Luke Haynes, Ian Berry & Nancy Crow

I hope the combination of the above three piques your interest, for it was an interesting juxtaposition of quilters.  We also had SAQA in the same space, as well as Mirjam Pet-Jacobs, with her pieces on wastefulness.

I kept track of who was where by looking at my charts:

(You can click to enlarge them, but really, they are just my scribbles.)

These artists were all in the Space des Tisserands, a large room that had been subdivided to accommodate all these quilters.  While some of these pictures are tiled in groups, you can click on any individual image to see a larger version.

First up is Ian Berry.  Yes, he’s the blue jeans guy.  He cuts up blue jeans into shapes and tones and colors and contrasting pieces, then re-assembles them via gluing, into recognizable images.  We had a few minutes before the crush of fans wafted in again to visit with him, and found him a lovely conversationalist.  We talked about quilting, what else?

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Then he was called in for a group picture, one of many I saw him do that day. I wish I would have snapped the photo of the group of ladies posing on the blue tiles in front of the washing machines in the laundromat.  I didn’t know you could step into a work of art that way, but no one was stopping them.

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Next up is Luke Haynes (self-portrait, above), who burst onto the scene about three years ago, and remade the quilt world into his world, by utilizing traditional art studio techniques.  This means that he uses assistants to do the work, but they work under his name, and in this way he mounted his Log Cabin show.  At QuiltCon 2016, some quilters weren’t too happy with him, for to them this smacked of the subsuming of “women’s work” into the male creative world.  But Luke is a happy guy (really fun to hear him talk, and I admire his creativity) and he then morphed into this show (of course, this is all MY view of things–he may have a different take), which was called a collaboration of quilters.  Or Quiltllaborations, as his exhibit was called.

Top Row: [Collab #8] Indigo DWR by Luke Haynes and Rachael Dorr (2017)  90″ square
Second Row: [Collab #6] Polka by Luke Haynes and Libs Elliot (2015) 71″ square
Third Row: [Collab #5] Kills It with Fire by Luke Haynes and Libs Elliot (2015) 68″ square
Fourth Row (L): Untitled   It is one of my favorites, so please click on it to enlarge; however, it is not quilted.  Still cool, though.
Fourth Row (R): Another wedding ring, but I didn’t find the title card.  Some of his were nearly on the ground, or around a corner.

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Nancy Crow, who helped co-found the Dairy Barn (in previous post) also had a few quilts  there under her name; I assume they were either colleagues or students.  One of my fantasies in my younger quilting years was to travel to Ohio and take one of her two-week classes.  I have just about every  book of hers, and screwed up my nerve to read her class supply list.  I was completely intimidated and decided that wasn’t the direction I’d be going.  But still, she is one of my Quilting Fairy Godmothers, although she probably wouldn’t like me calling her that.  (She is a serious quilter–she has a quilting studio with multiple GIANT design walls, scads of tables holding yards and yards of fabric).  Serious.

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Sea Ice–Cook Inlet, by Bonne M. Bucknam (USA)  79″ long

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Conflict No. 7 by Judy Kirpich (USA)  76″ square  If you’ll remember, she had a quilt in the Quilt National exhibit titled Conflict No. 5 Mugging.  I know that Crow encourages those she teaches to work in a series.  If this is two quilts away from No. 5, Kirpich seems like the anguish has eased (if you can read that into a quilt)

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Thirty-four? by Helen McBride Richter (USA) 75″ wide 70″ long  Did I mention that the name of this exhibit was Mastery: Sustaining Momentum?

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Colleen Kole’s Time Fragments #11 In the Distance (USA 2015)  82″ wide 83″ long  Detail is below, that shows the really interesting quilting.

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US – THEM, by Mirjam Pet-Jacobs

Okay, I didn’t love this exhibit of Mirjam Pet-Jacobs, with her pieces on wastefulness, but that could have been just my mindset, or how things struck me that day, for she is a talented textile artist with many exhibits on many different topics (please visit her website to see the range of her artistry). Her exhibit was called “What a Waste!”  The above (on the floor in the middle of the gallery) is the waste that came out of a creative quilt studio.  [Update: She wrote to me to explain that this was a three-years accumulation, which made it feel more real, for after three years, perhaps my waste stream would be the same?]  Perhaps I don’t like to be reminded that there is lots of waste in quilting, and how many of us donate doggie beds full of scraps to our local humane shelter?  My hand isn’t up.  I try to recycle my scraps, using them, sharing them.  But I do know that our textile has long been known for waste–just type in “waste in the textile industry” and see the listings.  We try to ignore all that.  Maybe the way it was presented to me just didn’t make my heart leap?  Or maybe I don’t want to know about this?  Does our cycle of quilt fabric collections — almost too many to keep track of — contribute to this waste?

