Winners of the Festival of Quilts

Last weekend was the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, Great Britain. A show I was attending for the last 12 years – each year very much looking forward to this event. This year I wasn’t able to attend. Thank you Covid (frantically waving my sarcasm sign).

But – at least – there is a video of the Awards Ceremony where you can marvel at all the third, second and first place winners. A big thank you to the organizers for this. So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy.

FOQ 2021 Awards Ceremony

I would so have loved to see the quilts in person. But I’m really counting on next year – see you there!

 

40 years – a Quiltshow

As we still can not travel (at least here in Europe) many quiltshows are cancelled at the moment. This is sad but understandable. But …… I do have several thousand pictures of quiltshows in my photo archive. So how about revisiting some shows of the last years?

In 2019 the Quilters’ Guild of Great Britain celebrated their 40th birthday with a quiltshow at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, titled “Spotlight @ 40”. The quilters were asked to interpret 40 in the most creative way. One side of the quilt had to measure 40 inches. The quilts were all made by British members of the guild and they went into the permanent collection of the Quilters’ Guild.

Here are some of the beautiful quilts:


“40 days and 40 nights” by Cag Tyndall
Artist’s statement: Work on this quilt began during the spring of 2019 when my mind turned to the 40 days and 40 nights of Lent. I wanted to celebrate the wonderful variety of colour and texture of different fabrics, as well as how they respond differently to dyes. Linen, cotton, silk, and mixed fabrics were all hand dyed. There are 40 appliquéd circles of each colour. The piece has been lightly quilted. 


“Circuit XL” by Marion McCrindle
Artist’s statement: Each year is a new cycle, hence there are 40 circles to represent 40 years of the guild’s life so far. Just as each year brings its own challenges and developments, so the circles have different patterns, colours and are made from a range of materials: paper, thread, fabric, wood and metal. Some years are good – some do not go as planned. In the life of the guild, some years have been highly successful, others less so. The circle has no end, something we hope for the guild. The circle of friends I found in the guild has a value above rubies. The circles represent a year—each different: some good, some bad, significant years, quiet years.


“40 Layers of Quilting” by Jo Avery
Artist’s statement: When I thought about the last 40 years of quilting and The Quilters’ Guild, I imagined them as layers of sedimentary rock as found in an archaeological dig. The resulting quilt shows 40 different layers of patchwork techniques including miniature log cabins and flying geese, plus layers of improvised and curved piecing. Appliqué, hand quilting and other embellishments have been added to some layers to represent as many aspects of quilting as possible. A fissure was created through the layers with the two pieces brought back together again with buttons representing the ‘make do and mend’ starting point of our patchwork tradition.

Jo Avery wrote a blog post about how she made this quilt and what a terrible mistake she made, which resulted in an even more interesting quilt. Don’t miss it, it’s a lesson in creativity.


“Belonging” by Lesley Brankin
The second line of The Quilters’ Guild Mission Statement reads: “We bring together quilters in a spirit of friendship and learning. We promote quilt-making in all its forms across the UK.” In the spirit of coming together in the guild’s 40th anniversary year, the maker invited fellow regional members to donate squares of cream/white fabric and provide a single descriptive word summing up what membership of the British Guild means to them. The squares were pieced together as a background and the tallied words featured in the ‘spotlight’.

 
“Spotlight on The Guild” by Anne Gosling
Artist’s statement: When I thought about the theme Spotlight@40, I decided to put the spotlight on The Guild, in particular guild membership, to celebrate the 40th anniversary. A crossword in guild colours seemed the most appropriate way to express all that the guild has to offer its members. The quilt is machine pieced but as I love to stitch by hand, the letters are hand appliquéd. The guild logo is the basis of the quilting design which is also hand stitched.

 
“Headline News” by Sabi Westoby
Artist’s statement: The theme was interpreted by focusing on world events that took place 40 years ago. For (british) quilters, the highlight of 1979 was, undoubtedly, the formation of The Quilters’ Guild and this work marks that exciting event. I also refer to other contemporary cultural, historical and political events that still seem significant to me 40 years later.  Red text, a reference to the ruby anniversary, was digitally printed on cotton sateen and the piece was stab stitched by hand.

 
“QGBI Excels” by Jeni Rutherford
Artist’s statement: The inspiration for this hanging is The Quilters’ Guild and how patchwork has evolved in the last 40 years. In 1979 contemporary work was unusual but now the Contemporary Quilt Group is one of the guild’s specialist groups. The hanging is in two parts: the front features QGBI, the guild’s ‘initials’. The back features traditional block designs—where the guild began—but the single colour blocks and quilting are contemporary. It represents all the people working away, in York and around the UK, who are generally unseen but make the guild what it is today. The motifs feature 40 in Arabic and Roman numerals. XL can be pronounced excel—what guild members try to do.

 
“40 Endangered in 40” by Melanie Missin-Keating
Artist’s statement: In the 40 years since The Quilters’ Guild began, the 40 animals, plants and insects shown in the quilt have become endangered to the point of extinction. Will they be extinct in the next 40 years? Can we save them? 


