Sylvia and I left Melbourne on Monday 20 April for the long, long, long flight over, stopping off at Singapore and Dubai. On the way I swore that I would NEVER do this flight again…I would NEVER go to Europe again (how long do you think that lasted?) It definitely was a very tiring flight. We arrived in Paris and had to wait for our train to Nantes…another long wait with two trains to catch – now why didn’t we get the direct fast train to Nantes? We were really happy to see people we recognised come pick us up. Finally arrived at our hotel at around 8pm – and I had to report to the exhibition at 9am in the morning – oh well….
The hotel was one of the smallest I’d ever seen but we both decided that we were going to enjoy ourselves and really, we were out for most of the day.
Next morning I left to catch my tram. Of course, I hopped on the wrong tram and then spent about half an hour walking around trying to find the venue.
As soon as I got there I met with Carol from Quiltmania who took me to my “home” for the next few days. I have to confess I was very teary when I saw it – it was just stunning…..they couldn’t have done a better job. And my book? Lets say that a few more tears were shed when I saw that as well.
I also ran two workshops teaching needleturn applique. It was really great meeting quilters from France and the UK – knowing that quilters from Europe like my patterns enough to want to do classes with me!
At the show there were exhibits from other authors as well.
Cecile Franconia’s new book is an absolute treat – as was her booth. I have long followed her blog – facilececile – and love what she does. She says “I live in France, like crochet, knitting, embroidery and photography. Patchwork and embroidery hobbies are my favourite”. I particularly liked her iPad cover – with (I’m sure) quarter inch fussy cut hexagons.
Bill Volckening’s book on New York beauties was a “must-have” book compiled of quilts from his collection.
Kaye England also had a book released
Tomie Nagano’s indigo quilts were out on display – you have to see them to believe how much work she puts into her quilts. She is a Japanese quilter who uses old antique fabrics that she incorporates into her quilts.
It was also fun to catch up with old friends and make new ones. I was particularly pleased to catch up with my friend Randi (my roomie from Houston) and Sue Watters and to meet Ellen and “the other” Sue. Just being able to unwind at night at dinner with them was well worth all the hard work I’d done during the day. So thanks girls!!
So am I going back to Europe next year? You bet I am. I have been invited by a few shops in the UK to run workshops and I said “yes” in a heartbeat – forgetting all about the trip over – i suppose its like childbirth – you forget how painful it is!!!
I had never been to Europe before so this trip was something I had wanted to do for a while. And I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Nantes was beautiful, though I didn’t get much of a chance to explore – this trip was all about working so next year I plan to spend more time looking around.
A big thank you to Sylvia for looking after me – bringing me my cuppa tea every morning – even if you scared the other guests in your pjs!! You were fun to travel with and I felt calm and relaxed (most of the time) with you around!
From Nantes it was onward for the next leg of my journey – to Amsterdam.