I know I said I wasn't going to the Festival Of Quilts this year but when the time came I couldn't resist. So on the Saturday we all went down to the NEC in Birmingham for the day - yes, even Alan & the kids came along! We started by having a look around the quilts. I'd given the kids a little 'treasure hunt' of things to look for like circle, hexagon, frog, flower and they ticked them off when they saw a quilt with them in. When they were a little tired/bored of looking at the quilts we went and got a drink and had a bit of cake. Then I took them to look at the children's quilts, which they really liked. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the quilts because I was too busy moving my kids around and making sure they weren't touching! I also had the husband to look after. He was most surprised to see "quite an old quilt in the children's section" (quilt number 2006) until I pointed out he "might be more impressed by the time traveling quilt, number 2076" ;-) .
We also let the kids play on the Quilter's Guild tombola and I had to have a go myself. I can't resist a tombola!!!
Then the shopping started. Alan and the kids had lunch (who needs lunch when you can be buying fabric?!?) and then took them to see the planes at the airport until I was ready to leave.
I'm always surprised at the stalls I'm attracted to at quilt shows. I don't really have a particular style of fabric that I stick to. I like modern fabrics but also traditional ones. I like a wide variety of colours and prints. I like bold colours AND pastels. There are well known online shops whose stalls I barely glance at when I'm at the festival yet other stalls I always buy from yet I never visit their website in between shows.
One of the stalls I always end up buying something from is Creative Quilting, where I bought a couple of packs of 5" squares. The other stall I love is Quilter's Trading Post and this year I purchased a couple of bag patterns and some fabric. I bought the Cotillion Bag Pattern because I love the Regency/Jane Austen panels and the bag pattern comes with one panel to use for the pocket. They also do some lovely cushion kits but I thought a bag would be more useful. I couldn't resist buying a mini charm pack (2.5" squares) and a fat quarter of Wildflower Wood by Lynette Anderson. I'm currently thinking of making a cushion from this.
I also bought some bargains from Patchwork Cabin. This is a lovely little shop in Great Bookham, Surrey and I've visited it when we've been staying with the in-laws as it's not too far to go. I managed to pick up a 4m piece of fabric which I will probably use for backing for a few things. It goes quite well with the Wildflower Wood fabrics I bought so might use it to back whatever I make from that. I also bought a scrap pack and a pack of 2.5" strips (iirc it has 20 strips so basically it's half a jelly roll).
I have to admit that at quilt shows I'm massively drawn to precuts. Perhaps it's partly because it requires more consideration to choose 3 or 4 meters at £12-ish per meter from the HUGE selection available than to buy lots of little packs at £2-£5. It's not just that though and I can't resist little packs of fabric folded up like stars, which is how I came to buy some fabric from Cross-Patch for the first time. You can see them in the picture below of all my purchases. It's the butterfly fabric and the one with irons on - I also picked up a pack of small strips of these Washday Fabrics just because I thought the designs were cute and would look good in a kitchen.
I think these lovely little packs would make fantastic stocking fillers along with the usual charm pack type things (Alan, if you're reading this, take note!!!).
You can probably see I picked up a reel of The Bottom Line thread too. I should probably have spent less on fabric and more on essentials like rotary blades or a new cutting mat.