Wednesday 17 August 2016

Festival of Quilts UK 2016

It's always exciting to hear Linzi's Landy pull up in my drive heralding our departure for our annual pilgrimage to Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, UK. We needed to be at the NEC by 2pm next day so 'The Bed' as my customers call it was occupied 'by Royal Appointment', only very special visitors are allowed to sleep in the quilt room.
After worrying about motorways and road works we took our usual route down the M6 and sailed through the cones arriving at the NEC by 1.15 in good time to grab a sandwich and coffee. After saying hello to the girls and staff on Linzi's stand I made my way to our hotel where Ani and Sally were just arriving. We headed straight back to the NEC to unpack the van, that gave us a great start on our build up for the next day, this is my fifth year as a Rep for APQS longarm quilting machines, we were at least one person short, it was a huge job for us ladies. It didn't take us long to get the stand set up and even managed a quick trip to Ikea, the fact that our stand didn't have a working electricity supply was a little worrying.

There was only Ani and I to demonstrate the machines on our stand, as always we were helped and supported by Sally and Ellen who were selling fabric. First day of the show was a little difficult, we had no electricity for the first three hours, the electricians struggled to find the fault, there were lots of excuses, in the end a simple extension was installed, I'm sure I could have done that myself.

We decided to train up a new girl for next year....

We had lots of visitors to the stand and met friends old and new, it's a fun time. In the evenings we ate lots and laughed till we hurt, We had our ritual trip to our favourite Indian restaurant which required a table for 12, our small APQS group was merged with the Bernina girls, it was a fun night.

The four show days flew by, before we knew it it was Sunday and time for 'break down', it was hot, the car park outside was full, the van was miles away. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking manning a stand at the NEC is an easy job, it's hard work especially break down. Packing everything back into the van is hard labour some of the large machine/table parts have to be manually carried and even if you can use a sack barrow the path is not always smooth, by the time we headed out for our evening meal we thought we were too tired to eat but did manage another carvery.

There were quilts, I had one of my own quilts 'All Airs and Graces' in the show and a customer quilt appliqued and pieced by Angela Cotter, quilted by me 'For Lucy'.

I'll do a little post about the making of this quilt shortly.....

You can read more about Angela's quilt 'For Lucy' here

Best in Show was a beautiful wholecloth quilt by Sandy Chandler, very well deserved.

Back home on Monday afternoon, by Monday evening I had already booked our room for 2017, seems I had forgotten how hard it was, missing my pals already......can't wait....

Tuesday 2 August 2016

Zeynep's Nearly Insane Quilt.....

This is a photo heavy blog post. I couldn't wait for Zeynep to come home from her Turkish holiday, I know she was excited to get home too. Zeynep pieced this Nearly Insane quilt all by hand, that's the name of the pattern 'nearly insane'. The fabrics are varied and many, just imagine collecting all of those reds, there are a few different lights too. I don't think there a two blocks the same, I know I quilted all of the blocks with a different quilting design using only white and a very little red thread. I was asked to quilt some images of cats and dogs into the quilt so I did just that and hid them in the blocks to be found later.  Two dogs and four cats, I cut templates for them and also a small template to help keep my feather design in the sashings consistent. The same design throughout the sashings stops the quilting from being too busy. This is full Custom, Heirloom Quilting.

All freemotion hand guided with a little ruler work, Zeynep is going to add a 3/4 inch red binding to finish off the edge.....

Make a cup of coffee and enjoy the photos..... Oh and there is a short video tutorial too