Search This Blog

I am a quilter living in Woodbridge, Suffolk who has made quilts since I was a teenager. I also ring bells! Both are great British traditions....I will try to feature some of my antique Welsh and Durham quilts, the quilts I make myself, my quilting activities and also some of my bellringing achievements. Plus as many photos as I can manage. NB: Double click on the photos to see greater detail, then use back button to return to the main page.

Saturday 6 October 2012

QuiltFest 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida

Well, it has been a busy week, catching up on all the work that did not get done whilst I was away! Looking forward now to the BQSG seminar in Burnley at the end of the month...

While I was visiting my mother in Florida, I had the chance to go to QuiltFest 2012 in Jacksonville with Helen, Jo and Ginny from Gainesville. It was interesting to see this show, put on by seven quilting guilds, and compare it to our commercial shows in the UK. It was about an hour and a half's drive from Gainseville.....

The show was held in the Convention centre - formerly the very large train station for "Jax". The entry fee was very reasonable by British standards and included a free catalog. But I think participation in the raffles and opportunity quilts was expected...
All the quilts were labelled with name, maker and a description.

We arrived early and stayed until 2:30 - when we emerged from the show, there was a tropical storm occurring - we waited for half an hour until it died down a bit - then headed back to Gainsville. Let's just say that it was an interesting trip home, with numerous road accidents having occurred during the rainstorm, and various roads flooded....traffic very slow...but we made it. Thanks for the lift, Helen!!

This was the Best in Show, Sunshine by Pam McIntyre. Made to a pattern "Joy" by Jaqueline de Jonge. Hand dyed silk overlain by Hot Ribbon.

A quilt with birds, machine quilted...

A small quilt where colored pencils had been used, along with embellishments, nachine quilted.

One of the few hand quilted items that I saw, Simply Charming by Patti Showen.


A nicely done Baltimore, this was one of the prize winners....

And another, larger, Baltimore Album quilt...

Another very colourful applique quilt, this time on a dark blue background, I think this is another quilt made to a commercial pattern.

I really liked this colourful quilt, another pattern I think.
Lively fabrics.

A quilt with a typical Floridian scene...

Prize winning pieced quilt, with the Seven Sisters pattern. This block was always popular in the South, as the seven stars represent the seven states that seceded from the Union during the Civil War.

This was another prize winning quilt. There were several examples of this block, which seems to be a popular commercial pattern or kit. The pieces were very small.

To summarise - there was lots of applique! and not much hand quilting to be seen. Machine quilting was rule and most was done by longarm quilters, to various standards. Most of the quilts were very brightly coloured, and many were made to patterns. Quite a few of the quilts were made with kits, that is, patterns with the fabrics supplied and pre-chosen. Of course, these quilts always hit the mark because they are professionally designed, and were very beautiful.

Things are much more expensive in the UK, with much of the fabric imported and costing at least double to that in the USA, so while quilters do use patterns here, most would substitute their own fabrics, perhaps to use up their stash. Changes are also made to patterns. Longarm quilting is increasingly seen here in the UK, but is not the norm as it seems to be in the US.


  1. Thanks for your comparison between US and UK. I have always wondered how different our shows are from other countries.


  2. Thanks for sharing the photos and also for giving some details about the differences between quilting and the shows in the UK and the US.

  3. Hi Pippa - I'm in Canada, with some Welsh ancestry. I really enjoy reading your blog. The quilt with the tiny pieces is called "Oh My Gosh".

  4. I enjoyed your photos and info about the quilts in the show. Quite different from the results here, where the points awarded for 'design'(i.e. original design) on the judging sheets mean quilts made from patterns & kits are always going to loose points on the 'design' aspect and are very unlikely to win a category and especially Best in Show. Were there many 'art quilts' or were the quilts mainly traditional/traditionally inspired?

  5. Interesting to read your take on the American quilting scene. I agree! Last show for our region we separated out "kit" or Block of the Month's so they were judged solely on workmanship. Part of the switch to machine quilting for the large shows is due to the sponsorship by the machine companies...