Friday, 12 August 2011

Festival of Quilts

It was  9:50 am and I was already in the queue waiting for the doors to open to the quilt show at the NEC, Birmingham. I stood listening to the quiet hum of excitement as everybody made conversation with those around them. People had travelled from far and wide. I had a couple from Spain to my right, a whole group of ladies who had flown over together from Ireland on my left, and I could hear German being spoken  not far behind me. There was a good mix of veteran show-goers and newbies alike, the veterans all singing the show's praises and telling the novice attendees what to expect.
At last the doors opened and we made our way in. It was 2 years since I last went to the show, but thankfully the layout was much the same and I could head to the stands that I most wanted to see.

Nik from The Cotton Patch in Birmingham had designed a kit for a quilt that I wanted to have a close look at, as I had only seen it on their blog. The real thing was just as nice as I had hoped it would be ( I just love the Dan Bennett fabrics) so I grabbed a kit before they ran out, along with some extra yardage of some of the included fabrics so that I could make mine a bit bigger. This will be just right for my newly acquired guest bedroom!

My other favourite purchase was a Moda Pure Jelly Roll. I intend to make a new quilt for my own bed with this. I always find Moda fabrics appealing, and its nice to get away from the citrus colours that have been around a lot this year.

Walking round the gallery of quilts soothed my soul after the frenzy of the shopping area, and here are a few of my favourites

I forgot to write the name down, but I think this was called Ol' Blue Eyes, and I admire anyone who can do this with fabric!

                         Echinacea purpurea - one of my favourite plants in a quilt - how wonderful!

Spoonfed Love - there seemed to be far fewer mixed media quilts at the show this year, which is a pity because they are firm favourites of mine.

And finally Little Nannie's Quilt - quilting in its most natural and lovely form -  oddments of fabric, all as far as I could tell, hand pieced and handquilted - simply beautiful!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Keeping positive

I had promised myself that I wouldn't cry, but inevitably I did shed a few tears as I stood in the cool early morning sunshine in the airport car park, hugging my son and his wife goodbye as they left for their home in Canada.
It has been a wonderful summer, full of good times with family; a trip for me to Toronto to stay with them, returning home to help my youngest move into his first home, and culminating with the Toronto crew coming here and a whole family trip to a wonderful gite in Brittany.
A summer full of laughter, fun and reunions. But yesterday's early morning sunshine felt quite autumnal. It reminded me of the first days of a new school year, of settling into new timetables and routines, of all the good intentions that come with a new term.
It is the start of a new phase in my life too. I no longer need to squeeze  my crafty creations into a hectic family lifestyle. I have three whole rooms I can use for storage and as studios or workspace. So I too will have new routines and good intentions. My fabrics and yarns will be stored neatly and well organised (who am I kidding??) and I will have the time to experiment with new ideas and  techniques, and maybe work my way through some of the ever growing pile of unfinished projects.
But first I have a treat in store for myself - tomorrow I am going to The Festival of Quilts at the NEC, Birmingham, and I can hardly wait. There are so many quilts to see, in so many styles, and so many shops with fabrics and goodies to drool over - I'm not sure one day will be enough !
It has