You can see that it caused me to think.  Also in this building were the quilts from SAQA–Studio Art Quilt Association.  They never let us photograph their quilts in stateside shows, so I felt positively delirious to be able to take photos of these quilts.  That’s in the next post about the European Patchwork Meeting.  I have created a main page, with a listing of posts.

 

Quilt National 15: the best of collection “Contemporary Quilts B”

Google France

There!  Now do you feel like you are in France?  (This is what I saw every morning.)

I am recapping, in a series of posts, my experience in visiting the Carrefours European Patchwork Meeting, in the Alsace region of France this past September.  In case you came at this topic sideways (which is usually how the internet works), I have created a master post, with links to the exhibits.

After visiting the vendors, and Gabrielle Paquin, the next quilt exhibit we went to was the best of the Contemporary Quilts B collection from Quilt National.  They have several groupings of quilts that travel, and since their European partner is this show, we were lucky to see some of these quilts.

dairybarn_frontofbarn_headerIf you don’t know about Quilt National, whose headquarters are in a former dairy barn in Athens, Ohio (above), you might want to read more about them.  Suffice it to say that their quilts are more artistic, less traditional and always intensively creative.

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The exhibit was in this site, with its half-timbered walls.  Inside it was very modern.

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36″ high by 40″ wide

Jayne Gaskins’ Memories (USA, 2014) paid homage to a street scene from somewhere in the Andes in South America (I assume), and was heavily thread-painted.  Detail is below, where you can see the dimensionality of this piece.

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Skylight by Elizabeth Busch, USA, 2014.  Those spatters looked like dye discharge, and I wondered how she did it. It may have also been a batik-like process where she dyed it, then blocked it with a wax resist, then over-dyed it.  As this exhibit had no title cards, there was little information to go on.

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This piece was quite large; I assume each panel to be about 20″ wide and 40″ long (couldn’t read the dimensions when I got home). It’s titled Entropy, by Kathleen Loomis (USA 2014).  I loved her use of striped fabric, not only to subdivide the sections of fabric, but she also used them like Gabrielle Paquin did, as a way to get texture and design into a flat area but without using floral or other motifs in the fabric.  Detail, below.

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62″ x 39″

Pam RuBert is a favorite of mine, and this is her quilt London–Wish You Were Hair (USA 2014).  (You can find another one of hers elsewhere on this blog.)

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35″ long 22″ wide

Rough-edged and exquisitely hand-quilted, Kate Gorman’s A Keeper of Secrets and Parakeets was a quiet, subtle masterpiece.

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42″ high 60″ wide

Amaryllis Set, by Jill Ault (USA 2014) appears to be multiples of the same photograph, printed on a fine fabric, then cut as to reveal different colors and shading. Detail, below.

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34″ square

Okay–is this a quilt?  Straps with paint and grommets on a tinker-toy-steel-rod grid?  Diane Nunez’ Cross Section (USA 2014) certainly makes me wonder.

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37″ x 57″

Roofs of Mumbai, by Jean Renli Jurgenson (USA 2014) was interesting because of the materials used: some stiffened, quilted fabric and some was non-woven, almost paper-like. Details, below.

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I’m not usually drawn to the deep, dark, moody quilts, but her construction and the material she used was compelling. (See detail below for the small knots she used for keeping the layers together).  Judy Langille’s Nocturnus IV (USA 2014) is about 35″ high by 47″ wide.

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44″ square

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Maria Shell’s To Agnes Martin with Color (USA 2014).  Now I know what to do with all my scraps of solids.  Again, I put my hand up for scale.  Those crosses are tiny!

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55″ long 25″ wide

This has got to be one of our favorites.  Janet Windsor’s Crumbling (JP 2014) looks like  stream bed with multi-colored stones.  It looked, upon closer inspection, that they were wrapped fabrics around puffiness with a cardboard backing?  Some stones looked like they’d had some color applied, but that could have just been the fabric.  Talk about a quilt that you want to touch–this was it.

