The Festival of Quilts Postponed to 2021

Upper Street Events and The Quilters’ Guild are sorry to announce the postponement  of The Festival of Quilts, Europe’s biggest patchwork and quilting event, until 29 July – 1 August 2021, due to the Covid-19 pandemic

The Festival of Quilts was due to take place on 30th July-2nd August 2020 at the NEC Birmingham with 26,000 visitors expected to attend from all over the world. The Festival features 800 hung competition quilts, Textile Galleries by acclaimed international artists and groups, The Fine Art Textiles Award, hundreds of workshops, talks and lectures, practising artists at work and 300 retail exhibitors. Headline gallery artists were to have included Danny Amazonas, Sheila Frampton-Cooper, Noriko Endo and Sarah Hibbert, with collections from the International Quilt Museum, the 7th European Quilt Triennial and Art Textiles: Made in Britain.     

The event’s organisers have been following UK Government guidelines and working with rolling advice from Public Health England and other organisations.

Anna Baptiste, Event Director for The Festival of Quilts, said: “We are passionately committed to the quilting and textile art communities and are devastated to be making this decision. We appreciate how disappointed the quilting community, Festival sponsors and partners will be but the safety of our staff, exhibitors, visitors, artists, workshop tutors, stewards and contractors is of the utmost importance. We are working with the NEC to plan a bumper Festival next year.

For many people, textile crafts like quilting, sewing and knitting play an important role in supporting mental health and well-being. We have no doubt during this anxious time that the nation’s stitchers will be finding some comfort in their craft projects. Some of us may even pick up a needle and thread or pair of knitting needles for the first time.”

Chris Gatman, Chief Executive of The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles said: “This is a hugely popular event that takes many months of planning and preparation and we are extremely sorry that it can no longer take place as planned. It has been a difficult decision to make but the priority must be to protect the wellbeing of visitors and all those who make this event possible. We look forward to working with Upper Street Events in the months ahead to bring everyone an amazing Festival in 2021.

Tickets for The Festival of Quilts were due to go on general release this month. The Festival organisers are working on a virtual competition and other online activities. Information is available at or by signing up to the Festival newsletter at

All information is correct at the time of writing.



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