Monday, 18 August 2008

Highly commended!

Yesterday I went to the Festival of Quilts at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, which is where our quilt 'A Forest of Seasons' was exhibited. I know it must be very difficult to hang so many different quilts and make them all look wonderful, but we were disappointed last year that our 'Cosmic Wonders' quilt didn't seem to be looking its best. So this year I was delighted to see that the quilt was hung prominently on a corner under a spotlight. It looked great!

Then, to my amazement, I noticed a little label on the side, saying 'Highly Commended'! Apparently (according to Mary Mayne, who is one of the judges) they only award a first, second and third in each category, and reserve the highly commended awards for when it has been really close! It was enough to see our quilt at such a huge exhibition, displayed so well, but the icing on the cake was the award.

Here are Andrea, Gaynor, Bunty and Di in front of the masterpiece, looking like the cats that have just got the cream (well, all except Andrea, who seems to be still in a state of shock, quite understandably!)
The quilt was attracting a lot of attention, and lots of people got out their cameras to take a photo of it. The idiosyncrasies of each block fascinated many, and people enjoyed pointing out the birds, animals, catkins, flowers and clever use of buttons, lace and other embellishments. One lady said to her friend, 'Oh, another tree quilt. Well, it's certainly nicer than the other one,' which must be a sort of back-handed compliment!

Although the workmanship and creativity displayed in each and every block is wonderful, I must say that the way that Andrea and Bunty assembled those blocks is outstanding. The way that they have been put together so cleverly, to unite the individual trees, but also to create space between them so that each can be appreciated, is superb. I'm sure that was a major factor in the quilt's overall success.

The quilting is beautiful, and compliments the blocks beautifully. I especially liked the way that the trailing leaf border has the names of the different seasons along the top and bottom borders,

and the names of the participants along the sides. The quilt will be 'raffled' amongst the participants at the next meeting, and I think the winner (and I hope it's me!) will be delighted to take this beauty home. Well done everyone - it's a stunner!