Friday, 12 August 2011

Worn out and weary but had such a lovely day!

I have walked miles, stood for hours, my legs ache and I am totally worn out, but I feel very, very happy. I have had such a lovely day, out for a jolly to the Festival of Quilts at Birmingham.  Living in the middle of England I am only an hour's drive away and even more fortunately hubby works very close to the N.E.C. so I was chaffeur driven there and back!  This year I went on my own and it's amazing how many lovely people you meet and chat to. I never fail to be surprised by how far people have travelled to come to this show, including Mandy from Inverness who set up her own shop earlier this year, and a lady from Cornwall who got on the coach at 4 o'clock this morning!  Have to admit that I am a little jealous of those lucky ladies who get to spend more than one day at the Festival it is so big that it is impossible to see everything properly in a single day.  

As well as all the many fantastic quilts on display there are lots of trade stands.  So many fabrics to tempt as well as every accessory you can think of, ribbons, buttons, books, and threads, not to mention all the sewing and quilting machines.   It has to be said that my purse is somewhat lighter than when I went but everything in my bag definitely said "buy me"!  My head is buzzing with ideas and really when I think of them all I think I was quite restrained!  

I was so annoyed with myself though for not checking the camera last night, the battery lasts so long that I didn't think about charging it and regretably I didn't get anywhere near the number of photos I would have liked. Especially annoying as I didn't even realise it had a low battery until it totally ran out!  Never mind, I do have a few pictures to show you, although I realised I don't have all the exhibition numbers so can't tell you who they were by.

So many different blocks in this one.

The way the patterns interact really attracted me to this one.

This was so eye catching.

Very sculptural!

Loved the detail in these little smocked dresses.

How about this fella?

This one was all knitted!

The detail here was wonderful but the photo doesn't really do it justice.
One of the highlights for me was the exhibition 'The Tentmakers of Cairo'. Originally they were stitched for the inside of tents, intricate applique patterns in bright colours, now these highly talented men and boys stitch mainly for the tourist market.  

Boys start learning this work at age 8 and by 18 are at their peak, sadly by 41 most have to give up due to failing eyesight caused by poor light.  Two men had come over with the exhibition to demonstrate and they were truly amazing. I have never seen anyone sew so fast! The outlines of the design were drawn on the cloth and they would pick up small random shaped pieces, then roughly turn the edges under to fit as they stitched.  I have to say that when I applique I spend ages cutting the pieces carefully with just the right seam allowance and I think most of us probably do the same. Now I am thinking perhaps it isn't quite as important.



  1. beautiful quilts, lovely blog x looks like a fab outing- i saw on that she had been too- so u might like to see her piccys and like you she loves quilting ;0)

  2. Wow, the quilts are fantastic! Thanks so much for the tour.

  3. They are amazing quilts - I would love to have gone, but possibly just as well for the bank balance that I didn't!

    Pomona x

  4. sueee how could you go without me. I didn't know it was on. Hope you had a fab time and didn't buy tooo much fabric x