After a long wait, The Festival of Quilts is back and you can attend the event in person this week in a real life event at the NEC in Birmingham. That’s right! You heard us. And it’s not too late to book your ticket.
Our favourite yearly dose of total quilt immersion is back after having to cancel last year’s show due to the pandemic. We’l be able to visit the quilts in person this week is set to take Birmingham by storm from 29th July to 1st August.
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 2021: What’s the plan?
Highlights this year include:
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
Can’t make it to the Festival in person? Good news! The organisers are running a series of virtual workshops to extend the event into our homes from 4th – 11th August.
They have some great workshops lined up with some of the quilting world’s best-known faces, including:
Q&A with Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company
- 4th August, 4pm – Find out more.
My Patchwork Path with Anna Maria Horner
- 6th August, 5pm – Find out more
International Quilt Trends with Luana Rubin
- 7th August, 6pm – Find out more
Energy and those Darn UFOs with Karen Brown
- 11th August, 5pm Colour – Find out more
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 2021 quilt competitions?
Yes, they’re our favourite thing about the show too. The competitions are happening, 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 17 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!
Take a look at which of our categories best suits your quilting style and get making! First prize will be £1,000 in the open categories (plus the universally acknowledged glory of seeing your very own quilt on display at the show for thousands of visitors to admire. The deadline for entering is4th June 2021 so get working on your piece now!
Remember the joy of fabric shopping at the Festival of Quilts? Well get ready because the 2021 Festival is coming soon 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.