Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Scottish Quilt Championships 2011

I spent a great day at the Scottish Quilt Championships at Ingliston on Saturday 24 September. As usual, I arrived early and left late – I was in the door and browsing within 15 minutes of the doors opening, and was one of the last folk lingering as the stalls were closing up. As well as competition quilts, there were several special exhibitions from individuals and from quilting groups.

I’m not sure what it is I get out of a show like this. Is it looking at the quilts on display or is it looking at the trader stalls? I think it must be a bit of both. There were plenty of quilts on display, and the Royal Highland Showground has a fair bit of space for showing quilts. There was the quilt competition, with Bed, Cot, and Miniature quilt categories as well as Large and Small Wallhangings, under 16, and the competition theme. I’m not sure what the theme was, but by I’m guessing from the entries that it was some kind of woodland theme. There were also special exhibitions by both individuals and quilting groups.

I took pictures of my favourite quilts. You can see the full set on my Flickr page.

I have to confess, I like bed quilts, rather than wallhangings, and traditional block patterns over art quilts, or quilts representing a scene. You’d probably have guessed that just from looking at the ones I picked out. One thing that did surprise me though was how much I liked the Baltimore quilts that were on display. The 2 that I’ve photographed were simply stunning.  I can only dream of having the time, skill, patience and imagination that must have gone into making them. I was rather disappointed in the number of entries in some of the categories. The under 16 competition for example had only one entry! Now I know that there are many talented quilters out there, both at home and as members of local groups. If you know a young quilter, why not encourage them to enter next year – it would be a great experience for them I’m sure, and good for us to get a glimpse of how much young talent is out there.

There was also a nice selection of traders. One of the new traders that I hadn’t seen before was Images of Egypt (for some reason I can’t find a web address – if anyone knows of one let me know!) They had a nice selection of fabrics at very reasonable prices, and some fabulous (I think appliquéd) quilts on display. I made my one and only purchase at their stall – a bag of beads for my Saffron knitting projects. There can’t be many other folk who could spend all day at the show and still come out essentially empty handed, but I do it nearly every year. Clearly, I’m not as able as others to think on my feet!
One thing that I did find a bit annoying was that there were a couple of stalls selling non-quilting related things. There was one stall exclusively selling jewellery and another quilting stall with a fair bit of shelf space devoted to knitting wool. While I like looking at jewellery as much as the next person, and I’m a knitter so enjoy looking at wools, I was at a quilt show and wanted to see those spaces taken up with quilty things. I’m worried that more and more stalls will ‘diversify’, so that in the end the quilting gets squeezed out and the trading hall becomes more of a general sale. This is exactly what has happened to the Creative Stitches show at the SECC. When I was there in March, there were plenty of stalls selling clothes, jewellery, handbags and chocolates but barely anything selling needlecraft supplies, which is what I had spend my entry fee to see.

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