Underground, in this case.
The theme for the annual 12 x 12 exhibition at Midsomer Quilting in December was "Where in the World?" There was a great variety of scenes and techniques on show, and many of the quilts were for sale by auction to raise money for Dorothy House, a local hospice.
Whereas a lot of the quilts were like postcards, showing instantly recognisable views, this quilt was an exception. Earthquake Zones, by Pat Gerrard, is a representation in fabric of a geological fault or subduction zone, vividly conveying the threat and tension of the earth's crust under stress.
Coming back to the surface, and starting with the scene nearest to home and gradually travelling further away, here is Clifton Suspension Bridge, by De Pickford. The bridge is truly beautiful (as can be seen in this video here), a marvellous feat of engineering designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and completed in 1864. De shows it with balloons in the sky, which is a sight we can enjoy every year when the Balloon Fiesta is held in August.
Just 12 miles from Bristol is Bath, and the next quilt takes us upstream to an older bridge across the same river. Pulteney Bridge, by Jill Humphrey, is truly delightful in the way the reflections are shown under the arches and the quilting in the foreground depicts the water rushing down the weir.
Now travel about 50 miles north northeast, and we come to the Uffington White Horse, shown in Hill Figure, by Kath Lordan. Not only was I bowled over by the choice of subject matter, I fell in love with the subtle shades of green and the topographical quilting, recalling the sheep tracks which follow the contours on the sides of the chalk hills.
The next trip is about 85 miles north to the National Exhibition Centre near Birmingham for the Horse of the Year Show. Constantine, by Glenis Halfhide shows a drum horse of the Household Cavalry. The detailed stitching brings both horse and rider to life. I spent ages gazing at the amazingly tiny stitches of the lion and the unicorn on the coat of arms on the drum.
This quilt takes us to Germany. A Small Town in Germany, by Lesley Irving depicts
a fascinating roofscape, with the distinctive steep roofs and stepped gables to be seen there. The various shades of brown and brick red coupled with the shapes and textures give this quilt a wonderfully realistic feel, like looking out of an upstairs window.
Now off to hotter climes. Morocco, by Jo McKenna radiates warmth, both with the colour and the profusion of flowers. The simple austere shapes of the houses contrast with the hills in the background and the exquisitely stitched plants in the foreground, and the patterns of the fabrics tie in perfectly with the composition.
Finally, we go way down south for Memory of South Africa, by Rholda Picot. Rholda's note about the quilt says it all; "My South African block is inspired by the many women you still see in rural villages either cooking over an open fire or grinding corn. As a South African now living in the UK this block is a reminder of what you don't see here!"
A truly memorable exhibition!