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47″ by 33″

Morning Walk, by Joan Sowada (USA 2014).  I left it uncropped so you could glimpse the exhibit’s layout on either side.

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64″ by 61″

Conflict No. 5 Mugging, by Judy Kirpich (USA 2014) made me wonder if she was had been the victim of a violent crime, with its shards of red and ominous, oppressive sky.  The quilting (below) was outstanding, expressive.

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39″ by 40″

Cecile Trentini’s C5–Red Circonvolutions was Picasso-esqe in its design, the quilting providing all the texture and interest.

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Central Park West Winter VII by Linda Levin (USA 2013?)  This was large (can’t read the dimensions) but mostly it looked like a very cold and blustery day, writ in fabric.

 

A Study in Opposities: Lea Stansal and Mary Koval

I am posting my experiences at the recent European Patchwork Meeting, held in a series of four small towns in the Alsace region of France.  The town of Saint Marie-aux-Mines, the main venue, had many places to find quilts:

Ste MarieauxMines Map

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The poster above links to the numbers in the map.  Once we left the L’Espace Commercial, we walked across the street to the Theater, where two sets of quilts curated by two different women provided a study in contrasts.

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One set of quilts, by collector Mary Koval, was exhibited on the ground floor of a beautifully restored old theater, which you can just see from around the edges of some of my photos.  This set of quilts were all American antique quilts.

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The other woman (from France) is Lea Stansal, who mounted a one-woman exhibit titled La Broderie d’embellissement, which can be roughly translated to The Embroidery of Embellishment.  Her biographical statement from her blog (which I used Google Translate to read) says:

Trained at Met Penningen’s Higher School of Decorative Arts and Interior Architecture. After twenty years in the world of fashion as a textile designer, Léa Stansal decides to explore and deepen more traditional aspects such as patchwork and embroidery.

“Since then, with a thread and a needle, she has created a poetic and original work, which is widely exhibited in the world and has given rise to the publication of half a dozen books of art.”

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Is this the artist? I don’t know, but I did love the quilt behind her head.

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Detail.

None of these are titled, and it flattens them out to put them on this digital medium; I wish you could have seen them in person.  They were wild and embroidered and free and filled with a happiness of creativity.  I think if I could spend 10 minutes in her studio, I’d break all those Rules of Quilting that I carry around inside me.

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Detail from the upper panel, above

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Detail.

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Detail.

I kept thinking about how the Pied Piper had charmed all the little tin soldiers.  Was this a statement about war?  About peace?  I’ll never know, but I’m still thinking about it.

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Detail from above.  The layers!  The collage!  The broderie perse!  I kept sighing.

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I love how the deer and its antlers are in this piece, but not in the static, overused version we see in America.  Shall we turn some quilts on their heads?

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My husband, who loves symmetry in all its forms kept sighing, too, as he admitted that this just wasn’t his type of quilting.  Mine, neither, but I kept admiring that freedom to create, a freedom that was a delicious anarchy of cloth and threads.

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We headed downstairs to Mary Koval’s antique quilts, in an exhibit titled “Piece by piece, our life with quilts.”

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I had carefully included the identifying titles in my photos, but back home, found I couldn’t read them most of them.  The quilts range from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.

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Pickle Dish quilt, from the 1920s.EPM Koval_2aEPM Koval_3

I liked the juxtaposition of these two–the orange-clad guard and the riotous early-American quilt.

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I liked the embroidery detail on this little Uncle Sam. a quilt from the 1920s.

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One of my favorites of the antiques because of its exuberance.  The name “Rev. and Mrs. (?) S. Harvey” is on the first line, with “Park Methodist Episcopal Church” on the second.  “Circle No. 5 1937” on the third line.

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Made from silks.

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Detail.

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We weren’t allowed to touch the quilts (of course!) so I held my hand up to show how tiny those triangles are.  This quilt is from Berks County, Pennsylvania, but I don’t have a date.

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I’m sure all these quilts are from their new book.  Info can be found on their website.EPM TheaterMeal_3

Now we were hungry, so we found this little “cafe” in the back of the theater, with fabulously dressed servers.

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Although the flowers were pretty tired, I loved the attempt at patchwork on the vase, with bits of cloth glued to the glass.

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And this, folks, was the traditional Alsace salad with bretzel (with a “b”).  My husband ordered this, but I went mainstream with the ham sandwich (below).  They were doing an active business, so we hurried and ate and went back out hunting quilts.

