Thursday, 25 September 2014

European Patchwork Meeting Alsace 2014

I have been wanting to go to the EPM for as long as I have been doing patchwork, but other commitments meant I have never had the chance. Then I had a gap this year where I could fit it in, so booked my place on the P&Q Tours. Very nearly missed it as events at home prevented me from going on the trip from the start, but lovely husband said I could still go a few days later than originally planned, so flights were booked and a car to take me to the hotel where the rest of the group were staying in, in Colmar. I arrived on the Wednesday evening and was so pleased to see some ladies in the group before I even checked into my room, some which I have met on previous P&Q trips!
We had a lovely coach driver, Steve, who is Welsh and entertained us with music from the valleys on some of our journeys.
Ste Marie aux Mines was about an hour's journey from Colmar, through lovely countryside, mostly we travelled on the main roads, but Steve took us on some of the back roads on our last day and we drove through some lovely little villages, that I am hoping to come back to with my husband, so that we can explore them properly.

Statue of Liberty in Colmar, designer of statue came from Colmar

The show is not all in one centre, but spread out amongst venues in the villages of Ste Marie aux Mines, Ste Croix aux Mines, Liepvre and Rombach-le-Franc as well as at the Parc Minier Tellure, which is about 5km outside Ste Marie. There are shuttle buses that run between the villages, sometimes they got very full and large queues formed with some ladies getting a bit forceful to get onto the coaches, they run approximately every 20 minutes to start off in the mornings, but this becomes more of a just wait until the next one comes later on in the day.

Ladies from Japan visiting Ste Marie Aux Mines

I never made it to Rombach or Liepvre as there just was not enough time to do it all, but what I did see in the other villages made up for what I did not see.
The vendors are mainly concentrated in the centre of Ste Marie and it would be easy to spend a day just wondering and looking and shopping here. Most of the vendors could speak a little English, some very well, it did help to understand a little bit of French at others. Lots to see and buy that is not available in the UK, there seems to be a trend with wool fabrics and a lot of rustic country themed fabrics too. Also a lots of Lecien style fabrics and LOTS of ribbons. Not all the vendors were French, some were German, some from Prague and Poland, it really is European, but good to see some American vendors too, like Edita Sitar, with her fabulous laser cut appliqué pieces. Wonderful to finally meet Claudia Pfeil too and to see Handiquilter stall and chat with Nate.
The vendors were not all in the same building, but were all concentrated in the same area, many inside large marquees or market style pop up stalls next to the big marquee tents. Nearby was a restaurant within another big marquee tent, but along the main street were lots of small vendors selling their street cuisine. I had some fabulous vegetarian vegetable pancake sandwiches with pesto and goats cheese filling and vegetable juice from one stall for lunch one day. Some of the other stalls sold breads and pastries, potato rosti, salamis and dried sausages, pizzas and pretzels. Lots of local restaurants too, where you could sit inside or outside, were doing a roaring trade with all the extra visitors to the towns.
Coffees and teas with cakes were sold in some of the larger venues too.
Lots of shops in the villages have quilts on display in the windows, some very nice ones:

Some of the exhibitions are in churches and village halls, some in museums and theatres. You can pick up a brochure/program with locations, maps and exhibitions from the Tourist Information shop in Ste Marie or from the entrances to the larger exhibitions. It is not possible to post photos from all the exhibitions, so I will just post some of my favourites here:

Regret at mown motley grass by Elena Folomeva from Russia

The Crystal by Elena Nekrasova from Russia

The Fifth Wheel by Anna Urusova from Russia

The aroma of meadows by Irina Korotkova from Russia

Freedom by Helen Godden from Australia

Detail of Freedom

Cinese dragon and phoenix by Ming Hsu, Australia 

Detail of Chinese dragon and phoenix

Counterpoint by Pam Hill, Australia

Summer: Kangaroo paws and Billy Buttons by Suzan Mathews, Australia

Flax Lily by Bernardine Hine, Australia

Purple Haze by Karen Terrens, Australia

Detail of Purple Haze

Dartmoor walk by Kate Dowty, UK

Southern Delight by Marlya Waters, Australia

Detail of Southern Delight

Pine Branch by Elsbeth Nusser-Lampe, Germany

Detail of Pine Branch

Taste of India by Christine Seager, UK

The Seven Spices by Yemima Lavan, Israel

Libby by Sandrine Osterman, France

Red Poppies by Beatrice Bueche, France

Balancing Act by Linda Forey, UK

Vague a l'ame by Dominique Fave, France

Burning Sky by Yoshiko Koshi, Japan

Woodpecker by Noriko Endo, Japan

Constellation - beyond time and space by Yoko Kageyama, Japan

Detail of Constellation - beyond time and space

Space Fantasy by Yumiko Matsubara, Japan

Detail of Space Fantasy

Cherry blossom at night by Kayoko Tonegawa, Japan 
Flowerly and Lightly by Mitsuko Kinoshita

Detail of Flowerly and Lightly

Cameria in Love by Naomi Horikita

Reve de flour by Hilde van Schaardenburg

L'oeil by Hilde van Schaardenburg

Edge of a feather by Linda & Laura Kemshall, UK
Detail of Edge of a feather

Beachcombing by Sheena Noirquay, UK

Detail of Beachcombing

My absolute favourite quilt at the show was:

The great tree by Noriko Matsutou

 I have done a separate post on the "50 Variations of Yoko Saito's Mystery Quilt" and the Groupe Crossing Oceans Exhibition with the theme "Nature" as they deserved a special mention.
I do hope that my pictures will inspire some of you, I certainly came back home with a head full of ideas, now to find the time to actually execute some of those ideas!

On the way back to UK, we travelled through lovely wine areas in France and stopped in Epernay, where we had a tour of the Champagne Mercier cellars, a champagne tasting and opportunity to buy some champagne. Well worth a stop over.

The Tun, also known as The giant task, weighs 23tons when empty

The Tun, 5.5m tall, 6.5m long, capacity 213000 bottles of 75cl

When empty needed to be pulled by 24 oxen

Wonder how many times have this come up in a quiz? Sizes of bottles in order from right:

Quarter bottle 0.20l
Half bottle 0.375l
Bottle 0.75l
Jeroboam 3l
Mathusalem 6l
Salmanazar 9l
Balthazar 12l
Nabuchodonosor 15l

And as we were travelling through wine regions, I sewed my "grapes" block of the Dutch Treat, so I have a lovely reminder now of this trip.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience. I am traveling to Selestat in Sept to see the EP for one full day. Really looking forward to it.