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

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

#Ferret #ChrisPorter #KathleenHarris #VinetaCable #AutumnQuiltFestivalMalvern #LilianHarris