Sunday, 14 August 2011

My Old Dress & The Festival of Quilts

Things have been rather hectic lately, mostly because I have started a new job. I am no longer a data monkey and instead of toiling away at a database, my day-to-day activities now involve fabric, patterns and quilts (yay :D)! You might sense a bit of a sewing theme...

Partly because of the new job, but mostly because I like to make things, I decided to recycle an old dress that, alas, no longer fitted me. Here is it in one piece (it had a good life - travelled abroad and even visited the natural history museum).

So far I've used it for three small projects. Firstly as a means of sprucing up an otherwise plain pair of flip-flops. Secondly I cut a length of it to wear as a headband (getting into the festival mood before lovebox, see past post). Lastly (and my fav) you'll see that it's one of the four fabrics I used to make bunting.

The Festival of Quilts is Europe's largest event to celebrate all things quilt-ish. Aside from displaying around a thousand quilts (traditional and contemporary, large and small) submitted by individuals and groups, adults and children  from all over the world, there are rows and rows of stalls selling fabrics, threads, books, sewing machines, not to mention the various workshops taking place and the mini exhibitions dotted around focusing on artists' and museum collections alike. The festival is vast hence why it's spread over four days (continuing throughout the weekend). And where would you find this Quilt Mecca? The NEC Birmingham (it's pretty much in the middle of nowhere and, to be honest, a bit grim - it's a good thing the quilts are a beautiful reward for your travels).
A more traditional quilt made by 25 people.
Tetris quilt from the contemporary section
Postcard patchwork from the Miniature collection.
This is a very high tech sewing machine - automatic (you just use the handles to move it around), with programs AND it sews at lightening speed - all for just £9,000!

I also wanted to mention Mary Koval and her Antique Quilts. She had boxes of fat quarters dating back to the 1950s and some rather incredible vintage quilts over a hundred years old. Mary had come all the way from Pennsylvania where her shop sells quilts made as early as the late 1700s. Below is the fabric I chose from Mary's stall, not sure what I'll use it for just yet, watch this space.

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