Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Home from Festival of Quilts

“Home, James, and d0n’t spare the horses!”

…..and thanks to 2 flights, 12 trains, one taxi and 2 van rides, I am home! (no actual horses, though).   It’s so good to get back home after three weeks on the road, but it’s also very good to have seen so many places and faces. 

My first week away was at The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK. 
Dominie Nash and I hung about 25 quilts  in a lovely little “gallery” within the exhibition center.

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We had very good neighbours – Susan Denton was showing her gorgeous Cornwall quilts on one side, and Jane Dunnewold fascinating mysterious new layered pieces on the other. Susan Shie was just a couple of blocks away, Pauline Burbidge just around the corner!
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There were also galleries showing European quilts, a Quiltart show and the huge British Patchwork show, as well as a million vendors and 34,000 visitors.  Thank you to everyone who stopped by to see our work and say hello!  

We interspersed our pieces – on the left one of Dominie’s dynamic still lifes featuring Linda Levin’s scissors as a major design element!  on the right my strong red/blue piece about the Hamilton steelworks.  Had to be strong to balance those scissors!

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Even though Dominie’s work is about the beauty of small things, and mine about the beauty of large buildings, the quilts worked very well together. 



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As you can see, we had a nice large table with a cloth to hide all our shipping boxes!  Shipping was much less of a hassle than we had worried about – thanks to the excellent help provided by the show’s shipping company.  After we’d laid out the show on the floor, a team of carpenters arrived, cut hanging poles and had us screwed to the wall in no time!uk summer 2010 014

We had deliberately chosen a specific size: 18” by 24”, to each make several pieces, often using the same fabric (which we’d made by layering alternate surface designs techniques then mailing it off to each other!).  So we were able to make an intriguing array of little quilts…this would be a great way to collect work!  You could buy one piece, then gradually add more!

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We soon realized we should have printed postcards of each of the quilts – people love to buy postcards of the work they see – something to remember if we do this again!


I also taught a class of 14 lovely ladies on designing quilts – and there were some fascinating ideas!  I look forward to receiving pictures!  And we both gave well attended lectures.  There are so many classes and lectures at the FOQ – about a dozen different offerings every day.  It was a great experience.

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And then I climbed to the other side of the fence and went down to Devon for a painting workshop – so relaxing to just be told what to do and taken everywhere I needed to go (it was plein air) and fed 3 delicious meals a day!                                                                                 

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It’s fun to be the teacher, but oh so lovely to be a student! If you look closely you can see the group gathered on the quayside with their easels!



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And here we are watching the teacher demonstrate.   I was very interested by the similarities and differences in a painting class and a quilt class..In a painting class the teacher can spend some time each day doing a demonstration, and often finish a piece..imagine being able to do that for a quilt!  It’s so much slower a process, even to demonstrate developing a design would take up far too much class time – however I’m thinking of taking a lot of step by step pictures the next time I design so that I can emulate some of this demo process in both virtual and actual classes.   The discussions about what make successful pieces (whether paintings or quilts) are very similar…with emphasis being on developing strong value patterns, repetition and so on.   We were lucky in having a very generous teacher who indefagitably (well with a few tea and coffee breaks!) tracked us down across the beach or quayside as we scattered to paint. 

It would be so much fun to try a quilting class like this!!  Have people sit down with their sewing machines in a beauty spot, and the public walk around and admire!!

If you have been, thanks for reading!  And I hope to get back to my regular blogging routine!!  Elizabeth


Anonymous said...

Welcome home! Looks like a great trip. Missed you. Mary L

magsramsay said...

Pleased to see that Slapton worked out so well - always a bit daunting making recommendations. You're right about the parallels in quilt design and painting - I was much more aware of tone and value on my Malham watercolour holiday after your class.

Elizabeth Barton said...

Slapton was great! A real highpoint, thank you SO much for the recommendation - I really loved the place and the teacher was super, very generous with his time.

Maggi said...

I really enjoyed your gallery at the FOQ although neither of you were there when I visited. I liked being able to stand back and view the pieces and then let them draw me in to the detail.

Linda B. said...

Good to see you safe home - it seems a long time since FOQ!

Terry Jarrard-Dimond said...

Great to have you back! Your QF show looks like it worked out beautifully and I know you enjoyed the painting workshop. Now let's see what impact the trip had on your work!

Clare Wassermann said...

Hey it was finally good to meet you at the NEC and I loved your gallery - I think the labeling lacked a little and I felt I needed some info about the quilts but it was very impressive to see the real things having only seen them on my tiny computer before so thanks again!