Sunday, 24 May 2015

Quilts UK and Malvern

A long time ago (a very long time ago in fact) I made several patchwork quilts. I haven’t done any quilting for ages, but I’m thinking of having another go, for reasons which I’ll explain if I ever get round to starting. Anyway, just thinking about it seemed like reason enough to go to the Quilts UK show at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern last weekend.

What follows is a lot of pictures of some of the quilts which I could get close enough to photograph, albeit rarely facing straight on. There were others which never seemed to be without a crowd around them.

I took this one before I realized that it made sense to take pictures with some sort of aid to attribution included, so unfortunately I have no details for it. Apologies.

Mystery quilt

This quilt, “Love-in-a-Mist” by Liz Jones, was the Quilts UK 2015 Overall Champion. Judging from the number of rosettes pinned around it, it also won several other prizes.


Love-in-a-Mist, detail

Just so that you can see how small it is, I photographed the winner of the Miniature Quilts section next to its label and rosette.

Mini Medallion, by Jane Wheble

Everyone who looked at this was impressed by the sharpness of the points of the rays.

Mini Medallion, close-up

There was more sharp piecing on “Whistler: Fire and Ice” by Annelize Littlefair.

Whistler: Fire and Ice, centre detail

I loved the fact that the dual colouring, for example in the brown sections, was achieved by very dense quilting.

Whistler: Fire and Ice

Colour positioning was never a strong point of mine, so I'm always impressed by people who can do it well.

Hot Sahara, by Lyn Langford

There again, sometimes you don't need a lot of colours to make a statement.

Cappuccino, by Gwenfai Rees Griffiths

Cappuccino, centre detail

The Wapley Hill Tree in Winter, by Maggie Farmer

Beading details on the tree trunk

Storm at Sea has always been one of my favourite blocks; I love the curved effect achieved from straight lines. It was a particularly appropriate block for a quilt celebrating the 50th anniversary of Porthcawl's Royal National Lifeboat Institution Station.

Rays of Gold, by Bridgend Quilters

Also curves from straight lines, I'd never come across twisted log cabin blocks before, but I really liked the effect.

Round the Twist, by Maggie Annable

Round the Twist, centre block

Obviously there were lots of appliqué quilts as well as pieced ones.

Cactus Rose, by Ray Lawrence and Maureen Crawford

Morris Dance, by Judith Wilson

This quilt, "Masquerade" by Birgit Schueller, was inspired by the Mardi-Gras-themed fabric in the centre of the stars.


Detail showing the inspiration fabric

The masks have coloured fibres trapped under the thread painting to add to the rich effect, some are just visible above the pink quilted feather.

The masks in the centre

Quilting detail

This is only a fraction of the quilts and hangings on show, and unfortunately none of my photographs of the wholecloth quilts came out well enough to include.

As I was staying in the area for a few days, the next day I went for a walk. Most of the area around the Malverns is either rolling hills . . .

Looking west

. . . or very flat indeed.

Looking east, with Great Malvern in the foreground

But in the middle is this.

Part of the Malvern Hills, from the Three Counties Showground

It's a popular area with walkers, and the clearly marked paths mean that even if your map-reading skills have got a bit rusty, like mine, you can't go far wrong.

Sugarloaf Hill and North Hill

I walked up to the Worcestershire Beacon, the highest point of the Malvern Hills at 425 m / 1,394 ft. It's a long time since I've been out for that sort of walk, and I felt every foot of the climb!

The Beacon, looking north

Fortunately I could take a break on the way up. In the nineteenth century Malvern was a spa town, its pure water famous for "containing nothing at all". One of the many springs on the hills was St Ann's Well. The spring is now housed in this little building, which is also a cafe.

St Ann's Well

After all this I fancied a trip to somewhere flatter, so spent a day in Cheltenham, where I found something which looked very familiar. But that's a subject for another post.


  1. Oh what beautiful quilts!! I love them all. That miniature one is crazy!! What a wonderful piece of art!! I hope to see your quilts that you made! And if you start again, I know you will make marvelous ones!

    1. Thank you Gina! I know what I want to do, I'm just a bit scared by the sheer amount of work that would be involved. It would be a very long-term project.