Saturday, 16 August 2008

Festival of Quilts

I have spent the last three days at the Festival of Quilts held at the NEC Birmingham. It is a fabulous show and I wouldn't want to miss it. There is such a lot to see. The most fabulous quilts from all over the world are brought together under one roof and it is quite spectacular. I am totally exhausted and must have walked many, many miles over the last few days. The photograph is of the quilt I entered this year. It is called 'Devon Reds' and is another piece of work in my Jurassic Coast theme. I dyed all the fabrics myself and it is actually two quilts. I made the blue background sky and sea first and then added the red cliffs. The 'cliff''quilt is made up of three panels of strip pieced fabrics which include some polyester sheers. In places these have been pieced leaving raw, frayed edges and the whole thing has been heavily stitched both by hand and machine to create texture. I finished the edges by machine using a loose satin stitch and then stitched the cliff top to the background by hand using thick threads that I had dyed at the same time as the fabric, and big stitches. I was pleased with the resulting quilt though in hindsight there are a few changes I would make if I were to do it again. I wasn't lucky enough to win a prize this year but that doesn't matter as I think to have won once at this Festival is an achievement and I shall continue to enter something every year as it gives me something to work towards and makes me use the skills that I have learnt.

I tried not to buy too much fabric as my cupboards are bursting but I was seduced by the Japanese fabrics and some great african indigo prints. I shall use some of these to make bags to sell at a Charity Sale in October. At the next available fine weather slot I intend to have a day in the garden Indigo dyeing and I have also bought some ferrous sulphate to have a go at rust dyeing which I am very taken with at the moment. When the rust dyed fabrics are overdyed with indigo the results are truly magic.
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