Friday, May 28, 2010

Open European Quilt Championships (OEQC)

It is almost the end of our holiday and Bev, Irene and I find ourselves in Amsterdam and scheduled to attend the OEQC on Friday April 30th in nearby Veldhoven. As we approached the venue for the OEQC all 3 of us were a little concerned about how we could possibly spend a full day at the show. From the outside the hotel and conference centre complex looked small and had few signs of activity. Imagine our surprise when, after entering at the main hotel reception, and walking what seemed to be 'miles' of corridors, we found ourselves in a series of alcoves and halls that housed displays of over 300 quilts, multiple workshops and nearly 50 stalls. Attendance was high and over the next 7 hours we spoke to quilters who had travelled from far and wide.

The show was divided into 3 sections: special guest quilters, quilts from 14 different countries who are members of the European Quilter's Associations and finally the competition quilts.

Of the guests, the quilts of Penelope Roger, were the ones that captured my imagination the most. Penelope uses a technique she calls Traboutis, a combination of Boutis and Trapunto to produce beautifully textured quilts. Initially I thought that she used a sewing machine but the quilts are all hand stitched using a tiny backstitch. The Alphabet quilt on the left is about 110cm x 50cm. And just look at the exquisite detail of her work in the turned back corner. Here are a few more pictures of her work - some close-ups from a stunning double wedding-ring quilt

There were many beautiful quilts on display from the various EQAs. While I am not a fan of blue and white, this quilt from Hungary is rather stunning. Apparently the quilt is reflective of Hungarian folk tradition, both in its colour and design.

Once again the workmanship was exquisite as you can see from the close-up photo I took of one of the other quilts from Hungary.
Now to the quilts entered into competition. I took lots of photos but am only going to post a selection from the prize winners that hints at the variety of style among the quilts. The theme of the competition was Rhythm, and each quilt entered had to reflect this.

Best In Show: Nautilus by Hilde van Schaardenburg from the Netherlands
Machine pieced and quilted, size 110cm x 110cm from cottons and silks
Judge's Choice: "Leven op het ritme van de bloemetjes en de bijtjes" (I am not sure of my translation but I think this roughly means 'the story of the birds and the bees')
Ann Pletinckx from Belgium, Machine pieced and quilted in cottons and silks. Size is 120cm x 98cm.

First Prize: Advanced, Malague by Grace Meijer from the UK. Machine pieced, appliqued and quilted. Size 80cm x 73cm.

And finally, 2nd Prize: Advanced. Perpetuo Mobile by Rachel
Covo from Israel. Machine pieced and quilted. Size 101cm x 148cm

So there it is, the final post on the quilt events Bev, Irene and I attended on our travels. But not the final post about the trip. Coming up next, Petra Prins and those wonderful reproduction chintzes from Den Haan & Wagenmakers.

Until next time,

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pour l'Amour du Fil

I had fully intended to write this post last weekend but as they say, the best laid plans of mice and men do often go astray.

After leaving London, Bev, Irene and I headed to France and our first stop in Nantes where we were looking forward to attending Pour l'Amour du Fil. This exhibition is a relative newcomer with this being just the second year it has been held. It covers all things textiles but with a focus on patchwork, embroidery and knitting. Pour l'Amour du Fil is also a little different in that it does not have an associated competition. The quilts and crafts on show are from invited guests. In 2010 these included Sue Spargo, Sarah Fielke and Reiko Kato from the patchwork and quilting world and Françoise Marchadier, Sue Hawkins, Cécile Franconie, Yves Loyer, Christine Demenais and the Association "Broder la Soie" represented the embroiders.

Immediately on entering the main hall your vision was drawn to this absolutely huge quilt that hung over the whole exhibition. I must apologise for not having any information on the quilt. Despite looking I could not find any write-up on it but can only assume it is the work of a group. My best guess on size would be 3m x 5m. Each square is unique and most are appliqued with the setting being pieced.

The fair was very busy and the many booths well patronised.
What did impress me about Pour l'Amour du Fil was how the invited guest's quilts and crafts were displayed. Each exhibition space was dressed as if a room in a house with quilts and embroideries placed around the room.

