WOW, what a great event!!
Glen and I have started a world quilting adventure with four days at the European Patchwork Meeting in the region of Alsace, France. After 32 hours of travel, a train from Zurich to Strasbourg to pick up a rental car and a drive south to the charming village of Ste. Marie-aux-Mines we hit “quilting” pay dirt. I was completely blown away! This is one amazing event as well as being impeccably organised.
The event is staged over 4 small villages in the Val d’Argent valley. The main (and largest) village is Ste. Marie-aux-Mines. This is the home of Amish quilting so there is a long tradition of quilting within the area. This event has been held for 19 years so the shop keepers are in the spirit of the event and most shops have a quilt in the window in addition to the show.
We parked in Ste. Marie-aux-Mines on a rainy day to stand in a line for our tickets. Quilt exhibits are spread out over 21 venues within the villages. Tickets can be purchased at any of the venues. Buses run between the venues so once you park, you don’t have to move your car to another village. And parking was free!
Here are a few of my favourite quilts.
The first venue had both of us very excited about what was to come and it kept getting better. Each venue contains the work of one artist or a compilation of artists from one country. The guest countries this year were Denmark and South Africa.
Swiss quilter Ramona Conconi was our first stop
The artists represented 15 countries from around the world. In each venue where an artist is represented, the artist was available to talk to. I had so much fun speaking with quilt artists from Israel, England, Chile and Germany. Over 1,000 quilts were displayed.
Quilt from the British Exhibition of Shakespearean quilts. This quilt represented the Tempest.
South Africa was one of the guest countries and presented quilts with a theme of Shosholoza (moving forward together). The quilts were generally bright and vibrant, many using traditional patterns or settings presented in a uniquely South African way.
South Africa was one of the guest nations. This quilt is all hand appliquéd.
“An Israeli Expression” focussed on the work by three Israeli quilters. Their quilts were were contemporary style and often included painted or recycled fabrics.
Contribution from the Israeli quilters
I was very impressed with the work of Ingrid Schaub in her retrospective collection of work. Ingrid provided me with a guided tour of her quilts and explained the subtle use of her hand dyed fabrics and the use of texture.
Chilean quilter Ingrid Schaub uses impressive hand dyed fabrics for her quilts
“Imagination” was the theme for the quilts by French textile artist Sophie Furbeyre. Sophie uses the texture of various fabrics, felts and embroidery to create stunning works of art. Imagination indeed!!
Textile art of Sophie Furbeyre
The focus of the show was primarily art quilting though there were exhibits of Amish quilting, antique American quilts and Broderie Perse quilts from the 1830s.
And of course no quilt show is complete without a vendor’s hall.
Look at some of the photos Glen took.
Every Rowan fabric ever printed?
He was taken aback by the “enthusiasm” of the women in this particular area. 150 shops were represented in this hall. It was massive.
Quote: I’ve seen what no man should ever see….
150+ international shops
Very large tents were erected outside the hall for those vendors who didn’t fit inside.
Of course I could not resist adding to my African fabric collection….
Searching for African fabric
If you are interested in quilting, this is a fantastic event to attend. It is a well run event, great atmosphere and location. It has certainly opened my eyes to the possibilities of furthering my quilting.
Quilts exhibited in one of the local Churches
On my third day at the show, I took a class from quilt artist Monika Schiwy from Germany. More about that in my next blog ->> Quilting with plastic bags