At the beginning of August, the NEC Birmingham hosted the annual Festival of Quilts and the winners of the Festival’s competitions have now been announced. Highlights included:
Bedfordshire-based quilt artist Karen Callaghan has won the 2018 Fine Art Quilt Masters competition (sponsored by Vlieseline Freudenberg). This is an international juried competition celebrating quilts that transcend craft and demand equal billing with gallery quality art works. Karen’s winning work, Strelitzia, was inspired by a photograph of a leaf from a Strelitzia plant, and has won her £5,000 in prize money. The quilt will be displayed in the Textile Galleries at The Knitting & Stitching Show in London (Alexandra Palace) this October and Harrogate in November.
Katy Whitby Last, from Huntly in Scotland, won the Festival’s Handi Quilter Best in Show category for her category-winning entry, My Favourite Things, winning Katy a £2000 prize. Judges praised the ‘The Sound of Music’ song-themed quilt’s ”masterful conception and execution using unusual techniques to achieve a true trompe d’oeil effect, indeed serene and painterly piece.”
This year included a one-off competition category designed to celebrate the display of the 1718 Silk Coverlet, the UK’s oldest recorded patchwork. Entrants were challenged to replicate or interpret the historic piece. Denise Geach from Melton Mowbray won the competition with her work, Leicestershire 1718. Judges said: “Confident colour choices combined with personalised design elements made this quilt stand out in a very competitive group.
Winner of the Visitors’ Choice Award (sponsored by The Quilters’ Guild) was Starburst, a contemporary quilt by Elizabeth Wife from Gloucester.
Next year’s The Festival of Quilts takes place from 1st-4th August 2019. A date for your diary!
To see details of all the 2018 competition winners, please go to: www.thefestivalofquilts.co.uk