Friday, 25 May 2012

Final blog from Pour L'Amour du Fil

Well, here it is, my final blog about the show...

But first I have had a few enquiries about my last entry - "what are the sizes of Reiko's work?" I did make some notes, but rather foolishly I cannot find them! They'll come to light one day, but in the meantime...

One of my favourites and reminds me of myself each Saturday morning with
 basket over my arm at the fruit and vegetable stall in our town's
High Street market-place
This one is about 12" wide x 10" high

This one is quite small at about 8" high

...and this one is about 14"H x 12"W
The circular piece with the rabbits in my last entry is about a small dinner plate size and my favourite with the Sunbonnet Sues' sitting on the bench is about 14" long and just 3" high.

Here are some more photographs from the show...

I love Boutis and have a couple of very small pieces that I made myself a couple of years ago. There was a lovely book available, but as you would expect it was all in French and whilst I can read French better than speak it, my French is not that good, so sadly I did not buy it.

Such fine workmanship

This is just stunning - about 36" square

There were a few antique quilts - here's what took my eye...
Approximately 1860

Close-up of block

Approximately 1840 - 1860

Close-up of block

Close-up of border
Approximately 1890 - there are 25,000 pieces!

Close-up of above quilt - each little square is just 1/2"
 A few more quilts from Brigitte Giblin's "petite maison". All of which appear in her new book.

Brigitte's version of the Leven's Hall Quilt

This is an old quilt pattern of Brigitte's. I remember it
from back in the mid-1990's, I love the border fabric
Brigitte's version of the Dancing Dolls Quilt
After all the rain we have had over the last month our hose-pipe ban has been partially lifted (can you believe in the 21st century that we in parts of the UK have been officially listed as being in a drought?), we have had a couple of very warm and sunny days which the Met. Office says will be with us for the week-end - yea!

Have a good weekend - a bientot!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The miniature world of Reiko Kato

Just a few photographs of the wonderful miniature world of Reiko Kato. I just wish I had her imagination.

Friday, 11 May 2012

More from Pour L'Amour du Fil...

It never fails to amaze me how I find myself meeting up with quilters from around the world. Valerie, second from the left, and I attend the Dear Jane retreats in Shipshewana, Indiana. She was working during the show as a French/English interpreter and she arranged a meeting in the foyer of my hotel of many quilters whom I have met through the Reproduction Fabrics community list. It was great to put some faces to names from Australia, Norway and Holland.

From left to right - Randi, Valerie, Bev Bannard, Wil, Jette, Linda Collins and me!

A little bit of learning...
As well as Brigitte's workshop, I also signed up for Linda's workshop on making scrappy quilts, which meant I would have to use a sewing machine and piece(!) and, what's more, piece without having a drawn pencil line on the fabric to guide my 1/4" seam along! This was scary stuff, especially as the blocks were no larger than 4". I just cannot piece without a "safety net", and even my French co-participants were nervous of the no pencil line rule - it must be a European thing!
Hey, my blocks went together without any foundation paper, pencil lines or pins and I have points that match and a 1/4" salvedge all round!!! The secret may lie in the fact that I may need to use a finer needle in my sewing machine, but also I finally learnt how to piece using the chaining method, which I already part do, but not to hold all the sections together. I need more practice!

A little bit of shopping...
It was all far too tempting. I had to hold back because I would have to pull whatever I bought through the Paris Metro system and London Underground - this makes you think twice, but then there are always taxis!
Brigitte and Linda's books

Some more of my favourites - Dutch chintz from Den Haan & Wagenmakers

From La Petite Echelle in Tours 
I loved the toile on the right and then I added three bundles of fat 1/8ths
I have some ideas, just need the time to act on them!
I did buy some more bits and pieces, including shock, horrow some Kaffe Fassett fabrics - I just liked the colours... and a kit to make a small bag from Brigitte Giblin, but first I have to make "hundreds" of 1/2" hexagons - a train commute project!

