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Posts Tagged ‘Catherine Bonte’

Le Projet Fou or "Crazy Project"

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

Bohin France, you cover it with a gigantic handmade quilt of course!!!Giant Quilt from France Patchwork7 Bohin, France’s last needle maker, has been a popular vendor at Road to California the past few years. President Didier Vrac and Marketing Manager, Jerome Doussard, have become familiar faces to Road’s guests who never tire asking these two gentlemen questions about their needles and scissors, just to hear their French accents. At the Bohin Factory in Normandy, France, they recently opened a beautiful museum. While the museum is “amazing,” the entrance outside was just a “very big white wall,” noted Catherine Bonte, president of the French quilt guild, Association French Patchwork, an organization with over 12,000 members!! Catherine was very close to the museum project for several years and let it be known that she was not very fond of the huge blank entrance. So, Didier told Catherine to do something to improve it.Giant Quilt from France Patchwork6 Catherine invited all the members of France Patchwork to work on a “nice block with curves,” using the colors of their guild’s logo—white, black and beige — and the color red for Bohin. At the guild’s office in Paris, near the Eifeel Tower, more than 3,500 blocks were sent in!! A team from the guild assembled the blocks to cover the wall. In fact, they could have covered 6 walls with all the blocks they received!!Giant Quilt from France Patchwork3 In addition to the quilt blocks, the group also  pieced together a portrait of Benjamin Bohin and put it in the center of the giant quilt. Benjamin is the founder of the Bohin factory and they wanted to honor him that way. “Le Projet Fou” was turned over to Didier Vrac on May 21, 2016 and work began immediately to get the quilt up on the wall. People have come from all over France to see it.Giant Quilt from France Patchwork Catherine and her guild know that the giant quilt will not be there on the factory wall forever. But for the time being, all of the visitors to the museum have “completely” fallen in love with it.Giant Quilt from France Patchwork2]]>

Meet Catherine Bonte: President of French Patchwork

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Not only does Road to California represent the best of American quilting, it also connects with an international audience. France to be exact. Catherine Bonte, president of France Patchwork, the largest member organization of the European Quilt Association, came to Road last January to experience the show and even took a class!France Patchwork

Catherine began quilting in 1992 when her husband took a job in northern France. They had been living in southern France and she was looking for a way to meet people in her new home. She heard about a local quilt class being started and decided to join it. It ended up being a great way to meet new friends.Catherine Bonte

Catherine said that quilting is a popular hobby in France. French quilters tend to sew more by hand, even if they own the latest sewing machines. They are always interested in learning the newest techniques and are fond of taking classes. While many French quilters travel to the United States to purchase new products and fabrics, they also like to support French industry merchants like Bohin, the last needle maker in Europe. (Bohin was a vendor at this year’s show. More about them next week on the blog).Catherine Bonte Quilt

“a Flor de pie!”  made with Cotton organza and french lace by Catherine Bonte 

For the past four years, Catherine has been the president of France Patchwork, a non-profit, volunteer run, national quilt guild with over 12,500 members. It promotes quilting and art textile in France by publishing a quarterly magazine, Les Nouvelles (The News) and hosting a web site that keeps members up to date with all that is happening with patchwork in France. Within the guild are local clubs where women meet together to share their passion for quilting. Most of the clubs organize a “journèe de l’amitiè,” or day of friendship. According to Catherine, the members meet “To make a quilt for a special event or for a gift, share a delicious buffet, and drink some wine. Don’t forget, we are French!!!”Quilt de Legende

Quilter Isabelle Étienne

Catherine came to Road after receiving an invitation from Stevii Graves at the Fall 2012 International Quilt Market where Catherine was curating France Patchwork’s exhibit, Quilts de Lègende. A biannual exhibit, Quilts de Lègende features 30 quilts inspired by the history, materials, and quilting techniques of the American frontier and Civil War periods. Catherine hopes to bring one of France Patchwork’s collection of quilts to Road one day because “I do love to share this textile link between our two countries and I think it is a good opportunity to know us much better.”Antique Quilt

A copy of an American antique quilt made by Anne Marie Uguen for Quilts de Lègende

We would have to agree. Quilting unifies different people and cultures on so many levels.

Have you met a quilter from another country?




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