Welcome back to part 2 of the coverage of the special exhibitions, or ‘Galleries’ from Festival Of Quilts (you can find part 1 here) I apparently missed one or two of the galleries somehow, but I hope you enjoy what I did manage to capture.

EQA – Threads Without Borders

To celebrate 30 years of EQA (European Quilt Association), each member country selected a panel of 3 quilts to represent them along the theme of Threads Without Borders, reflecting the current political and economic challenges within Europe.

I’ve featured some of my favourites below, and as you can see, there was quite a variety of submissions, although there were a number of different representations of maps/flags. I apologise if I got any of the names wrong, one or two of the name plates weren’t 100% clear when I zoomed in on them, and I couldn’t find work by the potential artists on their own country’s EQA site, which was a real shame.

A Girl With A Cat – Magdalena Gasowska – Poland:

The Link – Sylwia Ignatowska – Poland:

Quilters Are Everywhere – Miroslawa Pucek – Poland

Threads Of Time – Lolita Simane – Latvia

Play With Threads – Eva Nelander Juntunen – Sweden

Threads In Space – Jorgen Lindstrom – Sweden (?)

Naughty Thread – Montse Forcadell – Spain – if you look closely you’ll see the rope fence at the bottom dropping off the edge:

Threads Without Borders – Rosella Ceriotti – Italy

Holding Hands – Adiko Poliak – Hungry

Climate Change In Wetlands – Maria Viita – Finland – I just loved the texture on this, the ‘grass’ was like a shag carpet, I can’t imagine how long it took to do!

Social Media, The Invisible Networks – Johanna Haner – Switzerland

Trip Around The World – Lilian Heer – Switzerland

Intertwined – Kathy Moore – UK

Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival 2019 Winners:

This poor wee gallery was quite hidden away in the middle of a bunch of stalls, but it contained the winners of some of the categories of the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival 2019 (the winners of this year’s FOQ will be making the return journey to Tokyo next February)

The Town Little Red Riding Hood Lives In by Yoko Sekita was absolutely amazing – it contained details from many fairy tale books, along with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s castle/airship and Herbie from the Herbie series of films, and all were set in a old Germanic style town. I can’t actually imagine how long this took to make, so it was a well deserved winner of the Travel section

Cinnabar Red Joy by Hitomi Mishima was the Grand Prix First Prize Winner, and it was spectacular, with a wide range of different textures, techniques and quilting.

Big Wave Of Flowers by Kyoko Takeda was made of stitched pongee and was the Grand Prix Second Winner

The Quilter’s Guild Regions – Spotlight @40

With the Quilter’s Guild celebrating it’s 40th anniversary this year, each of the 17 regions was asked to submit a work by one of their quilters which was on the theme of ’40’ and done as creatively as possible. I didn’t capture all the work, but these were my favourites:

First up was Scotland (it was a coincidence, it happened to be on the first corner of the gallery that I saw, and happily, its maker, Jo Avery, was standing alongside it when I arrived, one of 2 brief meetings we had over the course of FOQ!) This is 40 Layers Of Quilting as Jo had interpreted the theme as layers of sedimentary rock as found in an archaeological dig. It used a large number of different techniques across the layers, and she had actually chopped the right hand side off and reattached it with a row of 39 buttons

Essex & Suffolk’s Mary McIntosh produced Thatcher To May, which looks back at major newspaper headlines over the past 40 years. From the artist: ‘The quilt is a snapshot of the social and political changes that have taken place during that time, and a conclusion that nothing really has changed. Our political divisions are as wide as ever and social progress is undermined by prejudice and hatred. Only our obsession with the royal family and national sporting glory unites the nation. The feminist hope that when women were in charge all would be will with the world has been truly dashed.’

Lesley Brankin of Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and West Midlands (a region whose name trips so lightly off the tongue!) presented Belonging. From the artist ‘The second line of The Quilter’s Guild Mission Statement reads: “We bring together quilters in a spirit of friendship and learning. We promote quilt making in all its forms across the UK”. In the spirit of coming together in The Guild’s 40th Anniversary year, the maker invited fellow regional members to donate squares of cream/white fabric and provide a single descriptive word summing up what membership of region 11 means to them. The squares were pieced together as a background and the tallied words featured in the ‘spotlight’.’

