Thursday, 10 August 2017

Shopping at the Festival of Quilts

What stage of your quilting career are you at?  Do you buy a lot of stuff at FOQ and if so, what?  Or have you reached the point where you try very hard not to buy things.  Going through my stash with a view to disposing of a lot of it, I have found fabric and other items that trace my thirty plus years of quilting, many of them bought at FoQ.   And that does not include all the 'wet work' supplies I bought over the years as I have already disposed of most of those.

I can remember in the twentieth century buying traditional fat quarters to make into quilts.  However, by the time FoQ started I had moved on to more exotic fare.  Here are some of the things I bought which I still have.  Many of them will probably not get used now but when I pressed them in order to photograph them I was quite surprised how many pieces I had cut into.  I think quite a few have ended up in Journal Quilts such as this one of pine trees.

This includes pieces of hand-dyed fine cotton which I think were sold by a Dutch or German maker.

I will not deny that I have bought those packs of fat quarters already chosen by the sellers. I have hunted for ones that go together and remember that yellow used to be a difficult colour to find.   I used to like the batiks that Kalaidescope sold and would buy them without knowing what I would make from them..  I have a lap quilt that I use every evening in the sitting room which is made from them.

I did once buy a small sewing machine at a show but it was too simple, even as a back-up, so I sold it.  I have never bought a machine at FoQ although my sister bought herself a new Bernina one year.  I used to go and badger the Bernina people with questions, especially about using the needle threader which in twenty years of owning my machine, I have never learnt how to do!

I think every visitor to FoQ has their favourite places to shop.  I learnt early on that the best way to tackle the crowds was to do one's shopping in the morning while everyone was busy examining the quilts and to then look at the displays later by which time people had often gravitated to the shopping. I also reached a point where I was buying fabrics other than cotton and I frequently spent money on silk fabric.

Then I decided it was the threads that I wanted.  I now have a large collection of threads of different weights which have been wonderful.  I need to think how to dispose of them because I am finding thread a hand sewing needle difficult, especially tying the knot.  I have a friend who has expressed interest in them but she has not seen them yet.

Several years ago using rusted fabrics was all the fashion.  I did some rust dyeing myself but then decided it was better to buy the fabric as I did not really have suitable objects to use and the method is also quite tricky and requires the weather to be right.

And finally, I was often tempted by what the exhibitors with their own galleries were showing.  Just one example.  This is Liz Hewitt who did wonderful things with African cloth she sourced herself.  I think she has moved on to other things now and I have to confess that I have not found a use for the three pieces I bought.

Still sitting and stroking fabric is what one of my mother's friends told me she used to do when she could no longer quilt.  I am wondering how many of you are sitting and stroking what you have bought, given I am writing this on the first day of this year's Festival.  And I hope that if you are you can find a use for it.  I will write a further post about the galleries of invited people as that is what I really came to like most.

1 comment:

  1. I bought lots of clear storage boxes in various size, some rollers for use on printing blocks, some nozzle bottles and soda ash and one fat quarter with scooters as I used to own a Vespa. My purchases do not lend to being stroked but will be admired and gloated over before they will be put away.