A little bit of sight-seeing...
As a child, my family used to have summer camping trips to Brittany, so I have been to
Nantes a few times. It was strange to see at the railway station, trains going to Royan, St. Nazaire, La Baule and Le Croisic so it all brought back many happy memories for me, especially Le Croisic and the harbour there. But I really do not remember much about Nantes - maybe it was a town we passed through en route...

The canal basin behind the convention centre

The Chateau of the Dukes of Brittany

It is a moated chateau

The old biscuit factory which made Beurre biscuits - now I remember munching my way through these!
and a few more quilts...

Brigitte Giblin's interpretation of Auntie Green's quilt - the pattern is in her new book

Quilts of Margaret Bounami

Inside Margaret Bounami's petite maison
Some blocks from one of Kathy Doughty's quilts...

I have three of these fabrics in the above block in my stash.
Would I have ever thought of combining them? No.
 I need to be challenging myself more

Some wall hangings from the exhibit by the French Quilting Association

A miniature houses quilt

Thanks for stopping by - have a good weekend!


Sunday, 6 May 2012

I'm baaack....!

Oh my goodness it's now May! Time is flying far, far too fast...

Work has dominated my life lately, but in between all the marking and writing lectures plus prepping for a new cohort of students, I was able to squeeze in a visit to Nantes in France for the annual "Pour l'amour du fil" show. 
I do not know really why I haven't been before considering I did the journey by just three trains. The first from home to London, St. Pancras and then...

London St Pancras

to Gare de Nantes

via Paris, Gare de Nord

and stand outside the show... in less than 6 hours?

What's more I was even able to book a hotel room right by the entrance to the show. This is the view from my bedroom window!

Pour l'amour du fil
When I heard that Linda Koenig and Brigitte Giblin were going to be at the show promoting their new books and teaching workshops I decided that I just could not pass up the opportunity of "popping across" the Channel to have some "me" time especially as I also had no teaching during the days of the show. 
Inside the merchant's mall
The show is a little different from many in that whilst there is a merchant's mall, the displays were made up of "petite maisons" of quilts, knitting etc, of the designers promoting their new books, all published by Quiltmania - Linda Koenig, Reiko Kato, Brigitte Giblin, Kathi Campbell, Maggie Bonanomi and Kathy Doughty with each also running associated workshops. Each of the petite maisons were beautifully arranged with decor to reflect each of the designer's quilts, etc.

There was also a small display of quilted wall hangings from the French Quilt Association which were judged and another display of small quilts from the Nantes Quilt guild.

Linda Koenig's "petite maison"
I had met Linda during my trip to the USA last November through Theresa one of my friends who belongs to the same quilt group. Linda was invited to write a book for Quiltmania on making scrap quilts and she was there to promote her book and run a workshop on Scrappy Quilts.
Linda Koenig (seated)
Some of Linda's quilts which feature in her new book
Some more quilts
I love the colours in this quilt
Brigitte Giblin's "petite maison"
Brigitte's book is themed around her distinctive interpretation of antique quilts. I first met her when I was living in Australia when I did a workshop with her through my quilt guild.

Brigitte Giblin
Hexagon's are making a comeback!
I love this quilt another to add to my "to do" list
More hexagons - where did Brigitte get the giraffe fabric in the centre block?
I am amazed at how popular English paper piecing is becoming again. I taught myself to piece using this technique some 40 years ago and there are several patterns in Brigitte's new book which use the hexagon in different ways - but it's her use of colour and prints that I find so stimulating - we have such earthy, muddy colours in Europe, unlike the bright, sunny colours of Australia. I am certain it has to do with sunlight - even as I sit here writing my blog - the sky is the same leaden colour it has been for most of the past week.

Under Brigitte's tutorage I started a new applique project and have tried to move away from my usual leaden fabrics and mix it up a bit although I have to admit some of the fabrics included in her kit scared me, so I've made some substitutes. Pictures to follow when I've stitched some fabric down!

More stories and pictures from the show to come.

Thanks for stopping by!