French Quilty Trip

france patchwork show

This past weekend I finally had the chance to attend the European Patchwork meeting in France or Le Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork.  Even though it was my first time here, it  was the 23rd year for the event.  I booked a hotel in Strasbourg and dragged my husband along for the weekend with promises of great French food and some sight-seeing in Strasbourg after.

So the show actually takes place in 4 villages in the Val d’Argent area of the Alsace which was only about an hours drive southwest of Strasbourg.  We concentrated our time in the village of Sainte Marie aux Mines.  There were 9 exhibition sites throughout the lovely little town as well as a huge vendor expo area.  The exhibition sites were churches and other public buildings so, for me, it was a unique way to see the quilts.

france

The only drawback was that parking was hard to find with people streaming in from many different countries to these little towns.  We circled the town and were only able to find parking back at exhibition site #1 which felt like it was about 10 kilometers from the rest of the exhibition sites.  It wasn’t a problem when we got there and headed through town to see all the other exhibition sites but when we were finished and had to walk back to the car it was pouring rain and we were tired.

One of the featured exhibitions at this show were some Amish quilts.  It seems this area in Alsace is where the Amish started out way back in the late 1600’s/early 1700’s (I learn new things all the time).  Of course we know that they were later kicked out and landed in America where they became famous for their quilts (as well as other things).

amish

The Amish quilts were displayed in an old church.

Another interesting exhibit was of Ian Berry’s denim art.  Ian is a British artist who uses denim to create works of art.

patchwork show6

I’m so glad I got to see them up close because I had seen his work in a magazine and thought it was applique since he is often lumped in with quilters.  It’s not applique but layered fabric.  Definitely textile art and more 3D than it comes across in photos.  Really cool stuff.

patchwork show5

patchwork show1

It always seems like the European quilters are into very modern designs and interesting concepts.

patchwork show3patchwork show4

There were lots of interesting “quilts” to look at.

 

patchwork show2

I thought this one was fun.  Traditional blocks on the right give way to something fun and different on the left.

It was a fun weekend in France and I’m so glad I finally made it to the European Patchwork meeting.

 

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Quilt Shows & Inspiration

Des Moines quilt show

I’ve been hitting a lot of quilt shows and quilt guild meetings lately and getting lots of inspiration for new projects.  I dragged my mom to the AQS Des Moines quilt show this past week and had lots of fun.  My mom isn’t a quilter but she tags along with me and seems to enjoy looking at the quilts and talking to all the quilters & sewers.

I took a class while I was there with quilting superstar Angela Walters called “Quilting by Shape”.  Angela Walters quiltI’m trying to learn all I can about long arm quilting so I thought it would be informational and a good way to try out the Gammill quilting machines.  It was fun but made me want to have my own machine all the more.  I looked at all the long arm machines and realized that this decision is harder than I thought.  Anyway, after the class, I wanted to try out some of the techniques (even if it’s just on my home sewing machine) so I ripped out all the quilting on my crazy in America quilt and re-quilted it.  I had had some tension problems when I quilted it before so it really needed to be done again.  Angela talked about using a small scale and same color thread as the background to quilt heavily in the negative spaces so the focal point of the quilt stands out.  I tried to photograph my newly quilted piece but the quilting doesn’t show up well in photographs so I didn’t bother to put it on here.

mini charm packs

Every time we passed the Moda Bake Shop booth we got more of these mini charm packs. They’re little 2 1/2 inch squares.   I’m not sure what to do with these cute little pieces but my mom gave me her pack of “Hope Chest” fabrics and I added it to mine and made this:tiny quilt made from mini charm packs

I would like to get more of this fabric and make a small border.  Then I can go crazy quilting all the ideas I got for square shapes!

A couple weeks ago, I went to the Round Bobbin quilt show in St. Charles and used it as an excuse to see my daughter at college.  I dragged her along and she convinced me to buy this pattern and kit of fabrics.  It’s called “Morley J. Moose III”.  There’s a whole line of these colorful animal quilts designed by Barbara J. Jones and they’re super cute.

Morley the Moose

I thought maybe it was paper pieced. (You know I love to paper piece!)  It’s actually made by applique so I’ll have to make myself do that.  It’s so cute and bright, I think it’ll be fun.  I also got another small quilt pattern and kit so I’ll share that with you on a future post.