Monday, September 17, 2007

Hever Castle Quilt Show

If you haven't been to the Hever show you are really missing out on a
treat. It isn't the biggest show in the country but it has to be one of
the friendliest. This year there were over 100 competition quilts and
six exhibitions of quilts. There is a good range of styles so most
people should find something that interests them.

Being in the grounds of an historic building there are a lot of people
around who wouldn't travel to a quilt show. I think this provides a
great opportunity to show what we do to a wider audience. Certainly some
of those who wandered in 'by accident' seemed very impressed and
surprised by what was on display. Having both the challenge quilts and
the bed quilts visible from the door is a great plan. I feel it
reassures people who are not familiar some of the new directions
quilting has gone that they are indeed looking at quilts, but at the
same time illustrates that quilt aren't just something to put on the

The challenge section is open to guild members from all regions, and seems to
attract a good number of entries each year. The theme this year was
'Oriental Expressions'. Unfortunately I didn't manage to catch the
winner of the category so I can't show you her quilt, but here are the
other award winners in this category. The top three quilts receive a
money award, a rosette and a certificate. The winner is also awarded the
Hever Challenge Cup.

The winner was Anne Moncrieff with a piece called Masks, machine pieced,
hand quilted. Inspired by Japanese and Chinese Opera, clothing and

Second place, and my favourite, Heather Downie, Haiku. A spring haiku, a
painting by Jakuchu and a pack of Japanese fabrics from California
inspired the design. Machine pieced and quilted.

Third place went to Bento, by Laura Cochran. Bento Lunchboxes are
delightful examples to the artistic approach to daily life in Japan.
This crazy Bento showcases both types of Japanese fabrics; bright silks
and subdued cottons.

Three quilts in the category receive Judges Choice, one chosen by each
judge. The award is a bundle of fabrics and threads, a rosette and a

Three Little Maids by Cherie Lumsden, I fell in love with the fabrics
but only had limited amounts, so it was an exercise in use of fabrics.

Lynne Pretty received the award for The Silk Route. Inspired by
merchants unrolling lengths of silk, it tells the story of the silk moth
to fabric and its journey from East to West. Commercial, hand painted

Finally Mariko, by Ferret. There are so many iconic oriental masks and
faces. To my eyes the geisha is the most beautiful. Thanks Mary, without
you this wouldn't be here.

You may be able to see in the photographs of us receiving our awards
that we were each given a different colour bundle of fabrics.
Unfortunately Cherie and I both liked the same bundle and I was lucky
enough to get it. We narrowly avoided a fight, well at least we made it
a civilised fight. Cherie has challenged me to make a quilt using all of
the fabrics and thread that are in the bundle, I can add to it but I
can't take anything away. It's going to be tricky as the fabrics are
blues, purples, greens and sort of yellow brown. Still I like a
challenge and will see what I can come up with. You will be able to see
the result of this challenge at the Hever show next year. They have
kindly agreed to display the finished quilts, so that will make sure we
get it done.

This is Robin's entry for the challenge, Shikami. Inspired by a kyogen
theatre mask. This demonic spirit represents the expression of masculine rage. This is a small quilt, about A4, so the mask is approximately life sized.

Something else I really like about this show, is that the overall winner is chosen by the visitors. Even better this year two quilts I wanted to get awards did. The Sentinels by Irene Dunlop is a very striking collection of beach landscapes. It is wonderful how much detail and realism she has managed to achieve with very few fabrics. I would love to own this, or better yet have the eye for making it that she obviously has. Her statement reads, there they stand, protecting our shores from the encroaching sea.

The winner, taking home a large glass rose bowl, is Jean Wilkinson, with
An African Safari. Images of Africa, made for my niece who lives outside
Durban. Some of the pictures taken from Pat Parker and Jenny
Williamson's book. It's a wonderful quilt, and I am afraid my photographs
don't come close to doing it justice, and I love the fact that Jean
takes a lot of care to credit where the designs come from, only
crediting herself after she has covered the others. Though just between
you and me, now I know which she drew herself I am quite sure she could
have done them all if she had chosen to. She really is very talented at
capturing the 'essence of thing' which is essential for this style of

Please do consider entering the theme category next year, it is a lovely
show and a good day out. The water maze is fun and doesn't require you
to get wet, I didn't get to try the yew maze, it is very narrow and the
people ahead of us were trying to get a pushchair in so we gave it a
miss. If you are in the area, they are on the look out for stewards and
helpers for putting the show up. It is work, but it is a lot of fun. You
even get free tea at the morning break. So do consider offering your
help to keep this great show alive and growing.

Finally, thank you very much to all the quilters who have kindly allowed me to use these images of them and their quilts. Without them there wouldn't have been a show at all, and without their permission I could not have illustrated this posting. I am very grateful that quilters are so generous.


Judith Glover said...


Tell me who did the quilt with the water, beach and the rotted posts. It is very similar to a painting I once did, titled Anima, Animus. The one I am asking about is the one that has four squares fitted together to make a larger square and that is four versions of the same topic. It is interesting that we were both fascinated by the same subject.

Judith G. Glover

Ferret said...

The Sentinals by Irene Dunlop

Feather on a Wire said...

Moon and Plum looks good.
Love the spikey ribbon.

Nellie's Needles said...

Beautiful quilts! Thanks for sharing their photos and stories. Congratulations on your award winning quilts.