Day two at FOQ dawned bright and early.    We stumbled down to breakfast at our hotel and enjoyed a frugal banquet of cereals, scrambled egg and tomatoes, looking longingly at the bacon and sausage.   Being on a diet has to be obeyed even whilst we are out enjoying the phenomenon of the Festival of Quits.

Yesterday was all about the event and we wandered around the galleries and exhibition enjoying some of the best examples of patchwork I have ever seen.  Each year I have attended I marvel at the talent on show.  We shopped, tempted by the fabrics and notions even though we had said we wouldn’t, but that’s what an event is all about – experiencing the unexpected and finding things you hadn’t even thought about.

Today, though, we are expected to be at the Halls by 9.15 as its Jeannie and my stint as Quilt Stewards.

 

We have done our homework and read up the information provided by Gavin from the Quilter’s Guild as to how the quilts are judged and who makes decisions.  We know that no one is allowed to take their envelope left with their quilt until Sunday when the quits are removed and taken back home by their owners and, importantly, that no one is allowed to touch the quilts or turn them over unless they are wearing the blue sash and white gloves.   

We approached the Halls on our second day with a slight feeling of apprehension.  No queues at this time of course, and we were now wearing our lanyards to denote our status for Friday as that of Steward.   

Where would we be allocated to guard and deliver the knowledge we had learnt.  Would anyone actually ask any questions, and if they did, would we know the answers.  We hatched a plan of referral to the next gallery if someone popped up with a difficult question haha.  Being a Steward means a lot of things, including the use of the Stewards Room facilities for a welcome sit down in between shifts.    The Stewards are looked after by Gavin .. we caught him making a cuppa with Sheena in the kitchen [Sheena is the Co-Ordinator for the Show for the Quilters Guild, and has worked hard for her three year stint)

 

We stood, ready, for our first shift.  This was serious stuff today.  For two stints of two hours, we were helping our fellow Quilters understand the fabulousness of all the quilts.  We walked up and down the quilts we were looking after, marvelling again at the sheer talent of the makers, wondering if anyone would speak to us.  My first section for the day was the Mini Quilts and Modern Quilts.    The afternoon I was covering the Novice and Contemporary Quilt sections.      There will be so many quilts posted on Uk Quilters United FB over the weekend so I thought I would try and show you some of the faces of the people who made the quilts.

 

Louise Clark and her partner were really excited at entering for the first time.    They won’t see the comments until they collect the quilt on Sunday though.

 

Maureen Talbot’s Circle of Life Quilt was drawing a crowd on onlookers.   What do you think about it?  She did say she has been told its applique, and not pieced, so may have received a higher judgement if she had popped it into a different category to the Modern Quilts, which perhaps highlights how carefully future entries need to be considered.

 

Tatyani Duffi (upper quilt) gave her quilt a thought-provoking name “Brexit?’ Very of the moment some may think.

 

Jo Avery’s Modern Quilt was really cheerful – Jo is well known to the UK Quilters United FB Group.

 

Karen Swiech from the US created a quilt that everyone drew breath at.  It didn’t rate with the judges for all sorts of reason, but the front was made from 5000 individual family pictures, and the reverse a colour subset, digitally combined and printed as a whole cloth fabric.    Imagine receiving that for your memories .. it brought tears to many people’s eyes throughout the time I was showing the reverse side to them.

Being a Quilt Steward is rewarding on many different levels and meeting so many lovely people visiting the event was brilliant.   Would I do it again, probably but standing up for two hours at a time tells on old knees for sure, but tonight Jeannie returns home and I am booked for a meal out with a group of Quiltery People I have only ever met ‘virtually’ on FB.   This is the side of FOQ I really enjoy, the meeting up of people who share a passion and the joy of P&Q.  Tomorrow I have an unexpected extra day all by my own at the event.   I am not sure how that’s going to feel, but one thing I do know, it will involve quilts and fabric for sure!

Did I meet anyone else today?

 

Clarence of course who was helping Andy at Crafty-UK keep everyone happy

 

Karin Pope and her Husband were admiring the quilts together and it was lovely to see how many partners were there to carry the shopping, oh, and this guy asked me the way to the Festival Theatre so we walked along to find it

 

It’s not often Ricky Tims asks you for a selfie!

If you manage to get along I hope you enjoy the Festival as much as I am doing.   Did I shop today .. not really, but you have to have something to sew with at the end of the day, and where better to find sewing needles but Barnyarns.

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