It is the event of the Quilting Year here in the UK.  The Festival of Quilts is what everything builds up to each August, whether you are planning a visit or exhibiting a quilt,  a retailer taking advantage of the biggest shop front in the UK or you are a passionate quilter and want to attend a workshop, we talk of little else.  For weeks now we have all been getting giggly about things and it really brings the best out in us all doesn’t it.  The thought of maybe a day, or for some a whole four days, in good company enjoying what we all enjoy the most in our sector for four days, each August its all about Patchwork and Quilting.

Whether you are there to shop, admire the fabulous quilts,  of which there is no doubt in that statement after being bowled over from the moment I walked through the door of the Halls,  or whether you are there to socialise and meet like-minded friends, FOQ is always worth every moment.

 

Not everyone can make it for allsorts of different reasons, so over the next few days there will be lots of posts across at the UK Quilters United FB group and here.  On Instagram and Pinterest too.    Together we will try to bring you as much of the excitement, the quilts, the shopping and the people from around the Halls to share.

Keep your eye out for the UKQU badges and bags and say hello to each other,and maybe there are traders who will be offering exclusive member discounts too.

But you know, those who can’t make it, we are looking forward to seeing what you are up to whilst we are all away enjoying ourselves too.  In between enjoying everyone’s stash buys and pictures of the glorious quilts on show we will be looking to see what you are all up to at home too so keep the posts coming through into the FB Group too.

So, Day one arrived, and the NEC beckoned.     After a cuppa to rouse myself, Jeannie and I set out in anticipation and excitement at a day with fabric and quilts.   This would be the fourth event we had been to together and  we were not disappointed.   The atmosphere was fabulous, as always, from the moment we saw the first signs for the NEC on the M42.   No queues to get in as we timed things just right, up the ramps and out into the carpark.  I am pretty sure most of the sounds we could hear were creaky bones of quilters arriving and stretching in readiness for the dash down to the halls.   We were crafty and caught the transfer bus, saving our energy for the Halls.     The excitement began to grow, and the crowds gathering as we got closer capturing the smiles and hellos from everyone.   We didn’t know anyone particularly, but we were all there with one purpose weren’t we.  We were quilters and friendly ones at that.

Our decision  not to arrive too early proved a good one , so by 10.30 the first rush had subsided and we were able to wander right in, with a quick hello to the guards on the door.  Before we did {and after the ‘visit’ of course} we collected our lanyards for our stint as stewards on our second day .. more of that in a later blog though.

THIS is what was waiting …

Some of you might recognise Abbie Searle, the Mystery Quilter!

The famous faces were around, Stuart Hillard and Jenny Rayment were busy on their respective stands:

And the two lovely new sew a row quilts created for our very own website were on show at the British Patchwork and Quilting magazine stand – the first time I had seen these in the ‘fabric’ even though I have lived through every stitch of their making in the virtual world we often spend our time in.

We even managed to catch up with a few faces from our lovely Blogerrati .. Lynda Jackson, Abigail Sheridan de Graf, Lousia Goult and Abbie Searle were all busy on their different stands.

We managed a chat with Margaret Lehman from the Silesian Quilt Rulers .. and wow .. what a selection of rulers there are to choose from.

The people, the quilts, the stands and more will feature again and again over the coming days here and on FB.  Its the best time of the year .. for a Patchwork and Quilter isn’t it.  Did I shop … well it would have been rude not to!

 

 

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