I can't believe it is all over now, or the amount of hard work that went into it (for us and all the other participants), but Festival of Quilts 2019 has passed as a complete whirlwind! Here's Glyn with the van last Wednesday morning, on our way down to the show.
Setting up on Wednesday - lunchtime! Having a large van (the reason why will follow soon), we brought a lot of fabric...
One of the things I love about Festival of Quilts is the social side of things, including meeting up with quilters I've known for years, as well as meeting new people. One of the first quilters who came by on Thursday was Mags Ramsay, who I met at my first Quilters' Guild AGM - we were both eyeing up the same piece of African hand dyed fabric, but luckily I wanted one end and she wanted the other! We had a memorable trip to Japan together in 2006. Check out her blog here.
Last time I met Diane Hawkins was also in Japan, last January at the Amuse Museum. She loves Japanese textiles and had made a version of my Rice Sack Bag. Lovely!
I remember Diane making this piece on one of my early Japanese Art Quilt Boromono workshops! How time flies. That was back in 2012 - there are photos from the workshop here.
Here are a couple of photos of the stand. It was rare that you could actually get close enough to see the fabrics - Thursday morning was unbelievably busy.
Meeting more friends - Glyn gets a big hug from Lorchen Nunn!
This is why we hired a hi top van. On Thursday evening, we picked up another Japanese tansu from Leicester. I bought it from the same woman who had sold me a larger one several months ago, and she was delighted that the two will be reunited in the same room. Although I have collected kimono for nearly 30 years, I have never had proper storage for them. Most of my collection will fit in these - I hope!
This is the inside of the tansu (Ki's photos). It was made around 1900 and has sliding trays, in a similar style to a Western linen press. This one is all kiri wood (Japanese paulownia) and so is very light weight, which I appreciated when we carried it into the house last night. It comes apart into three sections.
The other tansu I bought a few months ago is much wider and heavier, with the front made from keyaki (Japanese zelkova), and the back in pine. The drawers and trays are kiri though. These two tansu have an interesting history, as they were exported to Korea during the Japanese occupation and left there. Ki brought them to the UK in the 1970s.
Now that Olympus have released their lovely striped fabrics and I sell them in my shop, I decided to give 'Irori' an outing again. It is such a simple quilt, but still a great favourite of mine.
Having the shelves works well.
I did the Sewing Quarter Live Theatre on Saturday afternoon, which was a fun experience. I found it quite strange not being able to see the broadcast monitor though, so I had to keep having a look at what was showing on the screens at the sides!
John Scott was the presenter and we always have a lot of fun together. The blue tinted lighting made his hair look almost as blue as mine!
Because we were so busy, I didn't get to see much of the quilt exhibitions at all. The three exhibitions I really wanted to see were just behind us, so I did get to those. The first one is by Michael James.
His current work is very different from his early striped pieces.
Eszter Bournemisza's gallery was just behind his. Another favourite textile artist. I find her use of layers, transparency, maps, plans and shadows fascinating. Glyn loved her circuit board pieces.
I wish I had the space for this at home!
Back on the stand. We now have spinners for the sashiko and kogin threads. Keeping them stocked up takes time but they work far better than having thread just in baskets.
The downside of going to the NEC is the long drive home... and we had to do it in one go this time. Because the organisers don't let the vans through to pack up until about 6.30pm, we arrived home at 4.45am... We will be back at the show next year! For now, my next event will be the Great Northern Quilt Show at Harrogate at the end of this month.