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

Quilt Show Contest • or • Concours International du Carrefour Européen du Patchwork 2017

How’s that for a title?  This post is all about the official competition of the Patchwork Meeting, and I have a sampling of the quilts in the contest.  I purchased the Catalogue from the organizers and it was interesting that it is printed in three languages: French, German and English (yippee!).  The contest theme this year was “Journey to the End of the World” and all the quilts were to be 35″ wide by 47″ inches tall.  This was the first indication that it would be a different type of competition than I had been used to seeing in the States.

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Car in main parking lot

I realized quickly that this would represent all different nationalities, cultures, countries, skill levels (generally really high) and all types of construction.  I chose to notice not only their interpretation of the theme, but also the how and the why they chose to use the materials and techniques they did, always hoping to learn something new.  These quilts are in no particular order.  You can note the winners by the small rosettes in the lower right corner.

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Tatiana Varshavskaya’s In the Beginning.  She is from Hungary.
Her artist’s statement wrote from the perspective on a three-year old, with “continents to conquer, horizons to overcome.  Free, without anchors or restraints, you venture forever in the infinity of childhood’s imagination.”  She finishes by writing “You are three years old, and sail to the unknown with a paper boat.”

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Small Boat, Small Trip, by Sandra Van Velzen of The Netherlands.  She writes “Not so long ago the length of your trip depended on the size of your means of transport.  Nowadays planes and the internet seem to make the world smaller and the trip longer.”

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Gabriele Yoeller, from Germany, created Finistere evoking “France, Bretange…where the sun goes down and the land ends.  Even the Romans called this land: ‘Finis terrae.’ Before you: only water.  Is there something else?  New worlds…or a monster?”

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A quilter from Spain, Eva Arrelano Martin created Into the Deep, an “homage to the effort of thousands of workers who spent and sometimes lost their lives in the their trip into the [great cavity] of the world.”

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Two Americans, Jim Smith & Andy Brunhammer made “June 19th,” celebrating Andy’s birthday  Their artists’ statement notes that “We are both long-term HIV-survivors, and our end of the world has always been just around the corner.  We chose Kaieteur Falls in Guyana [where Jim’s father grew up] as the background. . . Our arm is reaching out with the cascading red ribbon symbolizing the flow or our blood.  The clusters of pills are our life-force.”

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Esodo, by Angela Minaudo of Italy says that “The work represents the journey of those who run from the land in search of a better life, towards other lands, other worlds, towards the end of their world and often toward the end of their lives.”  Esodo means “exodus.”

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A Japanese quilter, Chiaki Yagishita, made Japon.  Her statement read “I think ‘creation’ and ‘infinity’ equals ‘silence.’  There is ‘silence’ in Japan and it is beautiful. This work expresses ‘Japanese blue’ [or] ‘the silent world.’ ”

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Anneliese Jaros, from Austria made 101 Views of Vesuvius (my translation of her title).  She wrote that she loves the Gulf of Naples, and Mt. Vesuvius.  “The eruptions of the volcano in the course of history have been the end of the world to many…Parts of the letters [by Pliny the Younger] describing the eruptions are printed in Latin on cotton, which are then overlaid by my own photos of contemporary views of the mountain.”  I tried to capture the detail of the overlay, below.

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Au pays des atomes translates to “In the Country of Atoms,” and is a quilt by French quilter Françoise Buzzi-Morel.  She write that atoms “are able to reach the end of the world…beyond any human limits.  And in one precise order, they geometrically follow parallels, cubes, circles and lines.”

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Another French quilter, Eriko Krzyzaniak, made Emmenez-moi au pays des merveilles, or “Take me to Wonderland.”  The colors of blue and gold were inspired by the icon of the Virgen Rynecka in the Church of Our Lady in Prague.  “The drawing,” she writes, “was inspired but the poetry “The Little Flute Player,” by G. Brassens.  It was the starting point of my ‘Wonderland.’ ”
I snapped two more photos showing the detail of her work (below).

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Rita Dijkstra, from The Netherlands, did a rendition of Mount Fitz Roy (her title).  She describes it for us: “The road on the quilt leads to Mount Fitz Roy on the border of Argentina and Chile (Patagonia)….For me Patagonia stands for the end of the world.  The only way you can travel more south from this point, is by taking a boat to the South Pole.”

