Festival of Quilts 2019

The Festival of Quilts is Europe’s leading patchwork and quilting show and this year was my fourth visit to this event. Quilts are something I’ve tackled as part of community projects but never for my own practice. This is partly due to space restrictions in my studio and partly because I’m not good at multiples and structured pieces.

I’ve always loved seeing how people work with different patterns, fabrics and colours and the festival is a great place to get inspired. With so many galleries and stalls it can be an overwhelming experience but I found some amazing pieces that I wanted to share with you.

Karina Thompson

I was first introduced to Karina’s work at Salts Mill as part of Cloth & Memory {2} in 2013. Her use of digital embroidery and woollen fabrics was a refreshing change to other machine embroidered pieces I had seen.

My work is often a response to medical data. This might be x-rays of archaeological bones, historical clinical archives or the biometrics of my own body. I use digital embroidery to make my work; sometimes it’s combined with digital print; sometimes I use free-motion quilting.

Alongside her piece from Cloth & Memory {2}, Karina exhibited her digitally stitched quilts. Her muted colour palette and use of anatomical imagery made this show a breath of fresh air.

India Flint

India’s work uses natural materials and found textiles to create beautiful hangings. I was drawn to her muted colour palette and fabric combinations. I haven’t come across her work before and it was really inspiring to walk around her gallery.

India Flint’s work conflates the visual and written poetics of place and memory, using walking, drawing, assemblage, mending, stitch, image-making and text as a means of mapping country, recoding and recording responses to landscape – working with cloth, paper, stone, windfall leaf matter, water, minerals, bones, the discarded artefacts and hard detritus of human habitation, the local weed burden. ‘incomplete journeys’ is a collection of pieced, layered and printed textiles that might be considered maps or soft paintings, pieces of place or a series of laments for places of peace; landscapes written into cloth using leaves, water and time.

Galina Krasnikova

I was drawn to the beautiful textures of Galina’s work, they are a riot of pattern and colour. Each piece includes a myriad of techniques that compliment each other and make the eye dance around the piece.

Galina’s quilts are art quilts, and she has mastered scores of textile techniques puffs, boutis, boro, lyapachikha, chenille, pizza, origami, various kinds of applique, felting, beading, embroidery, and many more. Everything Galina does, relates to her childhood. Before she was 13, the only kind of books she read were fairy tales. She especially loved wonder stories, where there were miracles and magic transformations.

Modern Quilts

For quilts that are minimalist with clean, modern design and a strong visual impact. They often use asymmetry, improvisational piecing, a reinterpretation of traditional blocks or the lack of a visible block structure. A feeling of space is often achieved by the use of negative space. They are machine or hand quilted in a way that is sympathetic to the design.

The modern quilt gallery is a Festival of Quilts staple but I find that some of the pieces aren’t particularly modern! It is a chance to see some beautifully made quilts that showcase colour and pattern. There’s always some amazing hexagons in display in the gallery.


My friends often tease me about the lack of colour in my work but red is the one bright colour that features in my pieces. I’m instinctively drawn to red and I found a few pieces that use my favourite colour beautifully.

My red gallery features pieces from Quilt Art Traces and Aina Muse.

‘Traces’ is an exhibition of new work by Quilt Art on the broad themes of memory and the power of stitch. It was inspired by the life and textile art of Mary Fogg, a founder member of the group and influential quilt artist, who died in 2016 at the age of 95.
Quilt Art was founded in Britain in 1985 to develop the quilt as an artistic medium and promote its recognition as an art form. Its 19 members are all leading practitioners who exhibit nationally and internationally.

In honour of the celebrated textile artist and professor Aina Muze (1943-2017). Aina Muze developed her work to embrace quality and excellence. She broadened out her work to explore new materials and invention. The artist was interested in the potentialities of modern technologies and the ways how they could be applied together with traditional patchwork technique.