Saturday, 1 May 2010

European Quilt Championships Exhibition 2010

I went to Veldhoven (near Eindhoven) in Holland for the day on Thursday where the European Quilt Championships Exhibition was being held. I went with two friends from our quilt group (thanks for driving, Elena!) and we had a lovely time. The above photos are of a quilt that we saw right at the beginning of the exhibition and despite all the wonderful things we saw that day, brilliant designs and workmanship, this remains my favourite. I think a quilt should lift the spirits and this one made me very happy. I love the way the paler border pattern fabric echoes and shadows the darker one. It's a simple idea and they are often the best.

I took lots of photos and cannot upload them all now but will show a few each day until I'm done. Here's one that was astonishingly beautiful (my 2nd favourite), a very cleverly planned Cathedral Stars:

This quilt was just so pretty! The colour choices were very subtle and beautifully placed. I couldn't work out at first how the stars were constructed and started by thinking that the framing circles had been fussy cut from patterned fabric. Then I realised that carefully planned pieces of colour and pattern had been sewn to the frames before the windows were made - in other words, the frame circles had been pieced rather than just cut. A terrific amount of work had gone into this but it was a work of art and the maker should feel very proud.

What did I buy there? Well, I was looking for a mini-iron and bought the new Clover adaptor iron with the safety cage round the metal stem and the optional narrow iron shoe in case I want to do some quilting using lots of bias strip. I also bought a lovely book of Delft block patterns in reverse applique - very expensive but lovely - I'll take a photo tomorrow, some red and white fat quarters to add to my Nearly Insane fabrics, a sweet little embroidery pattern and some other bits and bobs, including a quilting lucky bag which was a fun idea.

There will be many thousands of people in the park today because it is Rhein in Flammen (Rhine in Flames) today. This is a May Day celebration that happens between Bonn and Koblenz - funfairs and big live music stages in the park, smaller festivities all along this stretch of the river and then this evening there will be a massive firework display carefully orchestrated to music at 11p.m. The reason it is called Rhine in Flames is because a flotilla of boats travel from Koblenz to Bonn when it gets dark and as they pass along the river huge red flares are set off on either side so that the river looks fiery red - all quite pagan, really, and exciting. We've never been interested in seeing things from the boats, so have never bought tickets but I suppose we ought to try it one year. All the smaller communities let off their fireworks but the ones in the park are the biggest and most exciting. We used to take our children into the park for an afternoon picnic and spend the time with friends waiting for the darkness to come and the fireworks to start. Now it's just the two of us we usually go in for a beer or two and soak up the atmosphere in the afternoon and then, much later, put the dog in our bedroom with the radio on loudly (he is terrified of fireworks) and we sneak back into the park just for the display. If the weather is good it is a wonderful day because it always feels like the beginning of summer.

Off to sew now for an hour or two. More exhibition photos tomorrow.

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