Festival of Quilts – UK

Don’t get excited.  I didn’t get a chance to go to Britain for the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham.   At this point in life, it’s not even on my list of Things to Do.

However, Bonnie McCaffery went and she made two short vidcasts of her visit to the show.  She’s been doing this for a long time and, I must say, that it is a pleasure to see how her skills as a videographer have grown over the years.

While she is a very talented quilter in her own right, these vidcasts are not about her, but about the things she sees and the people she meets. 

I had just recently visited the Web site for the International Quilt Festival in Houston.  This is the official site and has a straight on shot of each winning quilt in all the categories.  I thought the pictures this year were, well, dull.  Not that the quilts were dull, mind you, but the pictures themselves were too small to appreciate anything about the details or workmanship.  Maybe my memory is playing tricks but I could have sworn they used to have better pictures, even ones that you could blow up and see stitch by stitch.

Then Bonnie posted a note about the most recent vidcast.  Still in a state of numbness from the election, I clicked over and was jolted right out of my seat!

We saw a variety of quilts, often with close up views.  We met some of the quilters and two small interviews were imbedded in between the tour.   I wish the music was set to play at a lower volume than the interviews but otherwise, this is nothing but a rave review.


Detail of quilt by Jose Beenders-Klomp from the Netherlands

As an American quilter, I really enjoyed seeing quilts that have grown out of a whole different set of cultural references.   You can see it in both color use and design.  The Fashion Show was unique.  Don’t miss it!

The Dumb Bells at Festival of Quilts UK is a second video which concentrates on a group of women who made an Olympic-themed quilt for the show.  Each square shows a quilt-related Olympic event with a rather chubby Sunbonnet Sue as the participant.  Pretty cute stuff and we get to see and hear about each block from the maker.         


Over the years, Bonnie has provided lots of vidcasts, some are show tours like these and others concentrate on an individual quilters.  We see an interview, enjoy several of her quilts and then watch as she explains one of her techniques.  These are still available for you to see.

It’s not the same as being in Britain but it was a pretty good second place and I didn’t have to pack a suitcase or go through the security check points at the airport.


2 thoughts on “Festival of Quilts – UK

  1. Thanks for this post, Carol. Those quilts are amazing. I often wonder where some of these people get their ideas. For example the woman that used the wire to bring dimension to her quilts. What an idea !! And what stunning results.

    • I agree – there were several that were truly unique. I first noticed the difference in how location affects quilt design and color when I visited a regional show in Minnesota. Totally different from the color palette I had previously seen down in Virginia or other areas in the Mid-Atlantic. We don’t use all those browns with moose and pine trees!

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