Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Quilts UK at Malvern etc.

Quilts UK was in the middle of this month and, as usual, it was a lovely show.  Although the weather forecast was for rain every day, we were pretty lucky and it even got rather warm down in the marquee.  My stand was in the usual spot, at the bottom of the ramp. Here's one of our visitors with one of the backpacks from '21 Sensational Patchwork Bags' made using Sweetwater's 'Pure' collection, in tranquil blues, creams and browns.

This lovely version of my 'Super Strips' quilt was started at one of my workshops. The shaded blues look wonderful and I hope I'll see a photo of it quilted.


This year I was teaching a one hour sashiko workshop every day (Sashiko in Circles) which was in great demand and sold out quickly.  I then had to push through the crowds in the main hall every lunchtime to get to the spacious and quiet new workshop area upstairs, but it was worth it!  I'll be teaching the same workshop at the Great Northern Quilt Show at Harrogate later this year.

Next year, I won't be at Malvern as I am planning to do the Loch Lomond Quilt show instead, but I'll be back in 2015.

There were a few quilts made from my patterns in the show.  This version of 'Sakiori' from 'Japanese Quilt Inspirations' is in luscious red berry shades. It is called 'In the Pink' and was made by Pamela Bradley.  The light squares in the centre of the square-in-a-square 'masu' blocks give lovely little highlights, while the overall low colour and tone constrasts make it look very different from the original.

The treatment of the circle appliques was very attractive.  Each one has a different embroidered landscape, stitched on silk.  Aren't they gorgeous?

Joan McAllister's 'Japanese Quilt' uses blocks from 'Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match' with a border quilting design in the black border inspired by Kumiko Sudo's designs. I'm sure Joan showed me this quilt top at Malvern a year or two ago, when she was looking for border and backing fabrics.  The golden brown colour scheme is so effective.  The quilt in the background is 'Piilani' by Pippa Moss, which won the Hand Applique award - you can see a better photo of it here on her blog.  It looks rather red in my photo, but the colour is more of a marroon.

My Judge's Choice award went to Joanne Colwill's 'Reds in the Bed'.  This quilt caught my eye right at the start of the judging, when I like to look around all the quilts before I even start marking (a good idea to get an overall impression of the standard at the show). It is a very attractive scrap quilt - Joanne must have a lot of red and neutral scraps for it to be so coordinated!  Little details like the stripe used for the narrow border and the bias binding, and the very pale main border, give it a very faded elegance. It was longarm quilted by Sandy Chandler at the Quilting Company in stunning designs which look wonderful in real life - I'm not sure I could capture it very well in the photos.  There's a simple criteria for Judge's Choice - you just pick the quilt you'd most like to take home.  While that can be a difficult choice to make when there are so many lovely works entered, I find I often return to the one that captured me first, so long as another quilt judge hasn't beaten me to it.

There were some excellent invited exhibitions this year (i.e. not competitive quilts) and we especially enjoyed having the treat of quilts by Sally Bramald (Feather on a Wire blog) and Gwenfai Rees Griffiths in consecutive aisles.  Some of the best machine quilting and hand quilting shown together - amazing.  Sally's quilts will also be shown at the National Quilt Championships at Sandown Park next month, but I think Gwenfai's have now finished touring.

As we needed to pick up some furniture we'd bought on eBay while we were at the show, for the first time we had a van rather than bringing the car.  It made packing up a lot easier, even if it looks like there is way more stuff than usual!

A couple of days after the show, we met my friend Reiko Domon and her daughter in Chester, where they were for just a few hours as part of their holiday tour of English gardens and cities.  It was lovely to see Reiko again.  She gave us some beautiful wedding presents, including an antique dish with a hand painted mountain scene.  I'm looking forward to seeing what she makes with the hand dyed threads and fabrics I gave her - the same threads we used in the sashiko workshops at Malvern.  We photographed a lot of patchwork and design inspirations around Chester too.  As their trip ended with a day at the Chelsea Flower Show, I expect Reiko will be making a very colourful quilt next!.

We also went to Stockton for a family party for our wedding reception.  Glyn made this little fish plaque, only a few inches long, which was thrown into the Tees from the Infinity Bridge to mark our wedding last December.  It has our names, the date and place on it.  The 'wedding rings' attached to its tail are two brass plumbing olives, polished up.


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