Thursday, 18 August 2011

A visitor's review of the 2011 HOKH Maidstone Quilt Show

HOKH Maidstone Quilt Show at The Friars, July 2011

Going into the North Barn at The Friars to see the quilts on display over the last weekend of July was like going into Aladdin’s Cave. Hanging from the walls, festooned on ropes and rafters across the roof-space, lovingly unrolled on tables and tops, the quilts’ blaze of glory stunned us as we came through the wide doors.

More than thirty years have passed since I’ve done any quilting, so I looked with fresh eyes at all that was on display. The colours created a banquet for the eyes. We were awed by the craft, the wit, and the sharp skill of the quilters whose work was offered to us. Some quilts were touching: the nurturing, enveloping warmth of soft quilts made for babies and children; some were almost private, depicting family in-jokes with names and figures from families unknown to us; others were sweepingly universal, with blazing trees and fiery sunsets. Some were traditional, with familiar and beautifully old-fashioned designs; while others were daringly original with unexpected flashes of humour or clashes of colour.

My friend and I had only a few miles to come for this show, but I would go much farther to see such an exceptional exhibition another time. Congratulations to all who worked so incredibly hard and in such detailed ways to make the HOKH quilt show such a success in 2011.

Lizzie Ballagher