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That's a Wrap

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the 2019 Festival of Quilts.

If you're missing it already make sure you check out the 2019 highlights in the photo gallery above!

Jenny Doan

The talented Jenny Doan joined us at this year's Festival of Quilts, giving daily 'Trunk Shows' with humour, laughter and even a few tears. Click below for more information on what happened at this year's show!

The Vlieseline Fine Art Textiles Award

From 2019 onwards, the award previously known as Fine Art Quilt Masters has been broadened to become the Vlieseline Fine Art Textiles Award, an international juried exhibition open to all amateur and practising artists using textiles as their medium. 

The 2019 shortlist is now selected. Click above for the full lineup coming to this year's Festival of Quilts

Michael James

This year we had a fabulous line up of some of the best known names in textiles who joined us at The Festival of Quilts. The gallery are played host to the likes of talented artists India Flint, Sandie Lush, The International Quilt Study Center & Museum and more.

Check out the full 2019 gallery line up here and stay tuned for the 2020 line up coming soon...

What people say

It was so good we visited the festival twice! For anyone that enjoys crafts, sewing, quilting or interested in having a go, I would strongly suggest going along and having a great day out. 10/10
Absolutely incredible works of art! Feel honoured to have seen these quilts close up - Superb!
I spent two very happy days at The Festival of Quilts, the ambiance was incredible, and there was enough room between the stalls to move easily, the quilts were fantastic, and everyone I spoke to were saying it was the best one ever, a wonderful day!
My daughter and I paid our first visit on Friday... We were totally blown away by the quilts on display and had a fantastic time shopping too. Will definitely return next year. Thank you so much for all the hard work in putting on such a magnificent show! 
Fantastic show with lots to see, do and buy! Made all the more special with my daughter winning the Young Quilter of the year (5-8 years). Will be back next year!
The artistry was amazing; there are some very talented quilters out there. It has given me the urge to become more creative with my time behind my sewing machine. Congratulations on what I'm sure will be a sell out of a show.
Jan Tillet's workshop was amazing. She was very well prepared and the content of the class was excellent, exceeded expectations and increased my interest and knowledge in the subject. Excellent value for money. Thank You Jan.

