Sunshine, Quilts and Chestnuts!
Malvern in May
If you only ever visit a certain place at the same time of year then that place will be associated with things that you see in that season. So it is for me and Malvern. Every year I go to Malvern to the Quilts UK show in May. At this time of year the trees are full of fresh green leaves, and sometimes you pass through “tree tunnels” where the trees on each side meet above the road. I love May; plants are full of life and summer is yet to come!
As you drive into Malvern from the north, you pass first through an area known as Malvern Links which is separated from Great Malvern itself by common land. The roads that cross the common are bordered by majestic Horse Chestnut trees which are in full bloom in late May. So, when I think of Malvern I think of this.
There are also a few Red Horse Chestnuts, which is a cross between the Horse Chestnut (white flowers) and Red Buckeye (red flowers).
And on the edge of the common near where Great Malvern starts is a stunning Copper Beach.
I love visiting this quilt show. It is just the right size to see all the quilts as well as the trade stands in a single day. There are many notices warning visitors not to publish photos of the quilts on websites, so I shall abide by that. Instead, I’ll give you a flavour of the exhibition and links to some of the quilter’s websites. Quilts may be entered in several categories, including: Theme (“Diamonds are Forever” for 2014), bed quilts, large wall hangings, small wall hangings, journal quilts and feature displays of work by individual quilters or groups of quilters.
I loved The Fairy Pools by Nisa Kiley. The colour and textures in this large wall hanging are gorgeous. The Hummingbirds by Rhianon Taylor was stunning – beautiful colours, crazy patchwork and amazing three-dimensional applique which all worked wonderfully together. Black on White, White on Black by Hilary Florence was a complete contrast; just black and white fabric and fantastic stitched patterns.
The feature display that really caught my eye was of work by Pauline Barnes. All of her quilts were beautifully designed and stitched. My favourites were from her Maya series, inspired by a holiday she took in Central America. In these wholecloth quilts (made from a single piece of fabric) stitching is used to add colour; take a look at “Cross Stitch” and “Labna II“. In contrast is the vibrant “Red Daisies“.
What Did I Buy?
This year I wanted to buy some fabric for clothes, not patchwork or quilts, so I was looking for stands selling fabric by the metre. I remembered to take a couple of sewing books with me so I could check how much fabric I would need. This cheerful yellow dot fabric was bought from The Running Chicken and is from the Andover Colour Collection. I could have easily bought more fabric from this collection; the colours and patterns are lovely. However, I have another piece of fabric that I bought from The Running Chicken last year, so think I should get these made up first. I think this yellow fabric will become a summer top.
These two Indian cottons were purchased from Joan Panico Fabrics who are based in Yorkshire. They had a fabulous selection of these cottons; I might well be buying more when these ones are made up! I think the stripy one will become trousers and the tan fabric (actually a orange-yellow warp and deep red weft) will be a dress.
I’m just getting back into sewing clothes – inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee and some Japanese sewing books – after quite a long break. I finished a top, the evening before the quilt show, made from fabric bought there last year. And yes I did wear it; it felt great to wear something I’d made!