A few highlights from the 2013 Festival of Quilts.
After what seemed like an eternity, I finally got to go to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. We stayed with my family in Manchester and S came with me while my mum babysat.
The main purpose of the trip (apart from total immersion in all things quilty) was for me to try out a Grace quilting frame and find a machine to go with it. The lovely people at the Cotton Patch stand were very helpful and I have decided to get the Gracie Queen frame with the Juki TQ98. I looked at the Janome 1600P-QC, which has the same throat space, similar functions and is somewhat cheaper than the Juki TQ98, but it has mixed reviews online and the Juki TQ98 just sounded and felt that bit smoother.
One of the highlights (for me, at least) was seeing the wonderful and amazing Kaffe Fassett. He was there signing books and sat quietly at his table, knitting whilst he waited for his fans. There were several quilts from his latest book on display, too and they looked even more amazing live than they do on paper!
Even though I use a lot of solids and blenders in most of my quilts, I do find that Kaffe Fassett fabrics are in a class of their own. They incorporate traditional elements but also work very well in modern quilts. They come in the most vibrant of colour combinations and they are not like anything else out there. It is always good to have a few in your fabric stash!
One of the great advantages of attending such a big quilting event is that you get to see (and try) some of the latest in quilting technology. As I mentioned above, I wanted to try out the Grace frame, but having the chance to try out some of the high-end long arm quilters was brilliant!
This is the new Juki QVP long arm quilter. It is already on sale in the U.S. and will be available in Europe from spring 2014. Even though a professional long arm machine is currently something I only dream of, I just had to give it a try! It is amazing. Maybe one day....
Overall, I really enjoyed the Festival of Quilts. It was lovely to be around so many other quilt fanatics. Exhibitors and guests alike were friendly and helpful, creating a real sense of community. I am already planning next year's visit!