Being based in the UK, we’re lucky enough that The Festival of Quilts is just down the road for us (well, up the M5 to be precise). It’s one of the high points of the annual quilting calendar for us, and we’re at the show for all four days at the moment. While yesterday was spent busily preparing and teaching our English Paper Piecing (EPP) workshop, and taking part in a Modern vs Traditional quilt-off with our friends at Today’s Quilter magazine, today we get to spend all day exploring the wonderful quilt galleries (and fabric shopping, naturally).
Our favourite of the galleries is the Modern Quilts section, where we have literally spent hours pouring over each quilt, getting up close and personal to explore how their clever creators achieved so many amazing effects, and we’ve enjoyed a spot of quilt trend spotting along the way. For those of you who are unable to attend this year’s Festival, we thought we’d share a sneak peek with you of some of the hottest trends that are on display at the show this year, with this mini gallery tour. Here are six of the hottest looks that we’ve seen on display at this year’s show.
1 All about ombre
Rainbow-bright shades, variegating from one tone to another, are everywhere at this years show. Some of our favourite quilts on display at the Festival have used piecing and composition to arrange smaller solid units into an eye-catching bigger effect.
Here’s one of our favourite examples from this year’s Modern Quilts gallery – Elinor Beaven: Dispersal, using small off cuts of red & pink fabric in small triangular pops of colour, with the shades gradually progressing from one to the other across the quilt.
2 We heart hexies
Oh happy days – hexagon is the shape that’s here to stay this summer. With it’s classic roots in the EPP of the generations before us, we’ve seen hexies become THE shape to stitch, and they’re stealing the show in all sorts of contemporary quilts this year. Our Production Editor Kate proved her love of the humble hexie by stitching hers on the journey to and from the show!
Grit Kovacs and Birgit Schüler: Hexagon Quilt “La Passion” from the Two Person Quilts category
3 Go geo
Triangles & geometric shapes are everywhere, from quilt top compositions to clever quilting lines. Geometric designs are everywhere on the high street this summer, and it’s the perfect look to achieve in patchwork.
Magdalena Galinksa using a stripped-back mix of half square triangles and rectangular units to great affect: building diamond-set blocks with twisted pinwheels and boho bright prints in her ‘Turn it Around’ quilt.
4 Colour pop
It’s a look we love, and we’re not alone judging by the wonderful quilts we’ve been admiring today. Clean, crisp white backgrounds with a pop of the brightest colour and shape are really catching our eye. And we’re spying an emerging love of Neon shades too – the brighter the better! As demonstrated by Jo Avery’s Off-centre Medallion design (at the top of this post). Or for a twist on the colour-on-white trend, we like the neon kaleidoscopes on Brenda Sanders’s against a charcoal grey backdrop in her double-sided Atom quilt.
5 Sew lovely
It’s slightly meta, but we can never resist seeing sewing motifs, sewn into quilts. We’ve spotted some clever examples of patchwork interpretations of stitching themes at this year’s Festival, from spools to embroidery. Here are a few of our favourites from the galleries…
From left clockwise: Mary Mayne: Needles and Threads, Mandy Munroe: Blanket Stitch Quilt, Ash Valley Quilters: Spools
6 Off-kilter effects
Wonky is wonderful! Improv piecing is on the rise in 2016 and we noticed a distinct preference for shunning the straight line in favour of wavy sashing, wobbly blocks and off-grid quilt lines. Look out for more of this in the quilting world in the coming months.
Above: Julie Briggs: City Grid in Motion
Are you at the Festival of Quilts this weekend? Share your pics with us online #festivalofquilts or pop into our stand N6 to say hi.