We had to wait in a long queue as we had arrived early and there were so many people there already. The venue is huge!!! I was really excited to try to find my clock on display and see how I had done in the competition. There were so many quilts, around 700 in just the competition, I think. Around 24,000 people go to the exhibition which means they can all see your work. The work of other quilters is very inspirational.
Both professional and amateur quilters are able to display their work, as well as children. There is such a wide variety of different quilts and stitched items on display. As well as more traditional quilts, there are sections for 3D work, art quilts, contemporary quilts, fine art master quilts, novice quilts, group quilts, two-person quilts, pictorial quilts, miniature quilts, Quilters Guild challenge and 3 age groups for Young Quilters.
I particularly a quilt called Scrap Books by Catherine Alexander because there is so much detail in it and it’s a realistic picture. I also liked a set of umbrellas by Tanglewood Textiles. I loved how different these umbrellas were. I like that there is a pattern on the inside of some of them and how bright and colourful they all are.
There were hundreds of workshops, talks, trade stands and demonstrations in order to develop your skills and give you new ideas. I participated in 2 workshops making an applique rhino and a thread catcher. I enjoyed watching some of the textile artists layering their colours and patterns onto their work, then embellishing it with different media and sewing. I spent some time watching Alison Hulme doing some printing She prints and makes the most amazing aprons. I recently went to a talk that she gave about her life and how she started off in textiles. Her story was very inspirational to me. She is dyslexic like me but produces the most fantastic colours in her work. I have got a pattern to make an apron and am going to have a go at printing it in a similar style.
The whole experience was great. There is so much to see and even during two days at the exhibition we still didn’t manage to see everything. I love the variety of competition quilts, the galleries by both professional and amateur quilters, workshops, trade stands and demonstrations. Most of the people that we spoke to were really happy that myself and my younger sister do a lot of sewing and textile work and we even managed to pick up a few freebies.