It was with much trepidation and anticipation that I drove to the Birmingham NEC last Wednesday morning with a car stuffed full of quilts, books, cards, my son and other paraphernalia for setting up a gallery. Can a son be considered paraphernalia?
The large white space was quite daunting when we arrived, but I had already made a full-color floor plan of where each quilt should hang, so it was just a question of sorting out the quilts and putting them in the right place.
Pieces also began to arrive from quilters who had their own galleries at Festival, and by noon we were ready for the hanging team who arrived with ladders, saws, drills, screws, battens and measuring tapes.
I also had assistance from quilt artists Kate Crossley and Kate Findlay. Below you can see the two Kate's set up a table at the back with all the greeting cards I had printed for the show. You can also see the quilts in place on the floor, waiting to be hung. There is a pile of my new books in the foreground, left.
Liz Cooper was hugely helpful in so many ways. Here she is (below) setting up Barbara Weeks' cushion on a plinth, with the two Kate's offering some advice.
I can't tell you how efficient the hanging team were! They measured and cut battens with the speed of light, and the drills started whirring, screwing quilt battens to the walls.
Finally everything was hung and in place and I just walked around, marvelling at how wonderful it all looked. Thanks so much to the hanging team, Liz, the two Kate's and Keith!
Here is Kate Crossley, standing in front of her piece, "Kate's Book of Un-common Prayer."
Here is Kate Findlay, standing in front of her piece, "Pink Dawn."Margaret Ramsay's quilt, Tideline: After the Storm is beneath.