Friday, 20 August 2010


Oh yes went there yesterday, I was very lucky to get a seat on the coach run by Kettering Quilters, thank you ladies.  It was terrific to see so many people that I know.  A real highlight & I got a front seat, being a 'icky sicky' type I was so pleased.

The FOQ was quite simply heaving with people.  I have been to every one bar the first one & have never seen so many people around the traders stalls.  It was almost impossible to move along some of the isles, which are everyone knows are much too narrow.  Especially as it seems to be the fashion now-a-days to drag trolleys stuffed with goodies behind you, no sorry, over your feet, into your ankles.  Make sure that you wear trainers or even hiking boots to deal with this craze.  There were stacks of motorised 'buggies' which are fine around the quilts where there is room, but round the stalls!! at one time I was sandwiched between 2 buggies & a trolley !!! and I am not small you know !!
If you are going be warned, stout footwear & take a trolley, join in the traffic jam.  I know if I go again I will bring a red devil with flashing lights & horns on (hee hee)

The best highlight was the display of ROSES FROM THE HEART project.  About 1,000 of the 25000 odd bonnets being created all over the world to commemorate the appalling transportation of British woman to the other side of the world for stupid little crimes & the dreadful conditions that they suffered on the voyage & at their destination.  It was very emotional, laid out like waves & a small boat laden with bonnets.  See the images above.  Carolyn actually found one of her 3 bonnets right near the front, what a  bonus.

Another interesting stand was Linda Kemshall
The picture shows the original chair which I think she said was her mothers or Grandmothers, with her daughter Laura as a little girl sitting on it.
They used their machine embroidery machine, scanned in & digitised the images, then re-upholstered the chair
Below is a video of Linda talking about the chair.  I have not taken all of her talk, but at least you will enjoy some of the atmosphere.  I know some of you cant see the video, sorry I don't know how to cure that.  The sound is awful & that's because it was awful, not my recording & I don't know how to edit videos as it is in rough format, but I hope that you enjoy it!!
The contemporary quilt was won by C June Barnes.  It was a manipulated one in her style just taking it on further.  I have to say even though I really like her work, I feel that once you have won a major award that there should be a category especially for previous winners, giving mere mortals a chance each year.  I still want to see what the 'biggies' do, but personally I don't think that they should enter into open competitions.  Wow being controversial Shelagh !! What do you think?  Leave a comment for us all to get your opinion.
The miniature quilt was fabulous, made by a Foreign quilter, it really was a feat of tiny angled points.  I didn't take a picture as there was a crowd around it, my new phone has a camera on it which is good, but I still prefer my Nikon, although it is really heavy it takes superb pictures.
This is part of the CHAMPIONSHIP quilt.  It was beautifully quilted & 3D applique.  I don't know the quilters name & I don't usually take a full image as somehow seems like 'stealing', but you can get the idea.

There were alot of rusted quilts, a huge display & a stall selling rusted fabric, which I though was quite expensive.  Also many hand dyed stalls.

This was my favourite, a 'sampler' style with pictorial elements

I loved the ethereal feeling of this hanging, all the flowers are sheers, but the colour combinations are lovely.

This Christening robe was just exquisite.  All hand quilted with a tiny back stitch, even the tiny piping was whipped, it was so lovely, sorry about the background, as I said it was eally busy & I could not get a photo without someone behind.

I really loved this simple cushion.  Beautifully crafted & a lovely breather in what was sometimes a really busy show.  Lots of the quilts had so many techniques splattered all over them & too many bright colours, I thought, so this lovely little cushion really pleased me.  It is running stitch, sometimes called Sashiko, which brings me to a new machine, that I had not seen before.  A Sashiko machine.  It was nearly 2000 pounds which was riduculous!! & the woman demonstrating, could have had a better atitude.  I asked her what thread she was using and she barked at me Broker country something then ignored me & carried on stitching.  Hmmm great way to get a sale as I picked up a leaflet & walked on, thinking, hmm wait a while & another manufacurer will bring one out cheaper.  It seems like that you only use thread in the bobbin.  There is a little wire threader something like an old overlocker wire (I have one of those ahhhhhhh) then the machine will stitch a beautiful Sashiko, you can alter the stitch length & the spaces & buy additional feet for binding.
Obviously I cant afford one at that price.  Really it is worth no more than 500 pounds, given that an embellisher is around 250 pounds.  The machine only straight stitches but you can stitch curves as in normal stitching.  It looks like an ordinary machine with a standard harp, well maybe a bit bigger than normal.  I was impressed with the stitching but the machine looked cheap, very cheap.  If you have one then leave a comment please, I would love to know (and see) what you have done with it.  Called Babylock Sashiko from
Well thats about it for my day out, except to say that I still loved Stephanie Redfern's book from last year.  Being totally different.  Off to view her website
Working tomorrow at Poppy Patch, sampler quilt making with my newly designed 9 patch basket, yep a basket that is 9 patch lol


  1. Thank you for posting the incredible pictures. I have always wanted to go to FOS, but so far only one of my projects has gone there, not me. I was thrilled to see your picture of Linda and Laura's chair too as I had read that they were doing it.

  2. Shelagh---Sorry for the second post but.........I agree that there should be a limit on how many grand prizes a quilter can win in a show in a given period. People do grow and change so I don't think a lifetime ban is appropriate, but perhaps 2-3 years, allowing them to show work "non-judged" in the meantime. If you go over to Diane Gaudynski's blog, there has been an interesting discussion on over-quilting and the prize winners in the U.S. being over-quilted. It was 2 or 3 posts ago. While she is very traditional the discussion is applicable to all realms of quilting.

  3. Shelagh, I agree with everything you've said! I was there Thursday too and to be honest I really doubt I'll go on a Thursday again! I did last year and it was bad but not this bad. The trolleys are more of a pain than the rucksacks which they had banned, supposedly, but these have only been replaced by large shoulder bags and those bloomin' trolleys!! I spent most of the day wandering in a daze wondering where to go as everywhere was so crowded.

    I also agree with your comment about the 'biggies' - no-one else stands a chance do they, even though their quilts are exquisite! There seemed to be a lot more from them this year I thought.

    For me the best quilts of all were made by the younger quilters. Their work was just amazing and the 'best in show' for me was made by a BOY (!!) in the 9 - 11yrs category (no.938) inspired by Lowry (as I love Lowry) and my 2nd place would go to a child in the 12 - 16yrs category - I don't have a number for that (it could be 951?) but it looks like a watercolour of concrete posts by a lake with lots of green shrubbery in the background. (I'll put it on my blog later).
    All in all I enjoyed my 3 days there and loved the workshops as usual but was unimpressed with a lot of the competition quilts and the way they were hung. I enjoyed the individual galleries more :o)
    I also agree with you about the Sashiko Machine. What a lot of money and very large machine for just one stitch!! I think if I ever do Sashiko it will by by hand ;o)
    Off to write my blog now - it been lovely to read of your experience :o)

  4. that looks like a fabulous show....much more interesting and daring than any I have been to lately. I particularly love the 'bonnets' and all they convey. They remind me of a super immigrant memorial on the waterfront of Nelson, NZ, where every immigrant boat and a list of the passengers and crew is recorded....simple and touching.

  5. I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.
    buggies for sale


Thank you for your comment, regards Shelagh



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