Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Dear Jane Exhibition and Talk - Nantes

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Jane B. Stickle quilt, a celebratory exhibition of Dear Jane quilts from around the world was staged in Nantes. It is hard to believe that there can be so many interpretations of the same quilt and yet in their won way, each is so unique and clearly shows the quilter's mastery of their art. Here are some of my favourites...

Aimee Marchant - Belgium

Ainaka Imenschot - Netherlands

Annie Tromp-Doornink - Netherlands

Close-up of Annie Tromp-Doornink's quilt

Barbara Larson - USA
Each block is 2" square

Close-up of Barbara Larson's quilt

Betty Prins - Netherlands

Diane Rhode and Judy Doenias - USA

Gisselo Piaj-Britt - Denmark

Ineke Marijnissen-Van der Molen - Netherlands

Joes Messter - Netherlands
Her quilt was selected to be on the Dear Jane bag for the exhibition, unfortunately though she was not acknowledged on the bag - so I am doing it!

Julie Clarke - Australia

Maryvonne Deschamps - France

Nancy Jackson - USA

Paula Klein - Luxembourg

Brenda Papadakis was due to give a 2 hour talk on Dear Jane, but unfortunately at the last minute she could not attend... So she video'd her presentation which was about 20 minutes in length and quite emotional. So what to do for the rest of the presentation?

The audience patiently waits...
 By some amazing happenstance there were a number of us attending the talk who each knew each other through attending the Dear Jane meetings in Shipshewana. There was also a wonderful chronological representation from the early 1990's through to 2010.
The Nantes panel - Brenda (USA), Elizabeth (our wonderful interpreter), Theresa (USA), Me (UK), Caroline (Belgium), Hanne (Norway), Brigitte (Germany), Julie (Australia), Barbara (USA) and Fernande (Belgium)
We each gave a short presentation on how we came to find out about Dear Jane with snippets on how the blocks came to be named, how friendships have been formed, and how some of us gained new-found independence and strength to travel half-way across the world to go to Shipshewana - for us all the common theme was how the Dear Jane Quilt had crossed boundaries and enabled the firm foundation for wonderful friendships to form both through the Dear Jane list and at Shipshewana.

Our reception from the audience was wonderful and for the remainder of the show, attendees stopped to thank us for a wonderful presentation... In our own way we added to the continuing story of Jane Blakeney Stickle's quilt.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

I am back...


It is has been more than 7 months since I last wrote anything on my blog. So much has happened during this time with trips across to the USA and France, and of course work/life continues apace, although sadly, not much stitching has happened during this time and I have very little to show other than what I have completed within the last two weeks, but more on that later. 

Whilst I have been found wanting on writing up my trips and life in general I have not slackened with my photography, so I intend to make a few posts during the next few days/weeks before I forget what the photographs are all about!

So here goes...


I attended Pour l'Amour du Fil in Nantes, France. My friend Theresa from Indianapolis and her daughter Julie came over on a flying visit and it was fun to go around the show together although unfortunately I had a couple of health issues which were no fun what so ever!

There were more merchants than last year and during the show we learnt that next years the venue will be moving to a new exhibition centre, still in Nantes, but a little out of the city. Not too far I hope as some advantages to its present site is that it's within walking distance of the train station with good transport links around the city and hotels for every budget and the main shopping centre are also easily accessible.

Outside the exhibition centre we were greeted to wonderful knitted "socks" for the street furniture - even the tree was dressed for the occasion!

Knitted "socks" for the bollards

How much fun and colour would these be to our street environments if they were to become permanent sights?

One of the main reasons for attending the show this year was for a special exhibition of Dear Jane quilts from around the world to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the making of the " mother" quilt by Jane Stickle of Bennington, Vermont, USA. Brenda Papadakis who drafted the blocks and authored the book Dear Jane was coming over from Texas and it had been rumoured that the "mother" quilt, would be on show. 

Display at the entrance
Close up of the Dear Jane anniversary cake
The anniversary cake is made of triangles and blocks from the Dear Jane quilt and even had flashing candles.

Unfortunately, the quilt is in a fragile state and could not leave the USA and poor Brenda at the last moment was prevented from flying over for health reasons, but we made up for all of this and had a wonderful celebration - more on that in another post. But in the best Dear Jane/Shipshewana tradition - we ate and we shopped!

First we ate...

Tatiana (Russia), Fernande (Belgium), Caroline (Belgium), Me (UK), Brenda (USA), Theresa (USA) and Julie (Australia)

Caroline who had been instrumental in persuading the exhibition organisers to celebrate Dear Jane organised tickets to join the other exhibitors for an evening buffet, so here we are toasting the start of the show - although I look somewhat merry, but I can promise you this was my first and only glass of wine!

Caroline also very kindly organised a meal for all the "known" Dear Janers attending the show at La Cigale (the Cicada), a world renowned restaurant specialising in fish.

We were certainly in opulent surroundings...

Inside La Cigale
and then I shopped...
These took my eye and I'll just add them to my stash

These are for a couple of projects including the Beyond the Cherry Trees Quilt

Of course, I had to have these from Den Haan and Wagenmakers including fabrics from their new non-glazed chintz collection

Apparently this fabric is from the 1940's - I am not totally convinced and was disappointed later in daylight to find that the background was a butter yellow, rather than the off-white I thought it was. I plan to use it for broderie perse - note the extraordinary centre motif of a swan emerging from a flower!

Hmmm... not sure how I will use these, but I'll add them to my box of "muddy" fabrics

Carrier bags with Dear Jane quilt and the centre panel of Di Ford's Phebe quilt. More about this in a later entry.
and finally... two new books from Di Ford and An Moonen and Petra Prins - again more about these in a later entry.

More on Nantes 2013 in my next entry.

Beyond the Cherry Trees Quilt
Would you believe that it has been just over 8 months since I last picked up these blocks? I have finally finished two more blocks and I am working on a further two blocks.

I am very pleased with this block and very pleased that I have finally finished it - all those fingers and oak leaves... There is one more block with similar motifs on it, but not quite as many!

This block I am not nearly as happy with. I need to reshape the foot of the bowl and straighten it out, but the fabric itself is I think all wrong. I love the fabric itself, just not on this block, but it will stay until I have finished all the block (7 more to go) and then I'll make some decisions as to whether I replace the bowl or not.

That's it for now... I'll write another entry at the weekend.