Quilt Festival Noord Groningen

Meet Hilde van Schaardenburg

The Quilt Festival Noord Groningen is unique in the world. Here regular exhibitor Hilde van Schaardenburg explains, what makes it stand out. 

Human Seasons The Human Seasons by Hilde van Schaardenburg, 2018. Winner of 'Handi Quilter Award Best machine Quilting', European Patchwork Meeting, Alsace, France 2018

ECT: Tell us a bit about the history of the Quiltfestival Noord Groningen

HvS: It began in 2010 with quilts made by artists from The Netherlands and abroad exhibiting in seven medieval churches and one village hall across Noord Groningen.  The number of locations and variety of quilts has gradually increased over the years and now there are around 30 outstanding artists exhibiting work in at least 25 different churches, village halls and windmills.  

ECT: What makes this festival so special?

HvS: It’s the variety of artists – there are so many different quilts to see, from traditional to art and experimental quilts. And then there’s the location. North Groningen borders the Waddenzee, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. It’s an area of wide open, flat landscapes with the horizon broken by villages clustered around medieval churches that are worth a visit in themselves. And Groningen is an incredibly vibrant, cultured city.

ECT: You are a textile artist - what is your main inspiration?

HvS: Nature. My work is about the beauty of the universe, the earth, people, animals and plants.

Threatened Swan

The Threatened Swan by Hilde van Schaardenburg, 2014. Winner of 'Trophy for Art & Aurifil Award', Open European Quilt Championships 2014

ECT: Can you tell us a bit about your process?

HvS: I love working with textiles, but bringing to life what is in my mind is hard work. I can only do it by doing, by being busy with the material, that’s how inspiration comes. And I do lots of research before I begin. I use a bright range of colours and a large diversity of materials and techniques.

ECT: You've also collaborated with other artists?

HvS: Yes, my Waterfall installation is the result of an electro-acoustic collaboration with the very talented Tine Surel Lange. My quilt (which was made with a variety of materials including crepe georgette, linen and gemstone, and techniques such as long arm quilting and sewing machine free motion quilting), combined with her soundtrack creates a waterfall in the mind of those who encounter it. Duet is a co-operative work with my husband, Dirkjan van Schaardenburg. He made the dolomite torso and I created a quilt as a bridge between the two works.


Waterfall by Hilde van Schaardenburg, 2011-2016


Duet - Quilt by Hilde van Schaardenburg, Torso by Dirkjan van Schaardenburg

ECT: What do you hope viewers will take from your work?

HvS: I want to move and delight people and to make them curious.

ECT: You combine your artistic practice with coaching – why do you like teaching?

HvS: I want people to discover the exciting world of creativity that exists with colour, needle and thread – especially young people because I am a bit afraid that the next generation won’t be interested in this handicraft.  I like to set people off on a creative process and let their imaginations speak.


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