Friday, August 15, 2014

Birmingham Festival of Quilts, 2014!

This crowd is representative of what it was like to get through piles of people to view the quilts at the show, to get from one vendor’s stall to another, it was crowded and full of energy, you could just feel it!

I love wandering shows and just listening to conversations that folks are having as they look at this, as they look at that.

I get a big kick seeing what people are buying, the fabric they are petting, rulers, tools, notions, patterns, books, and how excited they are to meet their favorite designers who are there walking the floor or working in their own stalls.

Yes, what we call a “Booth” here in the states, is called a STALL in the UK!  I love the differences in words and usage, similar yet different!

The photos I took are manic and varied, and snapped quickly when the crowd thinned enough to get a photo of the quilt, or the section of the quilt I was looking at.

Most of the time I was dealing with this:


Can’t get close enough to get a photo!

Look what I also found while walking the aisles:


My books!  In the Kaleidoscope Quilts booth STALL!!

As I was taking this photo a woman from Kaleidoscope books came up to me and said, “I’m Sorry, NO PHOTOS!!”

I held up my name  badge to her, explaining that I was the author just wanting to send a photo home to family, and her jaw dropped to the floor!  When she gathered her wits, she had to bring the other staff over so we could ALL be in the photo together!


Yes, I am taller than most people think when they meet me in person!

Thank you, Kaleidoscope Books for carrying my books, and for being such good sports about me taking photos!


Handiquilter Sweet 16 sit down class!

What I found interesting is that many of the classrooms are “open air” and passers by get a good glimpse of what you are working on!  Of course there are signs “Please don’t disturb the students!” as they are working.  I think this is a good idea in that folks who DIDN'T take the class might find one they want to take next year.  On the other hand….I think I would be a bit distracted by the noise and the hustle and bustle happening around me.

Favorite Quilts?  As a traditional quilter I felt there was a good mix of traditional and modern in the show.  And the really traditional was REALLY traditional!  The French Quilters Guild had so many wonderful quilts on display, many all hand pieced and hand quilted.  Drool worthy.  These quilts made me want to come home and just SEW!


Pine Burr with the maker standing right there!


Log cabin by the same lady.

These are the quilts that sooth my soul and inspire me.  They speak of comfort and sweet dreams. Of simpler times with life had a slower pace.  Sometimes I think all the machine piecing and quick machine quilting has gotten kind of manic and super-charged….Get it done quickly, turn out as many as you can….it’s become more about the quantity than the comfort and enjoyment of needle and thread.

I can’t imagine the hours in these hand pieced and hand quilted beauties…….how blissful.  How peaceful.  Time to turn inward and think and ponder and appreciate ---

Another favorite:



It was hard with crowds to get all the photos and NOT have people in them.  The lighting was not always great, I seemed to have TOO MUCH light, even when taking a photo without flash, so the colors aren’t always true.  I got close up shots of detail when I could, but not always the info card on the maker.  For this I apologize.  It was frenzied and fast paced photo taking with crowds of people and there wasn’t time to do it justice.  I had planned on picking up a booklet with all the listings of the quilts so I could include them, but then forget.


Blocks in Hexies!

This quilt is called Raconteur and is made by Cinzia White.




How SMALL are these blocks!?


Oh, I just want to Sew!

And a very special honorable mention to my friend Rebecca Palmer, and her group of young quilters for their award winning quilt!


The Secret Garden, Group Quilt Entry

Ages 12 to 16


Congrats!  Way to start them young!

So what I present to you is a slide show as I saw them, many left unnamed, no pattern given, I have no other info than the photo itself.

Click the image below if you are unable to view the slide show on your mobile device.  You’ll be taken to the photo album for viewing
Festival of Quilts, Birmingham UK 2014

So today -- I am MUCH more back to normal.  All of my column blocks for my Addicted to Scraps column in Quiltmaker Magazine are DONE for 2015!  Those will go off in the mail on Monday, along with ((I hope)) my block for  future 100 blocks issue!  I'm knocking things off of the white-board with a vengeance and reclaiming my life to give me more time to SEW!
This evening we'll be heading up to Quilt Villa for the weekend.  I get to see what has happened with the gravel in the drive, and the new floor in the family room.  
And there will be time to spend stitching on my mystery quilt....it's a great day in NC!

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  1. Thank you for sharing. While I'm confident you must hear this all the time, reading one's blog makes the reader, somehow, feel like they know you. Totally false, I realize, but there it is. So, last night, you and my "bestie" were having a lovely conversation about all sorts of non-quilty things. I was sewing, but sort-of evesdropping. It really was a very nice dream. Thanks. I'm getting ready to head to Europe and visit some of those online-made quilt friends. What a joy. So with online joy, happy Friday and again, thanks.

  2. Hi Bonnie,
    I was on The Festival of Quilts, too. Would have loved to meet you;-) But instead of this, I bought your last book 'More Adventures With Leaders And Enders' and actually half on my way with 'Scrap Crystals'Wishing you a happy weekend with lot of time for sewing, Martina

  3. Beautiful quilts. I especially like the hexie with the dedication to Mom. I drool when I see such tiny work. You certainly look as though you thoroughly enjoyed yourself.

  4. I was so sad not to spot you at the Festival of Quilts. Looked so hard for you all Sunday. Even saw 2 ladies from your tour, Elaine & Kathy. I loved the minute hexi with hexi blocks quilt too. There were some great quilts and stalls. Always a great show. Enjoy being home - hope the jet lag improves soon.

  5. I am sure the gals at the stall were overjoyed to meet you! Very cool your books are enjoyed all around the world!

  6. Thanks for the quilt pic. They were wonderful.

  7. delight filled online trip of a great show! Did you see all of the Hexie quilts? WOWOW


  8. The tiny hexagons are Cinzia Whites "Raconteur". You can see her website (and buy the patterns) here:

  9. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all the WONDERFUL things you do for the quilting community !!!

  10. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us, Bonnie.

  11. Anonymous2:50 PM EDT

    So glad you had a good time at Festival of Quilts - we enjoyed our trip there a few years ago too! I'm thrilled to see my friend Cinzia's pieced hexie quilt up close - it's a masterpiece!


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