Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Ian and Mags at FoQ

 Ian really enjoyed his  first trip to Festival of Quilts ( even if I did wear him out - he had to go for  a little sit down half way through the art quilts!) First call was a photo in front of my quilt 'Tunisian Door' then a bit of retail therapy - a book basket for Ian and more fabric for me from The African Fabric Shop, some Ndope indigo from John Gillow ( who said he didn't recognize me in blue being so used to me wearing pink! ) Tried to catch up with Susan Briscoe but she was either overwhelmed with customers or not there (found her eventually  on Sunday choosing fabrics at Heide Stoll -Webbers stand). After looking at some of the gallery spaces including 'Textile News -Freedom' (more in another post) and a spot of lunch we concentrated on the competition quilts finishing with an excellent lecture from Jenny Bowker on the Tentmakers of Cairo. I posted him on a train on Sunday giving me a bit more time to look around.
 ? 'My Rhino'
It was interesting to get Ian's perspective - he's seen my quilts and those of my friends and been to Hever a couple of times . He loved this rhino - one of several not in the catalogue- late entries? Neither of us were struck by the 'Best in Show'. When I see pictures of quilts from FoQ, even by people I know well I often think I could have been at a different show entirely! As my taste changes and skills improve, what draws my attention now is very different to when I first started going to FoQ. Sue and I were discussing in the car coming back how so many quilts are let down by poor compositions.
Not this quiet piece by Grit Traum  which was so well balanced and just the right amount of machine and hand stitch.  Lovely!
 Grit Traum 'Treska'

 Hazel Ryder 'After Anna'
Other pieces that caught my eye because of the materials used was the apt use of velvet in these ferns and the use of stitch on Carole's  'Branching out' - red on blue or blue on red
 Carole Belfield 'Branching Out' (detail)
 Louise Rall 'Pots and Pans' (detail)

I'm always drawn (pun intended) to those quilts with a 'painterly' quality in stitch as with this exuberant scribble of pots and pans or with paint and stitch as is this depiction of the villages in Spain and Morocco
Jose Beenders-Klomp 'El Sur'

This photo is of the centre of the quilt - there were a couple of plain quilted borders around it which in my view did nothing for it - perhaps they were added to make it up to 1m . That rule has a lot to answer for, there were many quilts with unnecessary borders or 2or 3 pieces hanging together although there were several pieces (mainly from Europe) that  were nowhere near the specified size. 
It was great to see so many entries from Europe , it's definately getting more international each year.   


Susan Briscoe said...

Glad we managed to locate each other eventually! - sorry I didn't manage to say 'hi' to Ian (give him a hug on my behalf). Most of the time I couldn't see beyond the people crowded around the fabrics in front of me. It was a very good show from that point of view - literally.

I had spotted your Tunisian Door on Friday, when we had a little mooch around just before chucking out time (the show is only open till 6 in the evening for the traders to restock - wish it was open a bit later, as it would be a better time to see the quilts than in the morning i.e. without the pressure of having to get back to the stand for opening time). It was great to be able to see the door in real life for the first time. LOL, whenever I meet you, it is like we just pick up where we left off - at least this time we weren't after the same piece of fabric!!

I know what you mean about wondering if you have seen the same show as everyone else... I didn't get to take many photos, sending Debbie and Glyn out on my behalf on Saturday and Sunday, with instructions to snap anything I might like and make sure they got the catalogue number and a detail or two too. Now looking forward to a virtual FoQ over the next two weeks.

Anonymous said...

It's so interesting to read others viewpoints. Sadly I didn't get there, and have only seen photos which is not nearly the same as seeing things in the flesh.

Painterly quality in stitch is so hard to get, especially on a quilt with loft; and I suppose it also depends on how you quantify painterly, as that also is about style? I'm thinking loose watercolour, or more immediate mark making, versus a harsh geometric abstraction such as Mondrian. A lot of quilters have their roots in patchwork. Piecing also tends towards the hard edge (straight or curved!) and then it's hard to add stitch in anyway other than the traditional free motion methods emphasizing shape or pattern.

However I do agree with you wholeheartedly, and I'm possibly on a similar journey.

About foq: I thought the images I saw were largely colourful and looked very well made. I saw an awful lot (and don't get me wrong, I liked them!) of quilts where the image was made by using a photograph that had been blown up, and where cutting and sticking ensued, using the shapes exactly as they appeared in the photo. Perhaps that's just a fashion, and it does lead to an amazing reality, which draws you in. You can be awed by the reality bit, or indeed by the work involved in making it, but I prefer pieces which use images from the imagination or invoke an emotional response, other than with reality and sewing skill.

I'm working on a piece at the moment - a step on from the Measures of Time piece - and I'm caught in exactly this dilemma. Drawing things out on paper, and then cutting and sticking a fabric collage -or applique - or alternatively, stitching and then painting...... as a painting.

My heart is in the latter, but I have an overwhelming feeling of "not doing it right" by neglecting my fabrics and techniques. It's like a lead weight; this need to do things in a competition winning way. Even if the aim is not to win a competition, the "proper way" is in the background, haunting one.

Does that make sense or am I blathering again?!

Julie said...

It was good to see you at the Show :-)

I think I missed the Grit Traum piece but it is beautiful and very understated. Interesting to see the show from your perspective.

Gillian Cooper said...

How did I manage to miss your quilt? It looks so good on photos too! I also chose 'After Anna' as one of my favourites on my blog too.
I also think it is a shame that some quilts are let down by their composition. However, it does mean that the good ones jump out at you and part of the beauty of the FoQ is that it shows everyone who enters and is not juried, so no-one should be put off entering.

Alex said...

Lovely selection of quilts - the velvety ferns unfolding is brilliant.