colour palette from most of the other enteries, as it explored the survival in a damaged environment.

Beached 1 was designed and sewn by Kate Dowty

Whilst Washed up was made by Shena Norquay.  Both explore the debris, natural or ma made, washed up on the shoreline.

Sarah White celebrated all things seaside with her On the beach quilt.

Elements, slices of the beach as a place of sanctuary and healing, allow Hilary Beattie to 'be there' when she can't actually visit.

The attention to detail is a joy.

We'll be off to explore more galleries and competition quilts again tomorrow as time permits, so don't forget to check back with us tomorrow.  Or even better, come and take a look for yourself, and drop by QIA14 to say hello to us!