I don't know if I told you we are sponsoring one of the biggest Quilt Shows in France: POUR L'AMOUR DU FIL. I love it and it would be a pleasure if I could travel there! But, I can't........ Agrhh!!
I knew of this show from my friend Carol Veillon, many months ago. She is the owner and editor in chief of the (I think) most prestigious quilt magazine in Europe, Quiltmania. She is one of the organizers of the show. We were working with some of my quilts to be featured in her publication and she told me if I would be interested to become a sponsor for this show. Absolutely, I said! What an opportunity, I thought... Why not show our american talent overseas? She is a great woman, and she's putting tons of love and effort for this show to be different and a success.
I thought that for many of you that are not familiarized with the nuts and bolts of quilting in Europe, it would be a great chance to know a little bit better.... and I decided to send her a couple of questions in an interview format. She gladly answered; I want to thank her very much her time and dedication.
Hi Carol, how are you dealing with the big task of being one of the organizers of this great show?
I am very thrilled and stressed, but happy because we are overcrowded with phone calls for reservations, so I think it will be great.
How the concept for this show was born?
I love quilts and needlework and I have the opportunity to travel worldwide to see beautiful work. I wanted to put everything together to the public in a different atmosphere and display here in Europe than in other existing shows .
How many years has this show been held?
This is the first edition and we are really thrilled!!
How different is the approach at quilting and needlework in France from US?
Speed. A quilt has to be done in a weekend; "showy" adding crystals to sparkle, brighter colors, machine quilting more developed; It looks a little bit caricatured for American actual quilts that we see on shows. Because beside these there are also beautiful traditional, contemporary, really good quilts too. These are the most significant differences between French and American Quits, and you have the fabrics!!! Beautiful new collections within almost all the fabric companies.
Tell me a little bit about the Exhibitions...
We are building 6 "houses":
THE TRADITIONAL HOUSE, filled with antique and reproduction quilts, needlework like antique lace, costumes, embroidery displayed among furniture and objects like in a real home with bedroom dining room, etc.;
THE FOLK ART HOUSE, where Barb Adams and Alma Allen will be working among their needlework and quilts, with recycled pieces like "ogre shirts" and old aprons from Maryvonne Deville Guyot;
THE KAFFE FASSET HOUSE, with Kaffe and Brandon in "live" who will work in their lovely studio (they will bring a lot of furniture of their London house to Nantes, where the show will be!);
THE LEA STANSAL'S HOUSE, a very talented French artist who is very good at everything: ribbon embroidery, quilts, knitting, crochet, she is so fancy and fabulous and her home looks like a fairy tale décor;
THE CONTEMPORARY HOUSE, filled with the new generation of fabric designers: ART GALLERY FABRICS Patricia Bravo and Amy Butler from America, Echino from Japan, who all brought quilts, bags, outfits that we recovered especially for the show; sofas, armchairs, and coaches with their fabrics that will be displayed in this house;
THE JAPANESE HOUSE, filled with antique and contemporary pieces from Japan: Yoko Saito, Shizuko Kuroha, Suzuko Koseki and Reiko Kato displayed in a very Japanese atmosphere. Quilters and embroiderers re known or not will work in every house to show to the public how they do.
Our goal is to give envy to the public to rush upstairs to the vendors booths to buy fabric, needles and threads to do something and not like in some other exhibits to show work that nobody else will be able or want to reproduce too far from the reality; it's not our purpose, we want people to have fun, to enjoy and say to themselves: "well, I saw a demo, it seems easy, I want to make it!"... They will also enjoy beautiful pieces exhibited and they will be able to photograph everything!!!
Exhibition: Patricia Bravo's fabrics
Who are the artists that will teach and give lectures at the show?
Karen Witt, Barb Adams, and Alma Allen, Reiko Kato, Cecile Franconie, Léa Stansal, but also Boutis, Japanese Embroidery, French Tapestry, and a lot of little workshops too that you can see on the website.
How many vendors will the show have?
Tell me about your magazine QUILTMANIA -- a true success in US, and what is the support and role that will have for this show...
I started the magazine in French language in 1997 and it was immediately a good success in France and in Europe (I translated in Dutch); then in 2001 in English version for America and the rest of the world. It's growing very well in America and we have now thousands of "Quiltmaniacs:!! A different favor, a little bit of everywhere maybe makes the difference... I am associated for the show with a partner specialized in shows because I have no competence in heavy logistics for the booths etc., but I have: all the exhibit part, workshops, artists and communications. The exhibition hall will be as big as the vendors floor, so there will be a lot to see and experiment!
Tell readers when will the show take place in case they want to travel to your beautiful country...
How do you see the state of sewing and quilting crafts in Europe right now and what do you forecast for the future?
We have to work on that point and make it grow bigger with more quality shows, more teachers, and we are working on that with "Pour L'Amour fu Fil"!!!
Thank you Carol!
I guess if "the fundamentals of your economy are sound", why not take a week for you with a nice trip enjoying good wine, food, shopping and quilts, quilts, and more quilts?? Don't forget your camera and enough batteries to take million pictures!! For the ones that are traveling there, have fun!!!!!!!!!
Send me your comments: how would you organize that week for the trip to Nantes, France and what would you like to see there? At the show, what kind of special french crafts would you like to see?
Handmade rocks...... so let's keep on stitching