• festival of quilts part VII

    I can go on for a long time with my narration about the Festival of Quilts....if you had enough, just come back in a week or so,  otherwise, come back tomorrow ;-)
     If you love till now what you've seen on my blog and other sites ( go look at this) ,  and otherwise start saving some money to go by yourself and have a look next year in the NEC in Birmingham : always in august (a very calm month in quilt-world because our season really starts in september). Just know that for the last five years  I went, I never came home disappointed.
    The level of the competition quilts vary every year. I found it this year not so good in the Contemporary and Art Quilts ; you could see some outstanding work besides a lot of stuff I won't even call a quilt, because it was technically not of that level to show in such an event.  But as the organisation accepts every entry (beginners have to get the opportunity starting exhibitions  also)....
     I already said that taste is personal, but we saw a few very "morbid" and "sinister" quilts (a skull in chenille !?!)  and than you have the quilters who think that because last year there was an artist who let her threads hanging on her quilt, they all have to do it right now too.... not noticing that their looks a bit sloppy... ...
    But it's not only competition : a lot of the space is taken in by renowned artists, and I love the opportunity to view quilts I usually only see in magazines or books. And that is a huge difference ! 
    And of course there is a huge  shopping area. 

    I do many different "techniques" in sewing, mostly with the sewing machine, but I tried once and I didn't like at all to do "reverse appliqué by hand". Though I always wanted to have a 'mola' because I love the naive design and the bright colours, I knew rather quick I'll never make one.
    So I've been saving money (a little gift here, and one there, and then one day ... the piggy bank explodes) and finally  I bought  one  this year !!
    A handmade mola made by Kuna women of Panama.
    Now I just need to find a frame so I can hang it up !


    It was difficult chosing one from the pile  ...

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  • festival of quilts part VI

    There was also a "creations" section : this is a part of the competition where all non quilts can be registered. Most often you'll think on garments, vests, but also bags, books and book-covers, boxes, .... a lot of 3D-stuff. This year first price went to a wonderful bouquet = all made with dyed and screen printed felt !


    it looked like real flowers !   very well done Gillian Travis !

    I loved  the 3-D object made by Janet Nash with all different kind of fabrics (sheer,  organza,  velvet, cotton)


    And then also very nice  (and ready for use)  and with a lot of tiny little hexagons... the sewing box of Ilona Kolla'r from Hungary.  Not my favorite colours, but I love the model and the sewing details of it.



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  • festival of quilts part V

    Today  I  want  to  share  some  of  my  pictures  from  quilts  I  saw   as  well  in  the  competitions  as  in  the  exhibition-space.    I  show  you  only  a  few  details  that  catched  my  eye.    It  could  be  because  it  was  bizarre,  beautiful,  unusual,  odd,  great,  sublime, ....       Some  are  only  a  few  cm-square,  others  are  huge  parts  of  a  quilt....     I  think  it's  nice  for  you  to  imagine  whether  it  was  a  tiny  piece  of  a  quilt  or  not 

        and   remind   that   taste   is   very   personal    ;-)








      And   in  this  line    I   would  talk  you  about  selling  quilts. 
    Artists  who  wan't  to  make  a  living  of  their  skills, (not  possible  in  Belgium  unfortunately,  because  textil art  is  not  yet  recognised  in  the  mind  of  critics), they  do , besides  their  talents,  need  a  lot  of  luck.    If  they  are  selling  thousands  of  books,  it  is  possible  to  live  of  their  art,   if   they  are  selling  quilts,  it  is  even  better,  if  they 're  winning   "big  prized competitions",  it  is  also  possible.     For  how  much  do  you  have  to  sell  a  quilt ?    You   never  can  ask  all  the  hours   spend   on   making  a  quilt.    Even   at  1€/hr  spend  on   every  hour  of  creation,  cutting,  sewing,  making   and   finally  promoting  your  quilt,   it  is  peanuts.    So   putting  prices  on  a  quilt   isn't  an  easy  job.   You  could   find  in  the  NEC  prices   going  from  200,00£  to   more.  Depends   also  on   the  kind  of  quilt,  the   fabrics  used ...     All   this  to  come  on  this  one  .... last  day  of   the  Festival   I  didn't   see  any  sign  of  'being sold' ...  to  expensive  for  a   quilt  of   88/105 cm  (5.900 £  =   7.080,00 €)  ?    Or  not  looking  enough  like   a   real   Monet - Giverny   painting ?  Or  simply  not  the  right  place,  not  the  right  moment ?      Who'll   tell ?


