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37 Summerheath Rd
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Marvellous Malvern!

Mandy's Blog

Marvellous Malvern!

mandy shaw

It still amazes me after all these years of sewing and teaching where my lovely hobby has taken me. Just recently I took a stand at Quilts UK held at the Malvern Show Ground

Malvern is the second largest Quilt Show in the country and is very well attended, it has a warm country and friendly atmosphere and nestled under those Malvern hills in the middle of the most idyllic country side who couldn’t have a lovely time?  Lots of ladies said they came with friends and stayed over night in bed and breakfasts to make a little break out of it.  For our accommodation the rebel in me chose an Airbnb and we fell on our feet at Blackmore Gardens, a short drive from the show ground, with amazing gardens, swimming pool and great private accommodation.

This year my husband helped me build the stand, it is important for me to make the best of my space and this can be a challenge so I always bring vintage boxes, baskets and tables to show off my wares to the best and to inspire you on ways to show off the things you make.  On the first day of shows I am always filled with nerves: Have I enough new stuff? Will you like it? What have I left behind? Will I remember all the prices? But as soon as the doors open and you ‘come-a-visiting’ I relax and the chatter doesn’t stop.

I can honestly say that Malvern attracts the friendliest, loveliest ladies you can ever wish to meet, lots from Wales and Ireland and surrounding counties.  It was a pleasure to meet you all.

I am at Malvern to sell my wares but I also get lots of inspiration from other stands and of course the quilts. As a stall holder we are able to have a good look around before the competition quilts crowds arrive. 

Quilts are always a personal taste but I am sure the judging sometimes perplexes you. I once was a judged at Malvern so I can some light on how the judging takes please. Each judge has a scorecard with things like colour, interpretation, size, piecing, quilting on it and we grade each quilt accordingly within the category it is entered.  So if you enter a wholecloth quilt into a traditional pieced quilt category you will receive zero points for piecing. Similarly if you enter a quilt into a hand quilting category and it is machined pieced you will be 10 points down before you begin. If a miniature needs to be 10 x 8 , don’t make it 11 x 9 and so on.

My two hot tips are:
1.    Enter your quilt into all the categories it applies to (if the rules allow you to do so)
2.    Read the rules very carefully!

So these are my top 10 favourite quilts from Malvern this year (you can see all the pictures below):

1.    No show would be complete without a wholecloth quilt and boy did I love, love, love this, quilted with brown thread on yellow with beautiful outcomes
2.    Traditional applique on black – this made the colours all sing, very lovely.
3.    Loved this because of the curved piecing which, by the way, I will never do!
4.    A Dear Jane Quilt which I will love every time, great colour combination and quilting.
5.    Call me old fashioned but I love a Schoolhouse.  Like the fashion of using white fabric as background, its been in a few years and makes for a light and breezy style quilt.
6.    Traditional Irish chains, oh dear I realise I have a theme going on here!
7.    Here is a modern one for you, it was a group entry, a different view from each angle. Very clever.
8.    Do you guys know how skilled you have to be to do all this satin stitch applique? It’s why I turned to blanket stitch!
9.    Clever, arty and very atmospheric
10.  And now favourite because it breaks all the rules, uses vintage and large stitch quilting. I feel I could wrap one of babies up in itand it sparks joy in me!

Let me know what you think of my choice and tell me which were your favourite quilts by leaving a comment below.

To sum it all up I love Malvern, I love the quilts, I love the people and love the countryside. But most of all I love the Farmer Shop at Gloucester Services on the station on the M5, if you haven’t been you need to go!

If you missed me at Malvern I do try and get around and meet all my lovely customers in person throughout the year. You will always find me at the Festival of Quilts (11th – 14th August) and Kirstie’s Handmade Fair (16th – 18th September) but I do attend other fairs at different times of the year so keep an eye on my website for more information on where I will be when and I look forward to meeting you! 

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