“Region 3 from the Air” by Grace Meijer
Artist’s statement: The landscape of Region 3 was the inspiration for this piece—the beautiful rolling landscape with its many colours, from the white chalk to the acid yellow rapeseed and the little hamlets and farms tucked into the hills. It is also the area where The Quilters’ Guild started; the first AGM was held in Winchester.


“Birthday Celebrations” by Aoibhínn Murray, Ciaran Behan & Aoife Behan
Here the 40th anniversary of The Quilters’ Guild is celebrated as a quilted birthday cake. The cake has three tiers, and each of the three Young Quilters involved designed and created their own section before joining them together. A sewing machine as the cake topper features a patchwork fabric flowing from it, displaying printed photos of 40 quilts from the past 40 years.

This is one thing that I like especially about the British Guild – it really fosters the young quilters. From 5 to 18 years the membership in the guild is free and there are special workshops for them. It’s really a great way to bring children and young adults to quilting. The above quilt is a perfect example of how much this pays off.

So this was our first, private, little quiltshow – with more to come. Come back to check or – even better – subscribe to this blog (enter your e-mail address in the box on the right) so that you don’t miss them.

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and to Brag about your Beauties.

 

It’s Spring!

Finally! Today at 10:37 am spring arrived – even for the astronomers. For meteorologists and me spring starts with March 1st.

I decided that this will be the year when I make a quilt for every season. All will be approximately the same size and will be hung at the same place. This is a plan that I had for some years now but I never did it. But this year it will work out. Because of a book I recently bought: “Artful Improv” by Cindy Grisdela. I will tell you all about this book next Tuesday – today I will only say that this is the book I was waiting for. Colorful, graphical quilts with a lot of space for quilting, one more beautiful than the other.

I immediately started my first improvisational quilt with a simple improv log cabin block in the colors of the first flowers of the year (the yellow daffodils, the purple crocuses, the red tulips) mixed with some blue for the sky and some green for the fresh grass. I then surrounded the block with spring green fabric, quilted some wavy lines because spring is rather windy where I live and voilà my spring quilt is finished.

Spring quilt

 

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and to Brag about your Beauties.

 

BOM 2021: STAR #3

 

This is a fast and easy star. So you can either relax with one star or make a whole quilt with a lot of them.

Cut (all measurements include ¼ inch (0,75 cm) seam allowance)
4 squares 3 x 3 inches (8,75 x 8,75 cm) in yellow,
4 squares 3 x 3 inches (8,75 x 8,75 cm) in lightblue and
4 squares 3 x 3 inches (8,75 x 8,75 cm) in darkblue (background fabric)
Cut each of these 12 squares diagonally to get 24 triangles.

Cut 4 squares 2¾ x 2¾ inches (7,5 x 7,5 cm) in darkblue

Join the triangles to get squares again. Sew
4 squares lightblue-darkblue,

4 squares yellow-darkblue

and 4 squares yellow-lightblue.

Press and cut off the dog ears.

Lay out the star as shown on the picture below.

Tipp: Do this layout as close to your sewing machine as possible so can take the pieces, sew them together and put them back at the appropriate place so that the pieces don’t get mixed up.

Sew the squares together to make 4 rows,

then join the rows.

Take 4 of the strips 11 x 1 inches (28 x 2,5 cm) that you cut from the background fabric previously (see introduction to the BOM here) and sew 2 of them to opposite sides of your block. They are a little bit too long – shorten them to the block size. Sew the 2 remaining strips to the other sides of the block and shorten if necessary. Finished!

As I told you – fun, fast and easy.

If you just found this BOM you can find the general instructions and the previous stars on the Free BOM 2021 page on top.

I would love to see your finished star-blocks. Please post them in the comments at TheQuiltingSpace’s Facebook page, tag me on Instagram @thequiltingspace and/or use the hashtag #thequiltingspace.

See you in April for star #4.

 

I’m linking this to Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop and to Brag about your Beauties.

 

Book of the Month: Inspired by endangered species

My Book of the Month for February is

Inspired by Endangered Species by Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto

I discovered this book purely by chance browsing in an online bookstore and after seeing a few pages I just had to buy it. And I’m so happy I did.

After watching volunteers rescue a nest of turtle eggs and provide a safe hatching place for them, Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto started to study endangered species, beginning her research with the Red List of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). As a quilter herself she decided that quilts would be the perfect medium to educate people about endangered plants and animals in a non-threatening way.

This led to 182 quilts by 129 artists, each one 24 x 24 inches, depicting an abundance of endangered animals and flowers – breathtaking quilts on one side and alarming facts on the other. The whole collection premiered at the International Quilt Festival in Houston in 2019.

And at the same time Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto edited this beautiful coffeetable-book with all the quilts and interesting details concerning the animals and plants.

Since I got the book it’s on my desk and whenever I’m taking a break I’m browsing in it. The quilts are beautiful works of art and the pictures really do them justice. The information provided is interesting but sometimes rather depressing. But then you can always skip to the end of the book where 4 success stories are told.

I am really happy that I found and bought this book and I’m sure that everybody (not only quilters) will love it as well. Don’t forget to put it on your wishlist.

Inspired by Endangered Species
by Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 2019
ISBN 978-0-7643-5220-1