National Quilt Championships 2017 [Jennie Rayment]
What a feast of quilts, exhibitions, traders and workshops! Held at Sandown racecourse, the National Quilt Championships attracted hordes of quilty crafters from all over the country and even one or two came on the ferry from France for the day. Arriving at 8:00am on 23rd June, the big hall was empty and just covered in stands waiting for the public to arrive.
By 11:00am, in poured the eager visitors. They came on buses, coaches, by foot, and even one or two on the bike! The trading area filled up with shoppers seeking that elusive patchwork item, quilting tool, crafty book, or maybe just after a bargain.
Best in Show – Sandie Lush
But shopping wasn’t really the main draw – it was the quilts and the competition. Who had won the big prize? Who was the champion? Well, you couldn’t fail to see why Sandie Lush won the Best in Show and indeed several other prizes as, without a doubt, her quilt was an exquisite fantasy of beautiful stitchery.
As I only had a little camera with me, it was hard to get a good picture and the photo doesn’t do Sandie’s quilt justice – but peer carefully at the close-up. Just look at all those Colonial Knots and the delectable seed pearls!
There were many other amazing quilts there and it always makes me feel incompetent when you see the standard of stitchery that has been achieved by some of the quilters. BUT it is sad to see that fewer people are entering their creations. Okay, your creation may not be in your opinion a winning masterpiece, but you won’t know until you have entered.
Each quilt at the Grosvenor shows is judged independently by each judge and given a series of marks. Who knows – your quilt may well score very highly on embellishment, or perhaps you are really good at combining colours or machine piecing or appliqué. Then you could be up for an award and if the marks stack up – perhaps a bigger prize!
Just a quick word of advice – make sure that your quilt hangs well – put the sleeve right at the top. There were a couple of quilts that hung badly and lost marks, so hang your quilt up and check it. Rolling rather than folding will crease the work less. It costs much the same to post and you will not lose marks for presenting a badly creased piece.
‘Dear Jane’ by Ann Gibbons
Sadly not among the winners, but a lovely quilt all the same, there was a very attractive Dear Jane quilt made by Ann Gibbons, pictured above. One cannot but take a moment to admire the hours of work that went into this quilt. (You may remember the ‘Dear Jane & Jennie’ quilts made last year from the blocks sent in by many of viewers.)
Inspired by Texture into Sudoku
There were quilts made by groups, pictorial quilts, applique of every kind, and even one made using the ideas from my Texture into Sudoku DVD, as seen above. (If you missed this on Create and Craft, it will be back soon!)
‘Stairway Through the Gallery’ by Andrea Ashwell
Such an amazing wall hanging by Andrea Ashwell took the Small Wall Hanging and Guided Longarm prizes. I loved the spirals. This quilt was entitled ‘Stairway Through the Gallery’.
Appliqué Techniques – Margaret Harrison
This isn’t a prize winner, but a very pretty appliquéd quilt by Margaret Harrison.
‘Latin for Quilters’ by Moira Neal
It was hung near a real fun painted hanging called ‘Latin for Quilters’ by Moira Neal.
‘Pure Joy’ by Monica Wutzl
One of my favourites (because I so want to have a dog again!) was ‘Pure Joy’ by Monica Wutzl from Brazil.
Impressive Pixelated Quilt
You just have to admire the patience and skill with this quilt. It wasn’t in the competition but in one of other exhibits. Why not try it – all you have to do is pixelate a photo and copy the colours… dream on!
I had a stand tucked against the back wall with some of my quilts displayed. Just to keep me extra busy, had a workshop each day. Twelve or more students were treated to a fast and furious class on the art of twiddling and fiddling! Having the stand meant that I had the pleasure of meeting many Create and Craft viewers who came to say ‘hello’ and share news, photos, and talk about projects they were making or had made.
Many of them commented on how much they enjoyed the Quilting Classroom and all the sewing shows, with particular emphasis on the demonstrations. So good feedback there! I have to confess that once I’d caught up on all the gossip, I did sneak off for some retail therapy amongst the wide variety of stall holders. Just about every conceivable notion, fabric, machine and other quilt-related object were to be found there. Now all I have to do is to smuggle my latest purchases in and convince my husband that I have had them all for ages!