2 May 2014

Golly, it's been a little while!

I'm sorry about that. Stuff is happening, as it always does, and somehow in all the noise I haven't found time to blog.

In fact, now I come to think about it, there has been so much stuff happening it's a bit tricky to know where to start. So let's start at the beginning, where ever that might be!

Let's start with the embroideries that I entered for the quilt and stitch show at Uttoxeter.

You may recall I told you about them here. Well thanks to a very lovely lady called Margaret Pratt, who lives in Milton Keynes and he seems to be a dynamic force of quilting nature, they were safely delivered to the venue so when I turned up to the show on Sunday to do my volunteering stint on the Journal quilts stand I found they had been beautifully hung in the pavilion with all the other embroideries.

(Though not in this picture - the glare was a real problem from the glass in the frame!)

That's the thing about the Uttoxeter show – the venue itself is the Uttoxeter racecourse. Now I'm no expert on race courses although I actually stay very close to another one called Towcester racecourse when I am at my home from home. That's it! That totals my entire knowledge of racecourse venues (By racecourse, just to be clear, I mean venues for horse racing). 

Anyway, back to Uttoxeter. The Uttoxeter racecourse is in fact very pretty. Uttoxeter itself is not a big town and the course seems to nestle on a flat plain text just behind the town itself. The pavilions, which are built around what I guess it must be the winners paddock or winners enclosure, are very pretty wooden buildings painted black and white. Altogether it has a very charming village feel to it.

When used for the annual quilt and stitch village (previously known as Quilts in the Garden) most of the pavilions around the winners enclosure are used to hang the exhibits. There is also a two story brick built building where traders occupy the ground floor and exhibition quilts are on the first floor. But it's the wooden pavilions around the enclosure that appeal to me.

This year Hilary Beattie was even given her own pavilion for demonstrating and showing her work. I only put my head around the door and took one photograph but what an ideal place to hold a demonstration! Lots of space but the room wasnt too big.

The embroideries were all hung in the same pavilion as last year, a long thin building with excellent natural light that actually overlooks the race course itself. It seemed to me that there were actually more embroideries than last year. I think this is why I particularly like Uttoxeter, it's not just about quilts. Now I love quilts and I particularly love art quilts so don't get me wrong, but in fact when I do my own work I seem to be drawn to producing work that is not so large, somehow I am more comfortable with smaller formats, and I always feel that the work is somehow finished when it is presented in a frame.

This may not come across so clearly on this blog because I have not actually mastered the art of photographing work in frames. I always get glare from the glass. But most of my work is framed and in fact when asked I tend to describe myself as a machine embroiderer rather than quilter. (This probably sounds completely bonkers because lately I have been telling you about the Horizons quilt which is 50 cm x 150 cm and I have started the Dislocation quilt which is 50 cm x 120 cm. Neither of these are framed!) 

So there I was, cantering around Uttoxeter racecourse pavilions (!) And having a whale of a time enjoying the embroideries when,low, I spotted a yellow rosette! It was hung next to one of my pieces, Seed Head, and I had won third prize! I have never entered anything into a competition show before so actually was rather chuffed! 

Now as I mentioned earlier in this blog entry, I was also doing a stint on the Journal quilts stand. My stint was over the lunchtime period and although I should have finished at about 2 PM Janet Bevan, who was to take over from me, asked if I wouldn't mind hanging on for a bit longer. She had won first prize in a competition quilts special category section which, because this year is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, was themed 'Lest we Forget'. 

Of course, I had to say yes! Her quilt was absolutely stunning. So I missed the prize giving!, As well as the rosette, I won some thread - apparently. However despite going to the organisers office afterwards to see if I could claim my prize no one seems to know where it was. Never mind, it was nice to be recognised!


  1. Congratulations on your award :) I've just realised that I photographed your piece and found it fascinating. I didn't realise it was yours at the time. The glare was a real problem though and I had to crouch below it and take the best shot I could get as I was after the transparent/suspended view of it. I was at Uttoxeter on Saturday and enjoyed my first visit to the Show. I do hope your prize reaches you at some point. Well done!

    1. Julie - I am glad you liked it. It is a lovely piece, a real favourite. I must repeat the technique. It needs a competent framer for the technique to really work.

      If i do repeat it, I will do a tutorial or similar.

      So much art bursting to get out - so little time!

  2. Oh, congrats! You are right - it is SO nice to be recognized for your efforts.

  3. Huge congrats, but a swiz about your prize!

    1. Tis a shame. A rosette would be nice and some thread always useful, but really affirmation that I am doing something right cannot be underestimated!


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