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Latest News

  • 22 JUL, 2019
    With just over a week to go until The Festival of Quilts we caught up with Eszter Bornemisza  to talk about what we could expect to find in her gallery at festival of Quilts this year. Q: Eszter, you spent the first 20 years of your career as a research mathematician. How and why did you make such a major jump into making quilts and textile art for a living? A: Sewing has been one of my favourite free time activities since my early teens. I learned using the sewing machine in a self taught way through altering my grandmother’s old clothes to fit me. Later, I sewed almost everything from leather shoes to overcoats and even suits for my family, and I wove jackets. As I had many small left over fabrics, I stitched them together - someone said they looked like quilts. In 1996, I had the chance to visit a Quilt Expo in Lyon, France. I saw art quilts for the first time and thought they were like modern paintings made in the medium of textiles. I had always been keen on contemporary art, but never thought of trying to paint myself. Here, my two independent interests suddenly joined up together: textile and modern art. It became clear to me in a flash, that this is what I have to do! I was bold enough to decide that in the next Expo, a piece of mine would hang on the wall. And so I did it. But before that, in 1997, I entered a piece for the First European Quilt Championships in the Netherlands and won Best of Show award. That gave me a real kick off. I also got very strong support from my family, especially my husband, so after a few years of hesitation, I dropped maths and turned to be a full-time studio maker with the immediate desire to make art quilts. Q: Does being a mathematician bring something unique to your work? A: There is no direct connection between math and what I do now. But I have been always keen on elegant solutions with refinement and simplicity. In my recent work, I’m striving for something like this. Q: You live and work in Budapest, Hungary. The work you will be showing in your exhibition, You Are Here, at The Festival of Quilts is concerned with maps, our relationship with urban life and our sense of identity and place. Why does this theme resonate with you? A: When I started to make quilts, I realised that loving art and doing art were two different things. So I started to train myself through studying albums about modern and contemporary art while trying to develop my technical skills. On the other hand, I have always been keen on the graphical appearance of urban maps, old or new, and draw inspiration from them. With the multi-layered surfaces of real and imaginary maps, I am striving to grasp moments of finding our place both physically and mentally. As experimentation and research have been my primary tools for developing ideas, labyrinth-like maps with many dead-end streets have been a visual metaphor for a journey to find my identity in the art field. Q: You are well known for working with layered newspaper and other delicate materials? Is the fragility of materials like these important to your work? A: I like working with found soft materials like recycled paper and textiles. The choice of newspaper as a basic material plays a central role in my recent work as it provides further visual experiences by its ephemeral character. It is fragile; the content is obsolete, sometimes at the hour of appearance, while still bearing fragments of important details from the near history. It also represents the overwhelming avalanche of fake and relevant news we have to distinguish day by day. Q: What are your memories of the last time you were at The Festival of Quilts and what are you looking forward to seeing this year? A: It was great experience last time and I saw many visitors in my gallery with lots of great conversations. I could also visit fellow artists’ shows and could talk to them. It was an extremely intense four days and I am looking forward to living it through again. Q: You are part of the 62 Group of Textile Artists, a group that has championed contemporary textile practice for 60 years. What does it mean to you to be part of this group and how do you think attitudes to textile art have changed in that time? A: It was a great honour to have been accepted for the 62 Group two years ago. At the same time, it has been a great challenge to keep up with the ever renewing fresh work of the members. Being part of the group inspires me to be bold in finding new ways of expression. Attitudes have changed in the period, mainly in breaking the rules, both in terms of choice of materials and techniques, but also in striving to deconstruct the strict borders between applied and fine art. Q: Which textile artists do you think are making exciting work right now? A: There are so many new trends nowadays that I couldn’t mention a few artists. At the moment, the fiber installations are the most exciting for me. Q: What projects are you working on currently and what’s next for you after The Festival of Quilts? A: I was invited to propose a paper installation for a XII century church that is located in the middle of a paper factory in Alsace. I am very busy working on that right now. In a few days, I’m travelling to Iceland to have a solo show and workshop there, then I’m going to Austria where a piece of mine was selected for the ETN’s Garden of Eden exhibition. For the fall, I have been invited to exhibit in St Petersburg and the next year will bring a big exhibiting and teaching trip to Australia and New Zealand.
  • 14 JUN, 2019
    Leslie Levy is the Executive Director of the International Quilt Study Center & Museum at the University of Nebraska. We caught up with Leslie to talk about the importance of quilting, why the museum has such an impact on quilting, and what makes the Baltimore Album quilts so special.  Q: Leslie, thanks for your time today. We’re super excited to have the International Quilt Study Center & Museum at The Festival of Quilts this year. For those of us that haven’t visited the museum, can you give us a whistle stop tour? A: When touring the IQSCM, visitors have an opportunity to see a wide variety of quilts and quiltmaking traditions. Our collection spans five centuries, has quilts from more than 55 countries, and a growing number of art quilts. When you visit the museum, you have an opportunity to sample that variety. The building itself is also beautiful. Designed with quilts in mind, you can look for them in the architecture. Q: Have you been to The Festival of Quilts before? A: Yes. I was there in 2017. It was my first time and I was very impressed with everything from the exhibitions, the lectures, vendors and overall organisation. It made for a wonderful time. Q: What are you looking forward to seeing this summer? A: The Gallery exhibitions are always inspiring, and I am looking forward to seeing the new and innovative quilts from those artists with which we are familiar; it is always inspiring to see Competition quilts and marvel at the artistry. I am definitely interested in viewing the Japanese Pavilion! Q: How important is the Museum to quilting’s history? A: Any opportunity to document history and provide a place where you can care for and preserve that history is a vital part of our culture. We feel really proud to do that internationally. Not only are we preserving our past, but we are documenting our present. It’s our challenge and our honor. Q: What would you say quilts have to tell us about society and culture? A: The exciting thing about quilts is that they can address every social and cultural element. There’s something about the need and desire for cloth that reaches all of us across time. Q: You’re bringing a fascinating collection of Baltimore Album Quilts to The Festival of Quilts from the 1840s and 50s. What can visitors expect from this collection and what’s the historical significance of these quilts? A: Baltimore album quilts are so unique and have an amazing story. They are technically strong pieces. We believe they were group projects made by one person who was evidently greatly skilled and helped others maintain a high standard in their workmanship.
    Leslie Levy talks about the Baltimore Album Quilts that are coming to the show this year
    Q: The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where the IQCSM is based, offers a unique masters degree in Textile History with a quilt studies emphasis – the only program of its kind in the world. Why do you think quilting has such a low profile in postgraduate education? A: Quilts can be studied from historical, socio-political, economic, technological, and design perspectives, and so on. The trend towards interdisciplinary methods and approaches is growing. Although quilt studies has had a low academic profile to date, it fits well with the field of material culture studies. At the museum and the university, we aim to work with undergraduate and graduate students who have an interest in quilts, whether that's through formal class delivery or internships and research projects. We also broadcast our research as widely as possible - to academics and non-academics alike - through exhibition publications and websites such as "World Quilts" at Q: The Museum’s collection of quilts spans five centuries. Can you tell us about the oldest quilts you have in the collection and their relationship with quilts of today? A: The oldest quilts in our collection are a pair of silk whole-cloth quilts that were probably made in the 1600s along the Mediterranean. The whole-cloth quilt is a standard style. The use of quilting as intricate design elements - whether in whole-cloth or patchwork quilts - is something we see makers doing today, particularly by long-arm machine quilters. Q: The Museum also represents quiltmaking traditions from all over the world. Do you see distinct differences in techniques from different parts of the world? A: We see patchwork, appliqué, and quilting techniques around the world. There are differences in how they are performed and how the textiles are used. For example, in many parts of the world, from North America to Europe to Africa to Asia, quilting is both a practical and decorative component of clothing. Also, studio art quilts are made worldwide, meaning that quilts are more frequently seen on walls around the world than they ever were in the past. Q: Which quilt artists do you think are making exciting work right now? A: So many. Right now, the innovative techniques and materials we see quiltmakers using today are redefining what we understand as quilts. This year we were thrilled to add two of Michael Cummings’s quilts to our collection and he embodies all of those things. Q: Are you a quilter yourself? A: I am not. Are you surprised? My mother was a quilter and also had an antiques business when I was young, so was introduced to beautiful, intricate quilts early on. I learned much from her collections, and just listening as collectors, enthusiasts and quilters discussed quilts with her. We always had beautiful quilts on our walls, or on our beds.  

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