Saturday, 10 August 2013

Festival of Quilts

Yesterday Miss PatchyRose and I had a long and enjoyable day out at the Festival of Quilts. To be honest, I hesitated even up to the night before about the wisdom of taking a child, as I know from the time I went a few years' ago how overwhelming it is! Thankfully, it all worked out perfectly, and I enjoyed her company, as well as watching her take in all that creativity.

We didn't buy a programme, so unfortunately I can't give details of the designers, but it was interesting for me to see that Miss PatchyRose was drawn throughout the day to the more 3 dimensional items around her. They were certainly varied and impressive!

She would like me to make her a smaller version of this dress, but with simpler and more discreet sleeves ;-)

Miss PR kept up a running commentary throughout the whole eleven hour day... She was totally bemused about how the awards worked, as we saw so many beautiful things which hadn't won prizes. A programme might have helped us make sense of it all, but I'm not sure when we would have found time to read through it!


The photo doesn't do justice to this amazing boat! And these were two of my favourites quilts on display...

One of the highlights for us was discovering the Décopatch stall, tucked away in a quietish spot. For just £2.50 you could learn how to do it and cover a heart with their selection of pretty papers. It really gave Miss PR the chance to sit down for half an hour, and gain valuable head space away from the crowds. However, she also discovered her creative groove, as she totally took to it, her nimble fingers whizzed away...

It also proved useful bribery, as good behaviour throughout the day meant we returned for a bag full of décopatch items to bring home and make. Her other top favourite was meeting Janet Clare and looking through her beautiful books and projects. Obviously there were a few sewing purchases too...


Simply Solids had offered 10% off at the festival; I forgot to take the voucher and then couldn't access the internet. However, they were so lovely that they immediately offered the discount anyway, just by mentioning where I'd seen it :-) As I was buying three metres of charcoal grey kona, the difference meant the purchase of another fat quarter! Their service was so good that I will be adding them to my list of online shops. From the Cotton Patch, I picked up two charm packs of Kaffe Fassett, which I've been wanting ever since I went to his exhibition recently. They also had one left of that very cute purse frame, with chunky pink twists - now just need to learn how to make the purse... Despite the very long day, with all the driving, I couldn't go to bed without some fabric play ;-)

Definitely not what I should be doing right now, but couldn't resist laying out the Kaffe squares to check if the prints and solids worked alright! No point putting them away again, so I'll just have to sew them up before I get on with the other quilts in progress... More than ever, it will be tough to quilt on my regular sewing machine; we both had a go with a longarm machine yesterday, and totally fell in love! It was a dream to use!

Such a great day, and we came away having gained lots of inspiration and new experiences. I do, however, wonder why they don't stretch it to a fifth day? And stay open for longer each day? It was so incredibly busy and crowded. It would also be interesting to know how the many stalls fared - it felt like there were hundreds of 'shops' there. Whilst some have a unique product, there is a great deal of overlap, which must be hard. The cost of getting there and buying tickets is considerable, but I didn't feel we were then getting bargains on our purchases, other than décopatch and Simply Solids. It can end up feeling like a lot of expense and energy just to access an enormous retail experience. I wonder if the organisers could be more imaginative in what they offer their visitors?


  1. Glad you enjoyed it. I'm not getting there this year. Would like to go for two days next year and do some workshops but have been saying that for a few years. I don't buy a programme either but I don't feel you should have to pay extra for one when you pay enough to get in. I would like to know more about the quilts though.
    Went to Holt today. Found fabric shop, was the one you went too in a square near Budgens?

  2. I always go to the show every year, but I have to miss it this year as we are on a family holiday. I agree it can work out to be a very expensive day. No matter which day I go it is always very, very crowded. I"m glad you enjoyed it and I'm sure Miss PR will remember it for a long time to come.

  3. Great round up of the day you had.
    I would love to go to the FoQ but haven't made it yet. However, having read a few reviews this year, I am wondering if it might be more fun to spend the day and money visiting a more local modern quilting shop and buying lots of gorgeous fabric.
    When I went to the Sandown Quilt Show, I did take a really good workshop and bagged a few bargains which made it worthwhile, but I hated the crowds .

  4. I went last year and even for a die hard, compulsive shopper like myself, I was totally overwhelmed! I loved seeing all the quilts - incredibly inspiring - but it is a very busy and long day. Thanks for the vicarious experience :)

  5. Gkad you had a fun day.Your goodies are just beautiful and also your new project.Have a fun weekend and thanks for your lovely comment.

  6. Hi Fran, nice to see you went to the festival of quilts too. I know what you mean about the expense. But for me the most important thing is actually getting to see fabrics in the flesh which never happens! Impressed by the decopatch going to look it up :)