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Quilting fans counting down to The Festival of Quilts at the NEC– one week to go

By Mark Hayhurst 01 Aug 2018

In just one week’s time, tens of thousands of patchwork, quilting and needlecraft fans from all over the world will arrive at Birmingham’s NEC for The Festival of Quilts, Europe’s ultimate quilting destination.

The Festival takes place from August 9-12 and taking centre stage this year will be the historically significant 1718 Silk Coverlet, the UK’s earliest known dated patchwork. The Coverlet celebrates its 300th birthday this year and is the most treasured piece within The Quilters’ Guild Collection.

The Festival of Quilts will be the last time the Coverlet goes on display for a decade due to its age and fragility. The historic piece will be exhibited in a specially-built enclosed gallery with a controlled entrance and exit to ensure optimum viewing.

Anna Baptiste, Events Director for The Festival of Quilts, said: “Quilting has an important heritage and we’re hugely excited to be welcoming the 1718 Silk Coverlet to the 2018 Festival. It’s the oldest piece we’ve ever displayed and it’s a privilege to be given this wonderful opportunity by The Quilters’ Guild to celebrate the origins of patchwork and quilting.”

The Festival of Quilts is a feast for the senses with over 750 hung competition quilts on display and nearly 30 quilt galleries featuring spectacular work by internationally-acclaimed artists and groups. Headlining the Festival’s 2018 galleries is 75 DRAWINGS: EXPLORATIONS IN MONO-PRINTING – a unique collection of 75 quilted drawings by renowned US quilt artist Nancy Crow.

Other highlights include: an extensive workshop programme led by top UK and international tutors (Quick & Easy workshops sponsored by Create & Craft); talks, lectures, and demonstrations; full social programme including the Festival Awards Ceremony, Dinner, Fashion Show and An Audience with award-winning US quilter, author and musician Ricky Tims; The Creative Textiles Studio featuring quilt makers in action in a live studio environment; and over 300 textile craft suppliers.

Liberty fabric specialists Alice Caroline will be displaying work created for their 2018 Quilt SOS initiative. Quilt SOS makes beautiful handmade Liberty quilts for children that have lost their families and are living in SOS Children’s Villages around the world. The 2018 project aims to create 66 quilts – one for every child in the SOS Children’s Village in Krasnik in Eastern Poland which is affected by extreme poverty and high unemployment.

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The Festival of Quilts

Birmingham NEC