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!


  1. Hi Fiona How lucky you are to get to attend that show. What lovely quilts you have posted. I like the quilt with the applique' center with hearts around the border. Looking forward to seeing more photos from the show.

  2. What a fun trip! I wish I could have been there. I love the quilts you shared. Monkey Wrench has always been one of my favorites - I'll have to find that book and see what other goodies are in it. And I love the quilt with the hearts in the border. I love just about anything with hearts.

  3. It was a great show Fiona and shame I didn't know you were going as we could have touched base. We were staying at the Mercure right by the station.

    Amazing quilts by all the celebrity quilters.

  4. Hi Fiona, Great that you are back I missed you. Lucky you going to Nantes. Australia is just tooo far away!

    Debbie in Australia