The Festival of Quilts 2019
The UK’s Festival of Quilts attracted almost 750 entries in its competitive quilt show held in August this year, and more than 25,000 enthusiasts went to view them. We’ve chosen some of our favourites to share with you.
Best in Show
Winner, Two-Person Quilts
Best Longarm Quilting
Who Will Tell the Bees?, Mary Palmer and Anne Kiely, Ireland
Artists’ statement: “A window into our world and the global environmental chaos on the brink, bees and growth offering hope and optimism for the future. Filled with symbolism and imagery around the elements of earth, wind and fire, all of which bring growth or destruction.” Linen, cotton, wool; etchings translated digitally onto fabric. Constructed by hand, quilted by machine.
Winner, Traditional Quilts
Pennsylvania, Gwenfai Rees Griffiths, Abergele, North Wales
Artist’s statement: “The Orange Peel pattern was the starting point of this quilt, with various appliqué patterns I designed inserted in the centres. Fabrics were bought several years ago on a trip to Pennsylvania. I enjoy hand stitching but of course it does mean that everything takes an age to finish!” Cotton; wool batting. Hand and machine appliqué, hand quilting with both standard quilting thread and cotton perle.
Second, Modern Quilts
Modern Movement, Rachelle Denneny, Glenelg North, South Australia
Artist’s statement: “This quilt is a play with colour, movement, simple piecing and negative space. It’s a modern take on a Bargello quilt to create waves and movement.” 100% cotton fabrics, wool/cotton batting, rayon threads. Machine-pieced, free-motion quilted on a domestic machine using 21 different-coloured threads changing with each colour section.
Winner, Group Quilts
“Over the Hills and Far Away”, Cowslips Workshops, Launceston, Cornwall
Artists’ statement: “The second quilt using a favourite landscape fabric that is so like the land around us. Summer moving into autumn, with the quilting echoing the animals and flowers, forming the cycle of life, with a splash of colour, the houses snuggled into the landscape.” Cotton fabrics, wool batting. Hand appliqué, machine-pieced borders, longarm quilted.
Third, Contemporary Quilts
No Return, Anne Lillholm Jorgensen, Nuenen, Netherlands
Artist’s statement: “No Return is my interpretation of a journey from birth to death. Light moments, darker moments, ups and downs. I have used the colour and the movement for showing this. The quilted arrows show the way in life … one way … no return.” Cotton fabrics, wool/polyester batting. Hand appliquéd, longarm machine quilted.
Third, Quilts by Novices
East Meets West, Jill Farrell, Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire
Artist’s statement: “I fell in love with the Common Bride quilt pattern and wanted to combine it with my love of Japanese fabrics. I was daunted by the scale of the task I had set myself, but am delighted with the result and think the soft colours of the Japanese fabrics have produced a very harmonious quilt.” Japanese cotton fabrics on a cream background. Hand appliqué and machine quilting.
Second, Challenge Quilts, with a theme of “Four decades — one moment”
Winner, Visitors’ Choice
Taj Mahal at Sunset, Pippa Wardman, Leeds, West Yorkshire
Artist’s statement: “On a textile tour to India, I was inspired but overwhelmed. One evening we visited the Taj Mahal at sunset. The rain stopped, the sun came out and it was just magical. I just remember feeling so alone and sad that my husband wasn’t there to share the experience.” Cotton fabrics, cotton and rayon threads. Hand embroidery with hand and machine quilting.
Second, Traditional Quilts
Dogwood Daisies, Robyn Fahy, Drumquin, Northern Ireland
Artist’s statement: “Made for a cousin and inspired by a picture she sent to me. It has probably grown too big for her, as somehow it just grew and grew.” Cotton fabrics, wool/polyester batting. Variety of threads and beads. Trapunto, hand-guided longarm quilted.
First, Pictorial Quilts
De Oriente a Occidente la Más, Juana Castañeda Romera, Arroyomolinos, Madrid, Spain
Artist’s statement: “It is one of the most beautiful birds.” Hand-dyed cotton fabrics, rayon threads. Machine appliqué and quilting.