Fabric Shopping at The Festival of Quilts

So it was The Festival of Quilts this weekend in Birmingham at the NEC. I’ve been meaning to go for the best part of about 15 years now, and this year I finally got along!

The real reason I wanted to go was to scope out the competition entries. For a while now I’ve been considering entering a quilt into the competition and figured that the best way to scope out the standard was to actually go and look at them in person. But that’s for another post.

This post is about the exhibitors stalls in the marketplace areas. And the lovely things that caught my eye.

In no particular order:


I couldn’t help myself here. I had to buy a stamp. You see, when we were making Simon’s Mythlore Costume we discussed the idea of a golden-yellow overcoat. I wanted to use linen, dye it by hand, and then stamp using traditional woodblock stamps a white design on it. Well, the idea has stuck with me and I ended up bringing home that gorgeous one on the left hand side of the shot.


The sari trim was lovely too. None of it was quite right for any costumes I’ve currently got on the go, and I’m trying to be better about buying trim (saving my splurges for Keith’s gorgeous stuff).


The textiles on the stall were just beautiful. Check out these, with their running stitches running through them.


Art Van Go

Not the prettiest shop at the show, but amazing for picking up dyes and paints. They had a sale on Procion mx Dyes. 25g pots for £3.50 as a show special. So I picked up an Olive Green, Orange, and Black. I have plans, you see. The Olive Green is most likely to be for Simon’s next costume and the Orange and Black for a quilt I’ve now got in my head. Possibly next year’s entry to the competition!

Higgs & Higgs

I could have bought almost everything in this shop. Loads of contemporary fabrics and lots in grey. I think this one with the stags was part of the Makower Sherwood range.CM-150808-0155web

And stars… lots of stars!CM-150808-0156web

Village Fabrics

Another one in Oxfordshire – Wallingford to be precise. Seemed like a fairly standard range of quilt fabric, but thought that this cupcake display was particularly cute.CM-150808-0159web

I think that this orange fabric was on their stall too – but in retrospect I’m not so sure. I like the texture of it though. This is going to get applied to a future quilt.CM-150808-0158web

KSDP Charity

So much gorgeous stuff here. Everything is bought at fair prices from either Thai Hill-Tribe people or from Burmese Refugees living in camps. These textiles are the result of buying traditional pleated skirts and disassembling them to sell as fabric panels. At £8 a meter the price was steep – but it’s great to know that the money goes back into a student development programme where they’re teaching skills to help people become independent.

I couldn’t just splash out on the fabric without having a purpose for it, but I’m certainly going to try and come up with some ideas for using this fabric so that I can pick some up at a show in the future.

These are the tops of the skirt. The bottoms have over six meters of fabric in them – and they’re often complexly cross stitched! I love the way that a simple chain stitch has been used to hold the pleats in place.CM-150808-0162web

M Rosenberg & Son

Beautiful wools for LRP. That’s all I’m saying. I’m regretting not buying stuff for Adam’s cloak now, but I’m sure we’ll find something else… right?



African Fabric Shop

I’ve bought from these guys before. I have some really lovely African block printed fabric with elephants on.

I wanted the bags for Odyssey.CM-150808-0169web

And I wanted the batik fabrics for wallhangings.CM-150808-0170web

And the strip cloth for… well… I don’t really know. I just wanted it.CM-150808-0171web

The Silk Route


Regretting not picking up this tan and green textured fabric square.

And these too. I could have had all of these.CM-150808-0174web

The hand dyed silks were lovely too.CM-150808-0177web

And this was the haul that I came home with. John James were selling off packs of 25 needles for 30p a pack. I should have bought more in retrospect. I have no idea what ‘Au De’ needles are – but they’re straight and sharp!CM-150808-0199web

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