    Let's   have   a  dream    ....

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  • Festival of quilts part IV

    I still have to tell you about Maggie Grey ! In her lecture she explained - with a huge pile of samples and work - how she build up her creations. She's using 'mixed media' and though it'snt immediately the thing I wan't to explore and do, it was instructive and interesting. She mixes papers, fabrics, paints and dyes, threads, metal, glues, objects from nature,.... in fact everything she find and plays with all the materials to compose a piece that might stay like it is, or become a bookcover, jewellery, a little wall-quilt, a lampshade.... the list is endless!  I used already a tiny little bit of her thricks about stitching I had from her book "raising the surface" in some bookcovers I made. Now I have more ideas, but will stay with my fabrics and threads and -maybe for now - not add metal and paper and....
    She had not a separate exhibition space, but we could touch and take a close look to all her stuff that was hanging or exposed on the table in the lecture-room.  Here a few snaps, because she let us take photos of everything ... I made a little selection of mine 

    maggie grey4 detail

    maggie grey3


    Maggie Grey sample

    Maggie Grey samples

    maggie grey8

    Don't you want to start playing too with all the stuff you have at home ???

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  • festival of quilts part III

    We had a lecture of Chunghie Lee, an internationally renowned fibre artist. She showed us her Pojagi (Korean traditional wrapping cloth), talked about the history of that particular garment, and showed many pictures of how her wearables (and those of her students) became architectural installations. It was delightful, and she's very humble and still surprised that "normal cloth" is interesting so many people. Her work is so fine and delicate, translucent and capturing light as no other work did on the festival.

    Chunghie Lee7

    chunghie lee








    Just behind her exhibition, was Yoshiko Jinzenji, with work of her students (the quilts are made with original design-printed cottons of her). All in a typical fine style. I had already her first book where she explained and showed her quiltwork in delicate bamboo-dyed fabrics, and I enjoyed the quilts of her group as well. Here details of four different quilters.


    In another corner, but as delicate as these artists, was ingrid Press. Never heard of her, but I loved her quilts immediately !  She works with recycled cloths, mainly in rows and grids, but her flowers and leafs were fine too. Less is more ! 





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  • Festival of Quilts part II

    Today I'll tell you something about how I feel after 'landing' back on earth. ====
    Still very joyfull ! It's an every year rendez-vous with the world of quilting and I still love to go. It's a place where everyone has the opportunity to see, meet and approach well know quilters, to find out how they work, how they create, and catch up a few tricks and many hints. In the Virtual Studio, experts are at work in front of you : every year special techniques in fabric-painting, dying, colour removing are shown by Claire Benn, Leslie Morgan and many others. They all have some books written about the method they demonstrate, so you're sure it isn't the first attemps they make ;-).  Then you have a children's corner, where two workshops a day are given to kids. I've been trying to promote the youth-quilting in our national guild for four years now, and only at Creativa Brussels two years ago, there was a huge respons to the mini-workshops we gave with Bernina. All the other times something was organised, little respons came in. This year we had only ONE registration for a quilt made by kids for the contest in Birmingham ; Silkes' (category 5 to 8 years) quilt had even a 'highly commended' by the jury !  Look at her quilt ... You can also see her work in my posting of my workshop with kids in Antwerp end of July.
    I feel sad that in Belgium schools don't pay attention to crafts anymore...

    silkes quilt brimingham

    Then you have the Graduate Showcase :  identifying some talent from BA colleges around the country is not easy. Often it is a very personnel interpretation of quilting, don't expect to see traditional work here ! They are young and have a lot of imagination : it's interesting to see what they think of textil, patchwork, quilting,...

    There are a lot of shops, all with fabrics and material and books, but all different and they all try to have a stand even more beautiful than last year. And this year, with the british pound so cheap in compar.to the euro, I didn't resist long time. I went for some books, and I came home with a lot of books. At the airport I feared a little for the weight of my luggage, but it was still under 20 kgs (not that much,-)). You must know that I had just the lightest clothes with me, the strict minimum.
    So I bought also a little bit of linnen-mixed-cotton, very nice cotton from Oakshot, a lot of braids and trimms, .... Get a look at some of my stuff :



    There was also the exhibition of the banners made for the 20ieth anniversary of the EQA and Belgium looked like this (with me in the middle and on my right arm my banner)

    me and my quiltbanner

    And we had also the 20tieth anniversary of the Belgian guild, so there was also a selection of beautiful quilts together with Hungary and Switzerland (happy birthday too!)







