European Patchwork Meeting · Quilts · Textiles & Fabric

Gabrielle Paquin: Design and Graphics

Moseying along the main street, we headed to Site #7, the Eligse St-Louis, where I wanted to see the French quilter Gabrielle Paquin.  Previous to this, in my hotel room in Geneva, I had previewed all the exhibits, looking up the artists and deciding which ones interested me.  Paquin was one of them.

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I had seen photos of previous years’ exhibits, and the fact that many of them were in churches.  But it just doesn’t prepare you for the juxtaposition of the sacred and the quilting, the symbols of religious life coupled with the themes and ideas and colors and patterns of the quilts along the sanctuary walls.  It was wonderful.

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She spoke some English, and agreed to pose with me.  Check out her sweater.

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The Round, 2017

In her biography, she writes:

“For several years, I studied drawing and painting in a school of Fine Arts, my first vocation, and since then, I practice painting as an amateur. Simultaneously, I realized traditional patchworks inspired by American models large format of the 18th and 19th centuries.

“This practice evolved towards the contemporary patchwork and the textile art that I have been practicing assiduously for ten years, thanks to a constant inspiration and stimulated by the numerous exhibitions proposed with selection by a jury of artists and curators of museums.”

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Spring, 2016.

You can start to get a sense of the materials that Paquin works in: striped cloth.  In this one, she uses larger pieces that her usual strips, and has appliquéd them down to the background with a satin stitch on her machine.  I like her small monogram in the lower right corner.

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Twilight and Stripes, 2008 (?)
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I didn’t quite catch the name of this one (top, and detail, bottom), but it shows her use of her striped material.  I kept wondering if she cut up old shirts, or old clothing, or haunted fabric shops to find all these variations.

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In/Out, 2017.
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I was impressed with the quilting on this piece, as it gave me great ideas.

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Flight II, 2015.

All the placards were in French, so I’m using Google Translate to write them in English, plus heading over to her website where she has some of these quilts.

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She has found so many ways to use this fabric; I didn’t include all her quilts in this series, but many of them.

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Two Black Sisters, 2016.
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Storm II, 2012.

What a huge impact the simple reversal of value (light-dark) can make!

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Looking towards the back of the church.  She is sitting there at the table with the white tablecloth, waiting for people to come and talk with her.

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R-évolution, 2017.

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The Eye of the Cyclone, 2009.

We call cyclones “hurricanes,” and after this year, can definitely relate to the eye of such a storm.

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This title says something about a spider, and it was pinned up to show the creature responsible for this exotic web.

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Please visit the gallery on her website for more quilts and inspiration.


Note: this series about the European Patchwork Meeting has a main page, with a listing of posts.

10 thoughts on “Gabrielle Paquin: Design and Graphics

  1. Oh my! I specifically remember this particular church! I sat in a pew for quite a while, studying the stained glass windows, and then marveling at the architecture. Those curved staircases at the back going to the choir loft… so beautiful! How I would have loved to attend a worship service there. Gabrielle’s work is interesting, of course. The fabrics she uses have such a primitive feel to them, and yet her designs are bold and graphic. I agree with you that the one quilt offers several ideas for FMQ designs. Thanks for sharing that.

  2. I have been collecting men’s dress shirts for a quilt and her work is so inspiring! As I scroll through your blog, each photo is more amazing than the last. I will check out her website!

  3. Many these designs are just captivating. I love her use of stripes and thought maybe some of the fabrics were from shirting materials. Would be fun to see her stash. While I’m not a fan of butterflies, everything else is just wonderful. Thanks fro sharing work that otherwise I probably wouldn’t know. Very inspiring.

  4. Oh, I’m going to have to start collecting stripes! (Of course I really need fabric.) Love the various effects. The third one looked like a woven rag rug because the stripes looked like the threads (I forget which is warp and weft, but you know the ones…)

  5. Thank you Elizabeth for enlightening us with her lovely talents. The materials surely do look like shirtings; shirtings used in the most imaginative way! I am very curious why they would hold this quilt exhibit in a church? Was there significance in this pairing?

  6. How fun to meet one of your quilting heroes and to see so much of her work! I do love the idea of quilts in churches–so much warmer and more comforting than stained glass windows (although I love them too)!

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