The Festival of Quilts - Our Story

The Festival of Quilts was launched in 2003 in partnership with The Quilters’ Guild as a hub for people from all over the world to come together and share their passion for quilting.

20 years on and it is now the biggest quilting show in Europe with over 22,000 quilting fanatics expected to attend this year. It is also home to the largest open quilt competition in the world, has the largest programme of workshops and talks offered anywhere in Europe and hosts some of the leading quilt artists from around the globe, including Joe Cunningham, Stuart Hillard, L’Merchie Frazier and many more.

The Festival of Quilts is proudly organised by Immediate Live, the UK’s leading organiser of unmissable consumer events and experiences that connect and inspire audiences through live events.

Come along to everyone’s favourite Birmingham festival with an international reputation, and read on below to see what’s on at the Festival of Quilts.

★ Famous Artists and Special Exhibits

Over the years the show has attracted some of the most prestigious textile artists and world renowned quilters including Dorothy Caldwell, Elizabeth Brimelow, Nancy Crow, Jane Dunnewold, Diana Harrison and Luke Haynes. In 2022 we welcomed exhibitions from collector Roderick Kiracofe and internationally acclaimed textile artists including Danny Amazonas and Michael A Cummings. We also offered special exhibits from Liberty Fabrics and Kaffe Fassett as well as the Guru Nanak Tapestry and the Grenfell Memorial Quilt.

A place to learn

The Festival has always been one of the best places to learn about quilting and textile crafts with an unprecedented workshop programme. The show offers a selection of taster classes with it’s Quick and Easy classes, more intense masterclasses in the Academy programme as well as the chance to hear from some of the best quilting tutors in the world in our talks and demos programme.

★ Get Involved

FOQ hosts the largest open quilting competition in the world. Over 700 quilts are entered annually into the competition which covers a variety of categories including; traditional, modern, contemporary, art and novice quilts to name a few. New for 2023 we have introduced a category for Sustainability and another called The Joy of Sharing for those who want to exhibit their work without it being judged.

With so many quilts under one roof it is hard not to leave full of ideas and inspiration to create your next quilt.

★ A place to shop

The Festival of Quilts offers an unrivalled shopping experience for quilters. With over 200 companies selling patchwork and quilting supplies, fabrics, threads, wadding, fat quarters, sewing machines, notions and more all under one roof.

What makes the show so special is the FOQ community; our visitors, exhibitors, teachers, artists and contributors whose support is vital to the event’s incredible success. It is so rewarding to stage an event with such a strong community spirit and sense of togetherness; a show full of smiling faces from people sharing their love of patchwork and quilting.