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No return was made by Anne Lillhom, from The Netherlands.  She writes “From birth to death, we go through different stages.  We have good and less good things happening in life, days with more colors and days with less colors.  We have periods in life where life goes up and days where it goes down…Nobody knows what the life journey will bring us, the only that is for sure is….there is NO RETURN.  We simply have to follow the path.”

Details, below.

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Michèle Samter of Switzerland made Excitement of a big city, her tribute to Singapore.  She writes that “The vibrating performance of all the lights in different colors from high-rise buildings and traffic all night long evokes [a] feeling [of having been to the end of the world]….The contrast between my home in Switzerland and this other city, which never seems to sleep, had a great impact on me.”

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Incredible Voyage to the End of the World is by Dalia Eliraz, who is from Israel.  She writes: “The Arctic tern’s [long] trip from Arctic to Antarctic and back is the furthest animal migration.  Over 30 years, it will travel the equivalent of 3 roundtrips from Earth to Moon.  My quilt is inspired by this super-migration bird, as a metaphor of human behavior [when] motivated by determination to achieve a life goal or purpose….whether it is love, academic ambition, artistic aspirations or nesting…”

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Dreamland, by Elly Van Steebeek (from the Netherlands)
She writes: “There is a place, [far] from home with a beautiful blue sky, singing birds, flowing rivers and dark rocks. And after a spectacular sunset there is total darkness, only a whispering wind and the sound of the busy.  This is the land of my dreams!”

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This is Edith Leidi, from Italy, and I was so excited to meet her, I forgot to take a photo of the complete quilt.  The title is Stargate. What’s next?  and I loved what she wrote: “My idea was born in the swimming pool.  I was watching my husband’s hand diving in the water, so I created my stargate.  The hand passes through it while the body remains on the other side.  There is another hand in the universe, that is going to meet the first one.  But…from where does it come?”
Detail, below.

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Gabrielle Paquin from France (who also had her own exhibit at the Patchwork Meeting) created Voyage en orbite.  She says “The Earth [has] become too little for its population.  It is necessary to find some exits in Space….we must in a future time go away for a journey…tempory of definitively.”

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This quilt was on the front of their brochure for the Meeting, so we saw it everywhere.  Chang Misun, of South Korea, created Pieces of memories.  She says: “I think my way of life is like an endless trip.  Pieces of past life and future life come together…[some] especially clear and some others are dim.  Pieces of all memories were expressed in the works.”

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Maryte Collard, of Lithuania, made Song of the Linen.  Writing about returning to Lithuania, she notes that it “always feels like the trip backwards in time” due to the ancient language and that is was the “last European country to accept Christianity.”  Because of this “traces of ancient customs still remain in daily life….Flax has been a traditional Lithuanian fiber for several thousand years.  It has a special place in my heart and it sings to me the song about the trip to the end of the world.”
Detail, below.

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Catalogue of Patchwork Meeting 2017

taken from *here*

Watch me breeze through the complete catalogue, which I couldn’t figure out how to upload, which shows a few more quilts.  Below is a photo of the giant poster, showing all our venues.  The one above was above the L’Espace Commercial.

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It was raining that day, but none of our wet umbrellas were allowed in the exhibits.  Since I’d lost one already to an umbrella stand, I wasn’t anxious to repeat the experience, so I whipped out my souvenir Patchwork Bag, and we stuffed the umbrellas in there as we walked around.  Everyone was happy.

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More posts coming. The original post, with links, is found *here.*

European Patchwork Meeting • September 2017

European Patchwork Meeting Banner

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.

Roxanne and ESE

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!

Europatchwork Sites

from here

The Patchwork Meeting is in four separate villages:
Sainte Marie-aux-Mines (main)
Sainte Croix-aux-Mines
Liepvre
Rombach-Le-Franc

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 Canada: Art Quilt Exhibition
Final Post: Amish Quilts, ValPatch (quilt guild from this area), Beauville, Andree Leblanc’s Log Cabin creations/various, Patchwork Guilde–Germany/various

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Woman in traditional Alsace costume

I think that about (un)covers it!

