As a member of Contemporary Quilt I used to do my turn on the stand. This was a great way of seeing old friends, especially after we moved to Cornwall. Until recently I also belonged to SAQA and used to do a turn on their stand too.
One of the perks from this was getting a free copy of the catalogue as SAQA used to say they could not afford to transport them all back to the USA. However, I think they have stopped giving them away.
And a lot of professional people had stands even if they were tucked away at the back of the Hall. There were people whom I always made a point of visiting, usually because our paths had crossed at quilting events. Sometimes I had studied with them. One such was Committed to Cloth who have a wonderful working open studio. www.committedtocloth.uk I had bought treated myself to a week long course with them as a sixtieth birthday present to myself. It was always good to catch up with what they were doing.
There are also meetings of various groups which are open to their members. I used to attend the SAQA tea as it was the only time during the year when I could participate in their activities because of living too far away. And Contemporary Quilt also had meetings.
And then there is the programme of workshops and lectures. Most years I would attend two or three lectures and often do a half-day workshop. I know I have recently thrown away the little stuffed brooches I made at one workshop – a pity as I could have included one in this post. The workshops put huge demands on the tutors because of the time constraints. I never did one of the masterclasses because they were very expensive. I was lucky to have access first to Bramble Patch in Weedon and then to Cowslip Workshops near Launceston where the same tutors offered things much cheaper! And of course Bramble Patch was only ten minutes’ drive from home when we lived in Northants.
So all in all I really enjoyed Festival of Quilts in the years when I went. A shame that I can no longer go but I am impressed with the number of posts about it on Facebook and this enables me to get a flavour of the whole thing. Congratulations to all this year's winnere!