english paper piecing with coffee

I spent two days at the Festival of Quilts this year and it was fully all about friends for me. It's like a quilty friend reunion and this post is going to be unashamedly about the people I met and the friends I saw... with quilts and cool finds interspersed throughout. If you are looking for a blog post featuring all the beautiful quilts that were on display, this isn't it (sorry). You will certainly find pictures of all the quilts on social media, like here.


After a fun road trip down with my friends Michelle and Rachel we arrived in Birmingham (a bit later than expected thanks to traffic) on Friday and I went straight to find my friend Nicky. She made this amazing Expanding Universe Quilt with signature blocks from quilters that have contributed to Siblings Together.

My block is a cornerstone in the top right of the quilt but I'm too short to properly point at it. Cue the first of many friend selfies...

festival of quilts 2019

Next on my to do was visit my colleagues and friends at the Janome stand and of course to see the awesomeness that is this quilted jacket made by talented Lucy Engels.

Lucy Engels quilted jacket festival of quilts 2019

I am madly in love with every aspect of this, the colours, the collar and cuffs, the log cabins and the texture of the quilting. It's the only quilted garment I've ever truly wanted to wear!

Lucy Engels quilted jacket festival of quilts 2019

I also had to visit my friend Charlotte, we have known each other since we were in an online quilting bee ages ago and it's always nice to catch up. We also compared bee tattoos and I admired her beautiful bee dress!

festival of quilts 2019

Here I am with my foq and real life awesome buddies Michelle and Rachel when we ran into Stacey - maker of beautiful patchwork, she often joins the #saturdaynightcraftalong - and her sister Abbie, who is new to quilting. 

selfie festival of quilts 2019

They were so enthusiastic and it's so good seeing new and young quilters at festival, I hope to see them again next year. 

 festival of quilts 2019

Also on my list was to see the quilts by Lynn Carson Harris on the Oakshott fabrics stand. 

Lynn Carson Harris quilts made with Oakshott fabrics

Lynn has created a series of quilts designed to raise awareness of Domestic Abuse - see her gallery here. These quilts are titled 'Pain' and 'Strength'. The tiny piecing is truly incredible!
The beauty of the Oakshott fabrics is hard to capture but her pieces show the depth of colour and it was wonderful to see them in real life.

Lynn Carson Harris quilts made with Oakshott fabrics

Another 'must', seeing my friends Trudi and Viv and visiting the Purple Stitches stand. This is where I lost my 'no buying fabric' resolve! 

festival of quilts 2019

I spotted some yummy Neon Neppy in blue from Robert Kaufman and had to have it! You can't really see but it has neon flecks of pink and yellow in the weave and I hope it'll be a good addition to a project I'm currently working on.

fabric haul, Neon Neppy, Denyse Schmidt and Ametie

The three little rolls are from Amitie, apparently I had an urge for stripes! And the pretty plaid style print is an oldy but a goody, Griswold Plaid, Greenfield Hill by Denyse Schmidt - which my incredible friend Michelle sneakily and very kindly purchased for me from Sewing Party (more on them later).

I have a new found LOVE for this lady, Margaret Mew. What a talent, what a designer, what a quilter. She had me at cardboard templates!! Seriously though, her patterns are beautiful and in the short time I spent chatting with her I felt like we would be friends and I know I would learn so much from her. I immediately followed her on instagram and will be keeping up with her work. I'm head over heels for her Merrow Croft quilt pattern and it is at the very top of my wish list. It would thrill me to make the pattern in modern quilt fabric, and although that's not her personal style I'm pretty certain she wouldn't object at all to me making it my own.
Her openness and clear passion for her work, fabrics and design are just enchanting and I do hope I get the opportunity to talk to her more someday. If you haven't already be sure to check out her website and all her beautiful designs!

Margaret Mew at the festival of quilts 2019

Margaret was sharing a booth with her pal Judy Newman, who made this gorgeous Sugar Plum quilt. 

The pattern is in her book Quilts for life made with love by Judy Newman. I am obsessed with that cat head fabric and the simple, pretty quilting.

Sugar Plum quilt by Judy Newman

Sugar Plum quilt by Judy Newman

I don't remember the rest of the day, honestly it is all quite a blur but what a fabulous blur. I went for dinner and then headed back to the hotel to collapse. 


I found CLARE! One of my favourite quilters and my festival buddy in 2017. I was giddy to reunite with her, not only is she a beautiful person, she inspired me to start epp and I learnt how to from her. Then she told me she'd met Rachel, who we both fan girled over. I admire her work and sense of colour so much and she is super lovely in person! And I got to see Sarah of Duck Egg Threads, who is another person I could hang out with all day because she's so down to earth and wonderful.

friends at festival of quilts 2019

And also there were these mischiefs, my good friends Sarah and Karen, whom I adore. They lift me up, support me, are both uber talented and are truly good people.

festival of quilts 2019

Though I didn't need to see that!

Back to shopping for a second, we (Michelle, Rachel and I) became a little obsessed with this stall. Sewing Party is based in California, it was their first time at festival and they had such a great fabric selection. Japanese prints - including Suzuko Koseki and Yuwa - Anna Maria Horner, Carolyn Friedlander and much more. The owner Cecile Choi has great taste and stocks beautiful prints. We sent everyone we could there.

Sewing Party booth at festival of quilts 2019

I was beyond thrilled to meet Chris, I've followed him on IG for a while and really love his style. I like his use of fabric, the way he constructs quilts and creates designs. His style is just cool. Another very cool person is Hannah, also awesome and she has stunning taste. Every time I see something she makes I envy her fabric choices and she makes (and buys) the best bags too!

festival of quilts 2019

I spent the last part of my time with Jo, my SQ and real life friend. We ran into lovely Gill, whose gorgeous Trinket quilt (scroll the link) was on display. She took this photo of the pair of us and kindly let me share it.

festival of quilts 2019

Finally a couple more quilts I did manage to photograph... 

this pretty design, called 'Summer Fling' was inspired by Lynn Carson Harris, made and beautifully quilted by long arm quilter Trudi. Many of the quilts I admire are quilted by Trudi!

Summer Fling quilt by Trudi Wood

It's so hard to photograph the quilts nicely at festival, I wish they could do something about that! 

This is one of Chris' quilts, so much going on but so nicely composed. Along with the screen printed fabric and gold lame, there is hand quilting and tying. Love it.

Float Like a Butterfly quilt by Chris English

Float like a Butterfly... 
by Chris English

Float Like a Butterfly quilt by Chris English

And like that it was over. Hot and sticky selfie with Jo and then back on the road. It was a fun trip home chatting with Michelle and Rachel and we might even have been concocting a plan so we can meet up more regularly!

festival of quilts 2019

Were you at festival this year? What were your highlights?