A slightly bigger blog.

Well it’s all over and done with and I must say I’m very sad. To say I enjoyed the Festival of Quilts this year would be a lame use of the language. Of course it’s nice to win something [I’ve never come first in anything in my life before, even the egg and spoon race at school, at which I was rather good.] I would like to say many, many thanks to the stewards who were lumbered with either turning its pages or keeping an eye on it too.

I did meet an amazing amount of lovely positive people too, and it was great to chat to so many visitors and friends. I seem to have agreed to teach in most parts of the world too; make a suggestion, and I’ll give it a go. As it happens I’m teaching in Birmingham tomorrow, so hey ho. But I am proud of the people who booked places on the course only last week in the midst of the riots we’ve had here [more like the ‘loots’ to be slightly more exact, although of course there was much damage done.] And the RBSA Galleries where I’m teaching kept all the courses last week going too, we don’t let much stop us.

Anyway, back to the show. There was so much to see and going on I couldn’t cope. I should think the visitors who come for 4 days just about manage it. There are lots of classes and talks too, let alone the competition quilts, the gallery areas, the quilters in action and all the shopping.

At the award ceremony I thought it best to try to sit at the front, or close to the front. This year it was held in the halls during the afternoon, which was handy. There was rather wonderful pink carpet in the cafe area too, and after demanding information from some guy sitting there as to where one could sit, I chose a space, only to glance at him and realise it was Kaffe Fasset. He handled his new role as a steward with good grace I thought. Of course I wanted to say to him ‘you’re Kaffe Fasset’ as one seems to need to, but I realised he already knew that. Feeling like a billy no mates on my bench seat, but quite close to Kaffe at least, I then spotted the lovely Judy Mendlesohn and indeed gate crashed her party of important people, which included Pauline Burbidge, and then me. At least I was no longer alone, and very close to the stage, to hop onto and receive my prize from an important Pfaff person. I was able to tell him I had constucted my book using one of their machines. He seemed thrilled.

One year I won a prize and sat at the back of the room and by the time I got to the stage they had practically put my envelope in the post, and I nearly missed strolling to the stage with the Sean Connery look alike [I thought it was him, perhaps on his uppers, sort of 00.0007.]

Highlights in the show were the Tentmakers of Cairo, Mary Lloyd Jones, a Welsh artist whose paintings and textiles I saw last year in Machynlleth, Wales; Padmaja Krishnann, Jennifer Hollingdale, Jette Clover, Studio 21, where visitors joined in and added to an ever lengthening piece of work, Katriina Flensburg, and of course Linda and Laura Kemshall’s stand, which always makes me feel I must work harder, it’s an inspiration. There were many more delights, and I liked many of the competition entries too. But alas, although I arrived early each day, I find when I’m working I don’t see enough and sometimes can’t take it in, as you need your energy doing a show.

Let’s move on to some visuals now. I’ve included a couple of quilts I liked too.

This was a beautifully drawn in stitch piece by Michelle Holmes, ‘Lady Isabella Bird’s Travel Quilt’.

A Judge’s Choice quilt by Ineke Berlyn, ‘4 Seasons’. I didn’t realise it was Ineke’s until I’d just checked the catalogue, so as I know her and hopefully will be going to teach in her lovely new barn, that was a nice surprise.

This is another of Hilary Beattie’s Highly Commended quilts[she had 2 Commendations], in all it’s loveliness. Sorry Hil, failed to photograph the otherone  as you know, but your Quilters’ Guild challenge chappie is in my last post.

I love this quilt. It was so brilliantly made too. I don’t know who made it, it’s not in the catalogue. There was an ex-catalogue list I think but I can’t locate it. Blue toenails, genius. I now know he is by Pam Holland, who was teaching at the Festival.Thanks to Carolyn Foley for letting me know.

Me, in front of my stand.

Sea Lily, my quilt in the Art Quilt section. I’ve decided to alter it a little by removing the wooden frame and the porcelain. I like the idea of mixed media but I think it needs to be a more definite statement than this. I like the rest of it well enough, and the judges seemed to too.

Here are some images from the Stone Bird book, starting with the Archaeopteryx, which inspired the whole thing.

The Reed Warbler.

Half of the ‘Flying’ double page spread.

This is half of the Flamingos double page spread. There are more images on my website.

I was in the studio yesterday and although I had much to sort at home and for a course I will be teaching tomorrow I wanted to do some work on a hanging book piece I had started, and had become irritable with, until I found a direction for it, ie, it became a hanging book.

Here are a few images of its progress. It has a way to go, as it seems that now it will be based upon a mixture of architectural reference and the lime hawk-moth, and indeed lime trees. So it will grow larger. I shall never manage a miniature quilt, sadly.

It started like this.

It became this. Chloe, my daughter, said it was boring; I agreed.

So it was back to this, but it still had no purpose or direction I was happy with. I started it as a sample but it grew too large to be just a sample, it needed a proper role.

So, as artists’ books are now such a part of my creative practice, it cheered me immensely when I decided to change its format and to write some text for it [not yet on in this shot.] I hope to keep the general shape of the original off- centre piece but to add more detail. At the moment it’s on 12 sheets of A3 khadi paper.

6 thoughts on “A slightly bigger blog.

  1. Congratulations Steph – I wasn’t able to get to the show and missed it for the first time in many years – therefore I haven’t seen your finished book. Are you going to bring it to the next meeting – it would be good if you could?
    Take care Janet x

  2. Hi Janet, I wondered where you were. I don’t think it will be appearing at a meeting before Christmas, as its on its travels around the Knitting and Stitching Shows probably, depending upon a case being found for it.
    See you soon, Steph.

  3. Congratulations on your win. You must be thrilled and its so well deserved. I’ve really enjoyed watching it develop and what a bonus it received such a special prize. I missed the show for the first time in years. Shame.

  4. Hi Alex, what a pity you missed the show; let’s hope you’ll be there next year. I am still amazed I won that category. I am starting work on another book project, a smaller format this time, but with a number of volumes. I won’t be entering it into the FoQ competition though, two books are enough for the stewards to have had to put up with.Steph.

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