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Textile Art Inspiration from the Festival of Quilts

I am now unpacked and am slowly regaining my voice after it sulked teaching ten workshops! I had such a fabulous time getting creative with so many wonderful creatives and did get half a day to explore the halls.

I often find myself explaining that the Festival of Quilts is worth a visit even if you are not a quilter. Yes, there are quilts galore but so much more! Here I will share my top finds from five galleries. (I will share my favoirites from the competition quilts in another blog)

The first gallery I enjoyed was with Vendulka and Oliver Battais. Oliver designs and then Vendulka quilts before they embellish with metallic paint pens. I met Vendulka on an online course so it was lovely to meet her in person. My favourite quilt was "Morrocan Gem", a panel that really glows.

I popped into the Creative Textiles gallery and studio a few times as it was next to the teaching rooms. Textile artists were demonstrating/showing their process in the studio and as a fabric book creator, I enjoyed a chat with Bernice Hopper, admiring her stitched books. Her folded book based on heavy Lutradur was intriguing and I hope to be able to have a go at this folding technique.

In their gallery, Amanda Duke's "Daisy-Like Cheer" pieces stood out to me for their mixture of mark making, printing, and free motion machine stitch, as well as their vibrant colour.

My choice from the next two galleries I feature are not as colourful, but fascinating.

In the Fine Art Textiles Awards exhibition, Marian Jazmik's "Stems and Stalks" is a series of wall sculptures with various components, constructed, distressed and manipulated. Do you recognise any components that we often use in other contexts?

In the Bland But Bold: Quilts from Korea gallery, "Infinity" by Kyungjoo KIM literally stood out, having a highly textured centre representing angel wings. Their mother passed away while they were designing the quilt and their prayer is that she will rest forever in wide and limitless heaven with angel wings around her.

The final gallery I want to share with you is Vibrance in Larger Textured Life by Danny Amazonas. The freehand patchwork technique of this Taiwanese artist produces bright and bold realism. I had several favourites including a swirling flamenco dancer, but here is a tiger mosaic composed of batik fabrics as well as plain white. It was just so real!

The piece in this gallery that I heard the most conversation about though was "Smile". This looks like a fairly ordinary quilt:

However, when you look at it through a camera from a distance the smile is revealed:

Can you see it? if not try looking at it through a camera. Does it change your view?

If you didn't make it to the Festival of Quilts, I hope this has given you a taste of the range of textile art there. If you did visit, I'd love to hear what your gallery highlights were. Please comment below.

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