Highlights from Festival

So where to begin. Festival of Quilts is huge. There are a dozen or so white walled gallery spaces, hundreds of open competition quilts and an awful lot of traders. There have been years when I have been so totally overwhelmed that I have left after a couple of hours. The truly amazing selection of work has sometimes made me wonder 'why bother' but at other times has energised me to rush back to the studio to make art. This year has been a good one. My piece Ruins 6 won 1st prize in the open Art Category, Vestiges got a 'highly commended' in the Miniature Category and Ruins 5 was shortlisted for Fine Art Quilt Masters. I floated on air and was humbled by all the congratulations and kind words. They even played my favourite Blur song (Song 2) when I went on stage to collect my award. Of course this was a completely random thing as the music is pre-selected but it made my grin even wider!

Ruins 6 (270cm x 135cm, £3500)

In between meeting friends and stewarding in the SAQA gallery I managed to visit all the galleries on my 'must see' list and saw quite a lot of the open competition quilts. My favourite gallery was probably Art Textile: Made In Britain: Concealed where I was blown away by the work of Rosie James. I also really enjoyed Claire Benn and Ingrid Press's gallery.

Unlike many visitors I never seem to remember to take photos of the works I like - for the most part I am too absorbed in looking and responding. I did take a few and here is a selection.

Borrowed (Henry Matisse, Tom and me) by Maria Thomas Shortlisted in Fine Art Quilt Masters

Rust rose by Sue Hotchkis Shortlisted in Fine Art Quilt Masters

Big Sister by Claire Passmore

Detail of Surface III by Isabelle Wiessler

Thames Lock 101 by Mags Ramsay

Rainy Day Dora Creek #13 by Judy Hooworth