    Isn't there anything "not good" in the Festival ? one little thing maybe, it's amazing ... and a bit annoying : you can rent a scooter (yes !!) in the NEC. It seems to be normal in the UK and where it is provided for the disabled persons (which I find a marvellous concept), it is often (mis-)used by others... Never I see so many obese -young- women then  there ! And instead of walking a little, they rent a skooter and drive in the aisles between the exhibition and shops, claim priority, drive over you feet, against your ankles, stop in the middle of an aisle, jump off and push you away from your place at a shop, take their time to buy, discuss, ... and go back to their little skooter and go further .... just as it is the most normal thing in the world that they might claim and require priority in everyting.  If they are used by really disabled persons, then I don't have any problem, but with one of my big toes open-wounded, with Liliane who had three times a collision in the back .... no, we don't like the idea. One might wonder how they move the rest of the 360 days when they're not at the NEC ! I read on a blog of the UK, that there were not enough skooters available, and they demand more.  I hope they will not try to solve the problem this way; I prefer they give the skooter only to the really disabled persons... a little exercise is good for your health ladies ! When I wanted to take a place on a table in the cafetaria area, one just drove me away, lay claim to the table and installed her bum in a chair, waiting for her friends to come also. First days, there were not enough chairs and tables for the 10.000 visitors (yes in one day!), and many had to sit on the ground. As these women were already sitten on the skooter, they could have left a chair to another, but no....
    For those among you who never saw those wheeled things : it 's similar to this one, but you have also models with two wheels in front....


    Anyway, that will not keep me away from the Festival and I enjoyed -despite it- very much my visite.

    I told you in a posting last week, that I had tickets for other lectures, and in the few next days, I'll tell you all about it.

    So far so good ! Now it's time to take a drive to the kitchen and fix something for supper.


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  • Festival of Quilts part I

    I'll tell you first something about a charming generous quilter : Jenny Bowker. You have absolutely to go to her website and read about her history and see all the other quilts she made.

    The quilts I prefer (though I normally don't like so much to see faces on quilts!) were exhibited and I was very happy to see them closely and I enjoyed all the details. Join my happiness with the pictures of her quilts about Caïro !

    First  "Arabesque", it seems like the tiles are real, but there made of fabric; almost incredible little pieces sewed and appliqued with invisible seems...

    Jenny Bowker arabesque

    Here she's at work to show and demonstrate the working of the latest Bernina and kindly explained and repeated all four days long how she worked.
    We had a lecture with her as speaker and she told a lot about her story in Caïro and other parts of the world, and believe me : she's a very good narrator, kept our attention from the start till the end and all done with natural and humour. We (Liliane and I and all the others...)  spent wonderful moments. 

    J Bowker

    Then we have Abu Ali : he is carving chairs in the streets of Caïro

    Jenny Bowker Abu Ali

     and take a close look to that wonderful smile Jenny could capture with different layers of shades  of fabrics and threads. It is appliqued !

    Jenny Bowker Abu Ali face

    This is Mohamed Sa'ad, he is a carekeeper of a mosque. The whole quilt is a jewel.

    Jenny Bowker Mohamed Sa'ad face

    and this is part of the quilt with the charming smile of Ittayer (he's making keys)

    Jenny Bowker Ittayer face

    Those who love pictural quilts, colourful and with a lot of details, must surely take the opportunity if she's in the area to look at those quilts. They have been in several magazines, but it is truly better to see them in real.

    Tomorrow I'll tell a little more about things I encountered and enjoyed.

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  • Back from Birmingham

    I'm just back from Birmingham, had four wonderful days at The Festival of Quilts, and when opening my doors for ventilate a little, I found my little cherry tree flowering again ?!?!


    Now I'm gonna 'offload' my luggage and I'll tell you this week during many days about my life of these four days in the UK. Just know that I came back with a very very heavy luggage ! Luckily it was an expandable one   ;-)

    Come and see tomorrow evening for a report !

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  • colours, hues, tints, shades,....


    A present from Jannie (from Alkmaar, the Netherlands)

    janna's klosjes

    Remains of my daughters' childhood ....  which I use now for my designs and creations

    crayons couleurs

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