This year’s The Festival of Quilts is back and you can attend the event in person August at the NEC in Birmingham. That’s right! You heard us. And it’s not too early to register your interest to be the first to hear when tickets become available.
It may only be January, but we’re already busy planning our trip to the Festival when it arrives to take Birmingham by storm from 18th – 22nd August 2022.
You’ll find 800 competition quilts on display, inspiring textile galleries, 400 workshops and talks plus unbeatable shopping with hundreds of companies selling patchwork and quilting supplies all under one roof.
Main image © Melnikof
The Festival of Quilts: What to expect
Highlights from the 2021 Festival of Quilts included:
Angela Walters from The Midnight Quilt Show
Angel has almost 200,000 followers on her YouTube channel and will be offering lectures in The Festival Theatre plus longarm workshops in a Handi-Quilter sponsored classroom.
Kaffe Fassett’s ‘Colour and Inspiration’ lecture
We affectionately refer to Kaffe as the king of colour – he’s one of our all-time favourite quilting icons. You’ll leave entranced by Kaffe’s sense and use of colour ready to try it yourself!
Quilting with Liberty Fabrics
Jenni Smith. This is the first exhibition worldwide of the projects featured in Jenni Smith’s recently published and highly acclaimed book ‘Quilting with Liberty Fabrics’. Immerse yourself in beautiful Tana Lawns and Quilting Cottons and learn more about what makes Liberty Prints so unique and irresistible.
PLUS! Beyond Festival of Quilts workshops
Each year sees some great workshops lined up with some of the quilting world’s best-known faces. Last year the workshops included
- Q&A with Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company (pictured below)
- My Patchwork Path with Anna Maria Horner
- International Quilt Trends with Luana Rubin
- Energy and those Darn UFOs with Karen Brown
Plan your visit with confidence
If you’re excited about the thought of a whole day doing a deep dive into a quilting kingdom (that’s how we see the Festival) but not sure how this will work during a global pandemic, the organisers are putting in place a whole range of measures to keep visitors safe. These will include:
- The Festival will be located across four halls of the venue, rather than the usual three, to allow extra space for social distancing.
- There will be a capped number of visitors and exhibitors – so snap up tickets as soon as you can to be on the safe side
- The event will have extended opening hours with pre-booked, staggered entry times to avoid a crush at the start of the day
- There will also be wider aisles, larger workshop rooms, galleries, theatre and VIP lounge – all with capacity limits and extra cleaning
- Look out for separate entry and exit points to the different sections to help keep everyone moving safely
- There will be frequent and enhanced cleaning, plus hand sanitiser and hand washing facilities
- This year, contactless ticket scanning and payment will be in place
- There will also be additional toilet facilities and seating (good news on any year!)
- Plus, of course, anyone feeling unwell or with Covid symptoms will be asked not to attend.
What about the annual quilt competitions?
Yes, they’re our favourite thing about the show too. The competitions will be happening in 2022, and the show organisers are offering quilters from all over the globe the chance to showcase their work to live audiences of up to 26,000 people!
This year will have a range of different categories to cover a range of quilting styles, including categories for schools and young people. They also have a brand new category for ‘Complete Beginners’ who have only started sewing in the last 12 months, so if you have a friend, neighbour or family member who have been converted in lockdown please pass on the message and start getting ready now.
Remember the joy of fabric shopping at the Festival of Quilts? Well get ready because the 2022 Festival is coming this summer and boy are we ready.
2019 Festival of Quilts Virtual Gallery
Head to our Festival of Quilts Virtual Tour to see the winning quilts that scooped the top spots at the 2019 Festival to see the designs that wowed the judges at the show’s last event, before the pandemic.