For those of you who don't know, this week heralds the start of the UK's largest quilt festival, The Festival of Quilts.
It's held in the National Exhibition Centre, and it's huge. It's in Birmingham which is central to England and is easy to get to.
There are lots of shopping opportunities (hurrah!) and lots to see for quilty bods and has been on my calendar most years. This year is different though, because this year Laura Kemshall and I have a gallery. We co-curate a website called Through Our Hands. Artists are invited to join, but it's not a group; there are no commitments, no meetings, no rules, and taking part in exhibitions is entirely voluntary.
We try and arrange these exhibitions in gorgeous galleries with large white wall spaces; we're simply trying to increase awareness of art quilts in the non-quilt world. You know me, I've been banging on about quilts being art for years, and just decided to stop moaning and do something about it, which is how the original exhibition came about. I was so delighted when Laura said she would join me and share the work and the fun.
We're on Stand P2 which is opposite the Fine Art Quilt Masters stand so you can't miss us! I shall be there for most of the four days (with a short break on Thursday. I'm being interviewed by Debbie Shore on TV which is not in the least bit nerve racking....indeed not....um....., has hair done, wears make up, sucks in tum, does yogic breathing and visits the loo many times. I'm on at 3 o'clock apparently)
The artists for this exhibition (and the artists will vary at each exhibition although they will always be under the banner of Through Our Hands) are: Alicia Merrett, yours truly, Bethan Ash, Laura Kemshall, Linda Kemshall, Eszter Bornemisza, Elizabeth Barton, Elizabeth Brimelow, Dijanne Cevaal, and Sandra Meech.
There's lots of work you won't have seen before and that wasn't at the original exhibition in Leamington Spa and we hope you like it. I can tell you now, that the entrance will be flanked by two wonderful new quilts by Laura Kemshall and Linda Kemshall - really amazing work. There will also be sstonking new work by Bethan Ash, Dijanne Cevaal, Eszter Bornemisza, Elizabeth Brimelow, and Sandra - which is just about everyone!!
Tomorrow is set up day, which means an early start and a very careful pack of the car. Not only is it going to be difficult to get it all in, but at least two of the quilts are very delicate...I could do with a butler or someone useful whose job it would be just to look after them!
Having never done this at foq before I'm not sure what to expect, but the organizers have been very good, asking us how we wanted the layout of the space, and accommodating our requests for electric points and bars from ceilings etc. So it sounds ok doesn't it,but let's hope so!! Fingers crossed please.
So, the blog will be a little quiet for a few days, but I will report back soon with lots of photos and a video if I can for those that can't make it. If you can make it and see me there, please come and introduce yourself.