A California Quilter Crosses the Pond: Part 1 — A Sampling of Quilts from Autumn Quilt Festival Malvern

Feeling a bit jet-lagged at the moment, but it’s all good. I’ve just returned from an incredible ten-day visit with my friend (and co-author), Chris Porter, and her husband Neil in Bristol, England. My last visit was in 2010, and Chris and I were in the mad scramble to meet the deadline for our book, A Year in the Life of Sunbonnet Sue. Between the cold January weather and the business in the sewing room, there was little time to play. Not this time!

Breakfast in Bristol--that's "oatmeal" to us Yanks
Breakfast in Bristol–that’s “oatmeal” to us Yanks

As luck would have it, the tail end of this year’s visit coincided with the opening of the 2013 Autumn Quilt Festival in Malvern. Although there is no competition at this event (as there is at Quilts UK, held at the same site each May), the show overflows with special quilt exhibits to enjoy–and vendors, of course!

In today’s post, I’ll share a peek at some of the wonderful quilts. In Friday’s post, I’ll offer a raft of patchwork, applique, and quilting inspiration gleaned from day trips to London, Sudeley Castle, and Wells Cathedral–along with a quilt or two, naturally. There will also be a giveaway, so be sure to check back.

Sudeley Castle . . . just to whet your appetite for Friday's post
Sudeley Castle . . . just to whet your appetite for Friday’s post

So now, on with the show!

Advent 2000 by Marlene Chaffey, Exeter
Advent 2000 by Marlene Chaffey, Exeter
Jacobean Rhapsodies by Margaret Ede, Cornwall
Jacobean Rhapsodies by Margaret Ede, Cornwall
Hearts Aflutter by Marlene Chaffey, Exeter; a sweet interpretation of the traditional Shoofly pattern
Hearts Aflutter by Marlene Chaffey, Exeter; a sweet interpretation of the traditional Shoofly pattern
Pietre Dure by Sue Davies, Buckinghamshire
Pietre Dure by Sue Davies, Buckinghamshire
Pietre Dure, detail
Pietre Dure, detail
Jean Bartlett of Devon made great use of a whimsical cow print in her quilt, Till the Cows Come Home. Looks like this one took a ribbon in a previous competition. Note the "moo" quilting in the border!
Jean Bartlett of Devon made great use of a whimsical cow print in her quilt, Till the Cows Come Home. Looks like this one took a ribbon in a previous competition. Note the “moo” quilting in the border!
Till the Cows Come Home, detail
Till the Cows Come Home, detail

Ferret is the unusual “alias” of an award-winning longarm quilter and textile artist from Middlesex. Her special exhibit was full of surprises, as demonstrated in this amazing wholecloth quilt. Wish the photo were better, but wait until you see the detail!

Winter Star by Ferret, Middlesex
Winter Star by Ferret, Middlesex
Winter Star, detail; Ferret says: "The 'patches' are all hand-guided--no marking, no computer."  Wow!
Winter Star, detail; Ferret says: “The ‘patches’ are all hand-guided–no marking, no computer.” Wow!

Here’s another of Ferret’s pieces.

Skadi by Ferret, Middlesex
Skadi by Ferret, Middlesex

I loved the special exhibit of stitched landscape quilts by Kathleen Matthews, showcasing the projects from her book, appropriately titled Stitched Textiles: Landscapes. All were beautifully framed and mounted, making them a bit hard to photograph, but wonderful to behold.

Flower Garden by Kathleen Matthews
Flower Garden by Kathleen Matthews

Vineta Cable of Devon had a special exhibit of quilts inspired by Venice, and featuring her hand-dyed and painted fabrics. Here are two examples.

Marble Halls: Light & Echoes by Vineta Cable, Devon
Marble Halls: Light & Echoes by Vineta Cable, Devon
Winter in Venice: Stones & Water by Vineta Cable, Devon; note the gondola imagery Vineta incorporated into the lower left quadrant of this lovely quilt.
Winter in Venice: Stones & Water by Vineta Cable, Devon; note the gondola imagery Vineta incorporated into the lower left quadrant of this lovely quilt.

These next quilts absolutely blew me away with their use of fabric manipulation, 3-D machine embroidery, and embellishment. They were part of a special exhibit showcasing the work of Kent quilter, Lilian Harris.

Midnight Splendour by Lilian Harris, Kent
Midnight Splendour by Lilian Harris, Kent
Midnight Splendour, detail
Midnight Splendour, detail
Road to Chantilly by Lilian Harris of Kent
Road to Chantilly by Lilian Harris of Kent
Road to Chantilly, detail
Road to Chantilly, detail

One special exhibit carried a distinctly American flavor, inspired as it was by Barbara Brackman, her 19th-century reproduction fabrics, and her writings about the American Civil War. This was one of my favorites.

Tuesday Morning Quilt by Carole Smyth
Tuesday Morning Quilt by Carole Smyth

That’s it for now. Don’t forget to come back on Friday for Part 2 of A California Quilter Crosses the Pond and for details about our latest giveaway.

A preview of the inspiration to come in Friday's post
A preview of the inspiration to come in Friday’s post

‘Til then, happy stitching!

Darra-signature

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14 thoughts on “A California Quilter Crosses the Pond: Part 1 — A Sampling of Quilts from Autumn Quilt Festival Malvern

    1. Nancy, Here’s what Lilian had to say about the quilt on the accompanying label: “I have been exploring the combination of using three-dimensional embroidery with patchwork. The design for this hanging started as a basic Four-Patch. I designed the digitised embroidered motif for the Four-Patch and also for the overlaid three-dimensional shapes, which are hand-painted, machine embellished, heavily beaded, folded and quilted. The two borders are made up of elements taken from the 3D shapes worked in a different scale.”

      Sorry I can’t tell you more about her exact process. I wish now that I had donned a pair of white gloves and looked at the back of the piece, which might have given me some clues. Darra

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    1. Thanks, Debbie. There were so many amazing quilts that it was hard to choose the ones to show. I’m having the same difficulty choosing the photos for Friday’s post! Darra

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    1. Me too, Pam! I couldn’t believe it when I read that she had done all the quilting on the wholecloth quilt basically freehand! Darra

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    1. Thanks, Peggy. It will be a challenge to narrow down all the inspirational photos I managed to take . . . along with those taken by Chris P and my husband, Brooks. Watch this space ;-) Darra

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