Cambridgeshire & Norfolk’s Melanie Missin-Keating created 40 Endangered In 40. The piece shows 40 animals, plants and insects which have become endangered almost to the point of extinction in the past 40 years and wonders if we can recover and of them in the next 40 years.

Kira Withers-Jones of South & Mid Wales created 40 Years To Become Me. From the artist: ‘The theme of this quilt is the maker’s journey to the age of 40. It was her birthday shortly before she was asked to take part in this challenge, and her development over the years was very much on her mind. She has suffered from depression and confusion over her identity throughout her life, which is reflected in this artwork. The background has been painted, printed, torn and re-assembled, then stitched with barely legible text about her illness. The shadowy figures express the different aspects of herself over the years and the tree represents how she has grown out of her depression.’

Hampshire, Wiltshire, Isle of Wight And Channel Islands ‘ Grace Meijer created Region 3 From The Air. From the artist: ‘The landscape of Region 3 was the inspiration for this piece – the beautiful rolling ladscape with its many colours, from the white chalk to the acid yellow rapeseed and the little hamlets and farms tucked into the hills. It is also the area where The Guild started: the first AGM was held in Winchester.’

Joe Bennison of Berkshire & Oxfordshire produced Matilda’s Kisses. From the artist: ‘After sewing her whole life in a utilitarian way, the maker discovered quilting just after turning 40 and suddenly felt the need to be more creative. As a result of lectures heard at Quilcon, she decided to get a longarm machine and develop her machine quilting skills. In August 2016, her first granddaughter was born and the love affair between grandmother and grandchild began. Matilda laughs out loud when allowed to “drive” the longarm machine – surely a quilter of the future! This quilt is a tribute to her’

Kent, Surrey and Sussex’s Jeni Rutherford created QGBI Excels. From the artist: ‘The inspiration for this handing is The Guild and how patchwork in general has moved on in the last 40 years. In 1979 contemporary work was unusual, but now the Contemporary Quilt Group is one of the specialist groups. The hanging is in 2 parts – the front features QGBI – how The Guild is referred to – and shows these initials in a contemporary way. The back features traditional block designs – where The Guild started from – but the single colour blocks and quilting are contemporary. It represent all the people beavering away, in York and around the UK, who are generally unseen by make The Guild what it is today. The motifs feature 40 in Arabic and Roman Numerals XL, can be be pronounced excel, which is what Guild members try to do’

Circuit XL is by Marion McCrindle of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire. Form the artist: ‘Each year is a new cycle, hence there are 40 circles t represent 40 years of The Guild’s life so far! Just as each year brings its own challenges and developments, so the circles have different patterns, colours and are made from a range of materials: paper, thread, fabric, wood and metal. Some years are good… some do not go as planned and in the life of The Guild, some years have been highly successful, others less so. The circle has no end, something we hope for The Guild. The circle of friends the maker has found in The Guild has a value above rubies.’

MEQA – Connections:

The Middle East Quilt Artists present ‘Connections’, a display of work inspired and made by women living and working in the region, which includes countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates and Oman to name a few . The area includes a wide variety of both ethnic and religious groups and has a rich and varied history of architecture, arts and craft as well as stunning landscapes. The members have spent a good part of their lives in different countries across the region, and their pieces for this exhibition have taken inspiration from a number of regional sources. The exhibition is entitled Connections because of the many bonds that have been built up between the group members and the region, which, despite many turbulent times, is home to people with a warmth and hospitality as strong as their cultural heritage.

An Iranian Village – Zehra Yazdanpanah

Mosque Reflections – Janine Ibbini

Kashan In Autumn – Roya Khandan

I hope you enjoyed my wee tour of the quilts from Festival Of Quilts 2019, if you want to attend next year, mark this in your diaries: NEC, Birmingham, England 30th July – 2nd August 2020