 

Road to California Quilt Show, 2017

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The Road to California Quilt Show was held this past weekend, and I think it was my 22nd year of going…or something like that.  The highlights for the first day are found on my Instagram Account ( as well as some found in #roadtocalifornia2017), but here are quilts that I didn’t post up.  road2ca_unknown2

This was the gallery for the Art Abstract quilts, and yes.  They were abstract.  Sometimes it’s helpful just to see how they are laid out.
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I liked the collage effect of this one by Jean Impey, titled Ernestine Benito.  It was started in a class with Susan Carlson, using “Susan’s collage techniques as well as some ‘reckless and raw edge’ appliqué and India Inks.”road2ca2017_jeanimpey

Jean Impey also made Dance in the Wind, started in a class with another teacher who “taught me how to look at something and abstract it, to see things in different colors.”road2ca2017_hahn

Birth of a Storm is by Betty Hahn, who used the “color and movement of the Doppler radar forecasts of tropical storms” as her inspiration.road2ca2017_beach

Orange You Glad I Got the Blues? is by Mel Beach, representing the “influence of improvisation within Jazz music.road2ca2017_blairknight

The tape keeping people out was placed too far out this year, so the only way I could photograph these horses was side-by-side.  The one on the left is White Knight, by Patt Blair.  The one on the right is Wendy Knight’s Here’s Looking’ at You.  I was mesmerized by her quilting, shown in the next images.
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Cynthia England’s Reflections of Cape Town took a year to make and has about 8400 individual pattern pieces in it.  Detail of this is below.road2ca2017_england_2 road2ca2017_bianchi_1

This small quilt, probably 14″ by 18″ is loaded with buttons.  Beacon, by Susan Bianchi, represents her “impression of an antique lighthouse lens and prism.”road2ca2017_bianchi_2 road2ca2017_kona-yellow_1

Kona Fabrics had a series of small quilts (around 16″ square) using that bright lemony yellow from last year (above and below).  There was also a wonderful exhibit by Cherrywood Fabrics of Lion King, but I could never get a good shot at it as people were always looking at them all closely.road2ca2017_kona-yellow_2 sarahannsmith

Peony, by Sarah Ann Smith, is a stunning blossom interpreted in fabric.

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But I couldn’t help constrasting it with the bluesy-purpled Blue Anemone, by Andrea Brokenshire, admiring its use of periwinkle, turquoise and other colors, and that exquisite quilting.

Overall impressions (including these and the images on Instagram): thankfully the use of sparkly bling has fallen to new lows, with the few quilts that did add crystals keeping them to appropriate usage.  Margaret Solomon Gunn’s quilts (here and here) are always exquisite, and I realize that I’m never going to measure up to her long-arm quilting skills.  In fact, I heard the moans of “I’m not good enough” over and over.  Aside from the usual don’t-compare-yourself-to-others cliches that I could offer, I say the only good remedy for that one is to go home and make a one-patch quilt and have something to show for your time, and that will allow you to realize that every quilt has a beauty all its own.  We have quilt shows to admire the best of the best, and the others and to use them to inspire us.

I was very happy to see my friend Simone’s quilts hanging in the show (here and here), as well as other people I know.  Those friendships are what tie us all together in our quilting community.

I didn’t choose a “Most Ugly” quilt this year, although there were several that might have qualified.  And I’ve decided to change that award to “Didn’t Live Up To Its Promise” so as not to offend.

I took two classes; one was awesome and the other — even though the teacher was so nice and knew her stuff–not worth it.  Why?  Because they sent a long-armer to do teaching about quilting on a domestic machine.  And because they made us use machines that were difficult to use, and we spent a ton of time re-threading them, fighting their built-in stitch regulators and waiting for the tech to come.  And because when we showed up, these complicated machines were not threaded or ready for sewing, so we spent nearly 90 minutes of class time getting them up to snuff.

One last gripe: the practice of teachers charging us Beaucoup Bucks for our “kits” of materials that we have at home, for supplies that we already own, and for threads that we don’t care to try.  Unless it’s some specialty item that we wouldn’t think to buy, I’d prefer a teacher include a detailed supply list for us to bring.  Yes, we will buy the teacher’s stuff in class if we forget ours, or hunt for it down on the vendor floor, but I now have another blue marking pen, two spools of thread that I probably won’t use again (I’m a Superior Thread fan) and a 18″ by 44″ marked quilt sandwich.  Those three things cost me $45 (!).

I like having such a high-quality show so close to me, and I enjoy seeing my “yearly” friends.  I heard lots of gripes about no printed showbooks, the cheezy Road to California bag, and no lanyard-style name tag holders (and no, I’m not buying their blue Road badge holder), but I think we were all happy to be there.

Until next year, Road!