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Posts Tagged ‘France’

Meet The Designers Behind Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabric's Van Gogh Challenge

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics continued its tradition of hosting remarkable Special Exhibits with van Gogh. Using a color palette of Cherrywood hand dyed deep blue hues, fabric artists were given the challenge of creating their interpretation of van Gogh’s work. Cherrywood received 465 submissions from four countries—the most ever for their specialty challenges. Because of the overwhelming response, two travelling exhibits were created: French and Dutch—symbolizing both areas of van Gogh’s important life work.  The larger French exhibit was shown at Road to California 2018. Some of the artists were able to come to Road 2018, meet guests, and autograph their entries in the Cherrywood van Gogh book, a compilation of all the quilts. Karen Courtney, a resident of British Columbia, Canada, chose orca whales for her theme. The challenge for her was figuring out how to make and use fabric tubes for her background. It took 4-5 tries to achieve the look she wanted. Karen has been quilting since 1992. This was the first time she ever entered a challenge. It was also the first time she had gone to Road. She thought the show was “really great” and loved the warm weather!! The Cherrywood Choice Award was presented to Lynn Randall for her entry. Lynn said she was “humbled” for receiving the award that followed the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winning designs. Lynn shared that she stood on the exact spot where van Gogh painted the picture she used for her inspiration one year before she created her quilt. Lynn is a resident of Dunlap, Iowa—population 1,100. She has been quilting for over 30 years and said that she learns something from every quilt challenge she enters. It was trying to create a brush stroke effect to achieve realism that challenged her the most with this project. Sally Wright “adores’ Cherrywood fabrics and has used them in many of her quilt projects in the past. An Art History major in college, she has long been a fan of van Gogh. The hard part for Sally was coming up with an original idea. After that, it didn’t take long for her to sew her quilt. “I love blue and I love van Gogh,” said Michelle Baker. “I love to go camping to Lake McDonald and see the borealis over the lake.” Previously to this project, Michelle considered herself a modern quilter and was used to working with large pieces of fabric.  She loved the experience of using “teeny tiny” pieces (shreds of fabric actually) to create her brush strokes. San Diego resident, Kay Laboda, was inspired to enter this challenge after seeing Cherrywood’s Lion King exhibit. Growing up in Texas,  Kay has always loved stars. She had four different ideas before she settled on her composition and wasn’t satisfied with her choice until she was all done. Her advice to other quilters: “Don’t give in. Don’t give up.” Angie Gohn was used to using bigger fabric pieces and lots more color prior to this piece. Her biggest challenge was the size of the quilt as well as using less color. Drawn to van Gogh’s boots and shoes, she decided to modernize them with hi-tops. “Live, Love, Breathe Quilts,” says Margaret Vachon. Familiar with Cherrywood challenges (she saw Wicked and participated in Lion King), little did Margaret know that a picture she took in 2013 at the Centre Pompidou Museum of Modern Art in Paris would  be used four years later for another Cherrywood challenge. Margaret said she lets “Cherrywood fabric speak to me.” She started sewing not really knowing what she was going to do and before she knew it, her piece was created and finished in just 2-1/2 months.  Knowing that she loved art and art galleries, a friend encouraged Diane Winder, a quilter for 10 years, to enter this challenge.  When it was all said and done, Diane wished she would have been “braver” in her design and “experimented” more. Road thinks Diane and all the other fiber artists who entered this challenge were very brave to share their talents in this fabulous exhibit. The 2018-2019 Cherrrywood Challenge honors the legendary singer Prince with his favorite color: purple. Entries will be accepted until July 2, 2018. For details on the Prince Challenge, please visit the Cherrywood website.        ]]>

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt? 2014 Outstanding Art Quilt

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Lenore Crawford won $3,000 from SewBatik, sponsor of the Outstanding Art Quilt Entry

Outstanding Art QuiltLenore Crawford began using fabric as an art medium around 1995.  She loved the warmth, texture, and value that fabric offers as compared to other media.  It was fun for Lenore to create art quilts with fabric and see how far she could take the medium. 

Lenore’s winning entry, Capturing Brittany was inspired by her many visits to France. She loved France’s ancient architecture ever since her first visit when she was 16 years old.  To be able to create art with fabric that resembled it was very intriguing to Lenore.  Being able to achieve a very realistic design that truly looked like the real thing in fabric was so exciting.  This particular piece was inspired by photos taken in a village in northern France.  A class of art students was sketching that day. 

Capturing Brittany was mostly created during the winter over several months.  While making the quilt, Lenore learned that she loved to add fine detail to her designs, making them seem even more realistic.  She fuses tiny pieces to add some of the detail where it’s still feasible, and when the pieces get to be too small, she uses a little bit of fabric paint instead of fabric.  Shading and detail is what made the design look more realistic.

What was Lenore’s reaction when she won? “I was very excited to win.  This means to me that I am accepted by my peers in my field.  It is also a very great way to advertise my work especially for teaching.” 

Did she do anything special with her prize money? “I spent a good chunk of the money on a good quality espresso machine.  I love good coffee and especially missed it after getting home from our trip to New Zealand last year where you can even find a fabulous latte at McDonald’s!” 

What is next for Lenore and her quilting? “That is the question of the hour!  I feel at this point I want to do something different.  I like change.  We grow when we change.  I don’t know what it will be, but I will always keep creating more art because that is my passion.  I would love to learn to use Photoshop to manipulate my photos I use to create my art quilts, but we will see.  Running a business keeps me very busy with teaching all over the world, maintaining my stock, doing paperwork, coming up with new patterns and classes.  Life is so busy and sometimes gets in the way of the creative process.  I will take some time this fall to see where I want to go now.”






Destination France: Grand Opening of the Bohin Factory

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Road to California has a great relationship with Bohin France, manufacturer of fine needles and pins, sewing notions, and office supplies for over 180 years. Since 2012, Bohin executives have come to Road, sponsoring a vendor booth and meeting with guests.vendors__i4c5967

In addition to sharing their tradition of unique products, this year Bohin was also delighted to introduce Road patrons to an exciting venture they were launching: the opening of their factory museum in March, 2014Bohin Factory

Built in the beginning of the 19th century, and located on the Risle River near the town of  L’Aigle in Normandy, France, the original factory has been preserved by continuous use, maintaining its original character and architecture. The facility has earned recognition as a registered Historic Place by the French National Registry.

Why open a museum? Said Mr. Didier Vrac, President of Bohin, “Bohin’s history is special because it still utilizes machinery and techniques developed in the 19th century. We knew visitors would find it interesting to learn about the innovations Bohin has perfected and how those innovations have led to developing quality products.”   

Visitors to the museum receive a tour of the working factory through the eyes of its founder, Benjamin Bohin as well as see exhibits on how it manufacturers pins and needles, their history and uses. Bohin machines

We wish our friends at Bohin much success with this new venture


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?