When my husband had the chance to work again in Geneva, France and we found out the European Patchwork Meeting was the same weekend, we made plans to drive up to France to attend. I have several posts about this, so it will be a bit comprehensive, as it was an experience that was unique in many ways, but familiar as well. The bits of a quilt show (as we call it in the United States) are a big convention center, filled one-half with the quilt show and one-half with the vendors. We are used to certain fabrics and know the prices of things and pretty much know how the quilt show part is run, too.
The name of this is the 23rd Carrefour European Patchwork Meeting, and as Sally S., an astute reader pointed out, “The word [Carrefour] means crossroads in French and is a reference to the fact that the show is at the centre of Europe, literally where France, Germany and Switzerland meet, and also I suppose where European quilters meet. It’s also the place where the Amish found themselves figuratively at a crossroads, many of them deciding to follow their leader to a new life in America.” Their website has many of the particulars, and I trolled their Instagram feed for weeks before coming.
How did I find out about this? The lovely Roxanne. Here we are before we headed out one day (I am terrible at selfies). I’d met her last year in the Manor Dept. Store in Geneva, and we’ve corresponded ever since.
The Patchwork Meeting was about 4 hours from Geneva, so my husband and I drove most of the way, breaking our journey in Mulhouse, France, where we stayed overnight. We drove the rest of the way Saturday morning and arrived in St. Marie-aux-Mines about 9:10 a.m. [Roxanne and her husband went separately.] We were so early, we found a great parking place. Above are scenes from the village. It rained off and on that day, which was too bad for the vendors, but we did our part (insofar as my suitcase could accommodate–see next post).
The whole town put out the welcoming carpet, with quilts hanging in shop windows, little pop-up shops in various places, food for sale, and in front of many venues, local & regional shops would bring their items for sale: breads, leather goods, flowers, souvenir items. It’s a very festive feeling!
The Patchwork Meeting is in four separate villages:
Sainte Marie-aux-Mines (main)
These four towns are in the Val d’Argent region (silver mining was the early mainstay industry), which is also where the our American Amish had their beginnings, so there is always an Amish display, apparently, in each show. I’ve been putting up some teasers on Instagram, but wanted to save the quilts for this space, as I can go slower and write more about the exhibit.
My planned posts are (I’m listing them here so I can link them):
European Patchwork Meeting Overview (this post)
Vendors and What I Purchased
European Patchwork Meeting International Contest Winners
Lea Stansal’s Embellishment Embroideries & Mary Koval’s Antique Quilts
Gabriel Paquin: Design and Graphics
Quilt National Contemporary Quilts
Luke Haynes/Ian Berry/Nancy Crow/Mirjam Pet-Jacobs
SAQA: Art Quilt Exhibition
Amish Quilts/ValPatch (quilt guild from this area)
Beauville/Andree Leblanc’s Log Cabin creations/various
I think that about (un)covers it!