Opening of 2014 European Art Quilt Foundation Show

let the show begin

by Patricia Belyea

BIRMINGHAM UK  The eve before The Festival of Quilts, I happened across the opening of the European Art Quilt Foundation’s 2014 show. What an amazing opportunity for me!

I met the leaders of the organization and many of the art quilters whose work is in the show. After the opening, I joined the group for dinner in the nearby Hilton Hotel!

Here are the photos I took of the artists with their work:

BELOW From the Netherlands, Simon Prins, chairman of the Foundation, and his wife, art quilter Olga Prins-Lukowski, beam with her piece Ups and Downs or Going with the Flow.

Simon Prins and European art quilter Olga Prins-Lukowski

L Yes, that's me in the silly hat with Leslie Gabrielse of the Netherlands and his quilt Aerial Dancer. The inspiration of the quilt came from watching a trapeze act at the Pink Door restaurant in Seattle last year.

R Claudia Helmer from Germany stands beside Luminale 3, her art quilt that celebrates the biannual festival of light in the city of Frankfurt.

European art quilters Leslie Gabrielse, with Patricia Belyea, and Claudia Helmer

L Edwina Mackinnon of the United Kingdom created Six Houses, a quilt about identity and how we are all identified by numbers.

R See You in the Tracks, was quilted by hand by Renate Guetlein of Germany, who sewed together her husband’s cross country ski marathon bibs. She mentioned that pulling the thread through the Tyvec could be hard-going at times. (Sounds like skiing in bad snow.)

European art quilters Edwina Mackinnon and Renate Guetlein

L Anco Brouvers-Branderhorst of the Netherlands impressed everyone with her impeccable quilted pryamids Elements VI,All in one II’ that hung above a mirrored box.

R Katriina Flensburg of Sweden admonishes the arrogance of our fellow man who slaughter dolphins and dolpin-related mammals in her quilt Purple Waters.

European art quilters Anco Brouwers-Branderhorst and Katriina Flensburg

L The threatening sky and impending storm in A Thousand Acres by Roberta Le Poidevin of the United Kingdom were inspired by the story of King Lear and his dysfunctional family.

R Cecile Trentini of Switzerland shows us life as it is— colorful, exuberant and yet so simple and full of contrast—in her art quilt Life.

European art quilters Roberta Le Poidevin and Cecile Trentini

L Black Shadow by Rita Dijkstra-Hesselink of the Netherlands recognizes that everything has a shadow. The challenge is to enjoy the colors of life as well as the existence of the shadow.

R Hanne Capel of the Netherlands plays with layers of type, created with printing on polyester and machine stitching, in her piece Messages from Prague 1.

European art quilters Rita Dijkstra-Hesselink and Hanne Capel

L Susie Koren of the United Kingdom interpreted a reading of the I Ching, scattered thoughts and bundles of throwing sticks in Yarrow Sticks.

R Ampersand by Claire Higgott of the United Kingdom is part of an ongoing series inspired by the roots of modern communication.

European art quilters Susie Koren and Claire Higgot

L Juror Claire Benn of the United Kingdom shows As if the Nothing: Permafrost, seventh in a body of work based on remote landscapes.

R Willy Doreleijers of the Netherlands displays Found Memory, a retrospective of a distant past.

European art quilters Claire Benn and Willy Doreleijers

BELOW Astrid Streng-Groenen of the Netherlands’ quilt Information Overload II reveals a cacophony of words that are sometimes comforting and other times an intrusion.

European art quilter Astrid Streng-Groenen

The Foundation created a gorgeous catalogue of ALL the quilts (48 in all) with a DVD in the back. If you are at The Festival of Quilts this week, go to the exhibit and pick one up for £10.

I give this show five stars!


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7 comments


  • Ann Darling
    Are you offering “sitting” times in the Okan Arts shop to look at your book of these amazing quilts? For me the impending storm piece is so evocative in its simplicity. If you walk by again can you take a close up? I’m curious to see the detail in the lower half!!! Just a thought! Enjoy.

  • Patricia Belyea
    Rita, I will be at AC3 (the smaller lecture hall) speaking at 12:30 and 3:30. I look forward to seeing you again.

  • Patricia Belyea
    It was thrilling for me to spend an evening with European

    art quilters. Thank you!


  • Rita Dijkstra
    What a good idea to photograph each quilter in front of her/his quilt! Thank you for the compliments for my quilt.

    I placed a link of your blog on my Facebook page, so I my friends can see the photo’s as well.
    I hope to see you tomorrow at your stand in the festival.
    Rita Dijkstra


  • Patricia Belyea
    I really appreciate Black Shadow as well. There’s a detail shot in the post header that shows how the shapes and colors work together.

  • Marry Gerwig
    It was great to meet such an enthousiastic person. We loved your Japanese fabrics. We wish you some pleasant and inspiring days in Birmingham. Hope to meet you again.

    Marry Gerwig and Astrid Streng.


  • Linda Hall
    Wish I was there this year. The European quilts are always so innovative. I love Black Shadow.