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Showing posts from September, 2012

Amish Quilts in Ste.Marie-Aux-Mines, France

Tucked away in the picturesque Val d'Argent in Alsace France, Ste. Marie-Aux-Mines hosts the annual European Patchwork Meeting. As the name suggests, Ste. Marie-Aux -Mines was established as a mining town, however, it also had a thriving textile industry that was famous worldwide.  And it was in this unpretentious little town, hidden away in the valley of the Vosges Massif, led by Jacob Amman, that the Amish movement was born in 1693. In view of this history, this is the perfect place for a quilt show, which celebrates artistry with fabrics, and in particular, for an exhibition of Amish Quilts. Driving towards Ste. Marie-Aux-Mines in the foothills of the Vosges Massif. A quiet little village church on the outskirts of town. A profusion of  brightly coloured flowers burst out of window boxes, adding colour and charm to these medieval buildings. Throughout the town, a variety of buildings had been transformed into galleries for the week. Walking into town, towards t

Amish Hand Quilting in France with Esther Miller

Esther Miller, was born into an Amish family in the U.S., and now lives in Germany where she has for many years taught the techniques and methods of Amish hand quilting to anyone interested in learning these skills. As a child, she would closely watch as the women of her community worked together on a quilt, and eventually she was rewarded with a needle of her own and encouraged to join the group. Through the years, she has mastered these skills and techniques and now generously shares them with anyone who has a genuine desire to learn. Esther Miller in Ste. Marie-aux-Mines in Alsace France. An example of her own work, Esther brings this intricately and perfectly hand stitched wall quilt to class as inspiration for her students.  Last week, at the "European Meeting of Patchwork" in Ste. Marie-aux-Mines, in Alsace France, , I had the privilege of taking a 2 day workshop with Esther. The Amish quilting method requires a free-standing simple

Backlit Boutis

This traditional floral motif, designed by Francine Born, , is the boutis piece that I started in Francine's classes this past summer. The boutis itself is completed and set into linen, for the table topper that it will become. Now it must still be sandwiched with batting, backed with the blue toile and quilted. Because of the extra suitcase space it will require, I will wait until I get back to Vancouver to do that part. Boutis tabletopper, set into linen, with the blue toile that will be the backing,  in the background. Detail of the boutis. To be considered as authentic boutis, the work must be hand stitched, and when held up against the light, the relief will show translucence and shadow. The seam allowance now still visible around the central design, will disappear once the batting and backing are attached. An excellent book about the quilts of southern France, including much information about boutis, is "Quilts of Provence: The Art and C