Unfortunately quite a few of the workshops were cancelled due to the artists, including Sarah Fielke, not being able to travel because of the shut down of air travel in Europe. Drat that volcano! However we did spend time talking with Sue Spargo. She is just delightful and had brought many of her beautiful folk art quilts with her. One trend I noticed walking around the Fair was the amount of wools being used in quilts, something that Sue has really pioneered over the past few years.
In direct contrast to Sue's colourful quilts was the more restrained style of Reiko Kato. Her use of taupes is so typical of many Japanese quilters.
Other than the quilts, what else took my eye? Firstly were the linens available, both for quilters and embroiders. I purchased two pieces of the same print (different colours) from Au Lin d'ACB and have a great pattern for a bag which I think I will use them in.
There were also gorgeous embroideries and tapestries with lots of kits to buy. I was very restrained and did not buy (apart from a very small kit for a pin cushion). If you are interested in tapestry take a look at They have wonderful designs and will also create an original for you if you provide the brief.

And last, but by no means least, were the stunning reproduction dutch chintzs from Den Haan & Wagenmakers on Petra Prims' booth. But more about these in my next post!

Au revoir, mon amis

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pussy cat, pussy cat where have you been?

I have been to London to visit...the V&A Quilts 1700-2010. And to Nantes for Pour l'Amour du Fil and to Veldhoven for the Open European Quilt Championships. Oh it was wonderful! A feast for the eyes and lots of stunning quilts.

Before starting to describe my adventures and the wonders I saw in the V&A I would like to say to my 'almost' fellow travellers from the Quilts Down Under's "Quilts & Flowers" Tour - I am so sad that you missed out on a truly delightful trip. Of the 16 booked for the holiday, 13 were stranded in Australia due to a little volcano in Iceland that decided to erupt and fill the northern hemisphere with volcanic ash that subsequently shut down air traffic. However there were 3 lucky souls (Bev, Irene and myself) who had travelled to London in advance for personal reasons and so the tour was on! All 3 of us became Tour Director as well as Tourist. The next 14 days were to prove to be full of fun and challenges as we arranged and booked alternative transportation to France and connected with our guides and drivers at the various locations on the trip.

I am going to divide the trip into 3 separate posts, the first stop the V&A.

The V&A exhibition was everything I expected and more. Beautiful quilts, and related items such as needle cases, pin cushions and installations that included audio extracts from recorded oral histories of women employed to make quilts by the Women's Institution and Rural Industries Board in the early 20th century.

Sadly, there are no photos to post as photography was not permitted. However I am sure many of you have read Janet's many posts at where she was one of the very lucky ones to attend the press preview and allowed to take photos. I also thoroughly recommend the book that accompanied the exhibition - Quilts 1700-2010: Hidden Histories, Untold Stories. My personal favourite of all of the wonderful exhibits, the 17th century bed hangings made from chintzs and ribbon in an all-over clam shell design. I spent ages looking at each shell, the fabrics used and the quality of the workmanship. The fabrics are still as bright today as when first sewn together; the ribbon used to divide the clam shells into sections retains its vibrant poison green. Just stunning!

The V&A, as ever when holding special exhibitions, produced a raft of products (this time with a quilting theme) for sale in the museum shop. These included a series of limited edition fabrics. Sadly there was not enough room in my suitcase for all of them so I limited my purchase to just a few. Aren't they rather lovely?

After London, it was off to France via the Eurostar to Paris and then a local train to Nantes. Nantes was the location of Pour l'Amour du Fil, an exhibition organised by the Sisterhood's favourite magazine, Quiltmania.

Just a little to tease you about what we saw, a photo of Di's Morrell Quilt on its European holiday. As you can see it was not really a holiday for the quilt, lots of hard work hanging up there for all to see.

Until next time,


Saturday, May 1, 2010

A border for Phebe

Just a quick note to show you my first Phebe border.

It's coming along on schedule - I'm trying to get it ready for our show in October.

You may have noticed that I am starting to add some links on the sidebar. I'm trying to include blogs of people who are working on Phebe so that you can go and check out some alternative versions. If you are working on Phebe and would like to have your blog mentioned, leave me a comment and I can add a link.

I have some photos from the quilt show (AQC) that I will put on me website tomorrow.

Have a lovely weekend