First time i visited the 24th European Meeting Patchwork in Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines. Curious to find out what I´ve experienced there?
Journey to France
First of all I have to say the main reason I wanted to visit the Exposition is because Angela Walters was announced to be there too. Angela has also given out a new Ruler Kit and i was sure to find it there. It was a last-minute-decision to attempt the event, so I wasn´t really very well prepared and as it is only a two-hour-drive from where I live so I just wanted to join the fun for one day.
A little bit of history
Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines is in France in a Valley which is called Silver Valley. The whole area is called Alsace. You´ll find lot´s of interesting facts about this valley especially for Quilters. At the end of the 17th century Jakob Amann founded the Amish Community. There were about 60 Families from Berne (Switzerland) which joined him in Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines.
Where can I find the exposition area?
The event takes place in several small villages in the Silver Valley. Sainte-Marrie-aux-Mines (which is the main spot), Sainte-Marie-aux-Croix, Lièpvre, and Rombach-le-Franc. Multiple historical buildings, Churches and several halls are hosting the exhibitions. You´ll find free shuttles during the exposition-time throughout the villages.
Looking for a parking spot
As the villages are small it was a bit difficult for me to find a free parking spot. Although you´ll find lots of parking spaces around the villages. It´s well organized but sometimes it´s hard to find the signs for “parking”. I just followed some other cars and soon found a lawn to let my car there.
Now my advice, there are lots and lots of parking places. They can be miles apart. So make sure you remember the number of your parking lot. I did not, but I´ll tell you later how this worked out for me.
Let´s go shopping!
I had to walk 10 minutes to the commercial building. I remembered that Regina Klaus from Germany, she works for Bernina as a sales representative for the Bernina Q20 and Q24 Longarm, was also there. So i visited her. I was surprised how quick I´ve found her, but I was lucky she stood beside the main-entrance. For me it was the first time laying eyes AND hands on a longarm-machine.
It was a fantastic experience and if I´d buy a Longarm-Quilting-Machine one day, it will definetely be a Bernina for sure! So effortless and quiet, it sure was amazing. She also had the new ruler-set from Angela: Taj, Elvira and Chevy. I just had to have them.
Some french Ladies walked in and asked about the rulers. I was talking to them and explained how much fun rulerwork is and that I already did some exercises with the previous set.
They bought some rulers and were very happy.
Still looking for Angela
I then visited the Handi Quilter-area but I haven´t spotted Angela there. I asked at the information-desk where her exhibition took place, but the guy did not know which really was kind of disappointing. Sure there has been a map but I just couldn´t figure out where to look for her. Then it was time for me to head home.
But wait, haven´t I missed something?
No more fabric – this time for sure that is what I was telling me the whole time. I did not want to buy any fabric because I still have so much left to work with. But as you may have guessed it already, in the end I saw a panel which I just had to have. It´s called “On Frozen Pond” from Whistler Studios Pattern.
And well, let´s be honest isn´t this georgeous?! It reminds me of the movie Doctor Zhivago with Omar Sharif. But if you´d like to watch it make sure you´ve got enough handkerchiefs ready! The movie is as beautiful as it is sad.
Where is my car?
Hold on… where is my car? I wasn´t worried at this point, because I have taken a picture from the street where to turn.
Unfortunately nobody knew this corner. I met two Swiss-Girls then and they were also lost. A shuttle-bus took us in the wrong direction and as we noticed we were already far away and it began to rain heavily. Although the bus-drive was great fun. I met a lovely woman from Sweden and she told me, she is in a group with other women to visit the exhibition. On their way to France they also visited some vineyards and were drinking wine and having a good time. Apparently she enjoyed it very much. We had to leave the bus then. No matter to whom I showed my picture above, nobody knew the street. We had to walk all the way back. As I almost gave up any hope left, the girls were all exited because they found the driver which took them from their parking slot which – fortunately was the same as mine.
As I was home I was really very sad because I haven´t found Angela. My love promised me to accompany me again the next day to figure it all out.
Second day in France
So the next day we went there again and finally found the right building where Angela exposed her georgeous work.
(Thanks hon for beeing able to read and following maps! ) But guess what, she wasn´t there! On her table where she was supposed to be there was a white paper where “Angela Walters” was written on it. Well I guess I was really tired by the end of the second day and decided to be happy by just enjoying her beautiful work. I can imagine it must be boring to just sit there for four days where as the main action takes place in another village. The sweet young ladies at the entrance were very kind and wanted to help but they did not know where she was and told me she hasn´t been seen all day long.
“Town Square” by Angela Walters
“Four Square” by Angela Walters
Henk van Kooten
As I´m very fascinated by watercolor quilts this beautiful work sure caught my eye in a second.
Color Mix by Henk van Kooten
Danny is a gifted fabric artist and I absolutely wanted to visit his exhibition too. His technique is amazing and it´s unbelivable what he can do whith hundreds and hundreds of different fabric in uncountable color shades and designs. He is such a humble person and he seemed so genuine it was a great joy that he agreed to have his picture taken with me.
I told him my facebook-quilting-friends will be so happy for me if i share the picture with them.
Feast III by Danny Amazonas
Bull Dance by Danny Amazonas
Some of the buildings are surrounded by beautiful gardens as the Villa Burrus in Sainte-Croix-aux-Mines.
There was a special vibe in such a beautiful ancient building which also was a benefit to the georgeous master-pieces from Shizuko Kuroha from Japan.
Cosmos by Shizuko Kuroha
So many georgeous quilts and artworks
I took lot´s of pictures of beautiful works from artists all over the world. But honestly it is difficult to show those works in their whole beauty on a simple picture. You have to see it for yourself! With that being said, I will just leave it at this and cherish every beautiful moment I had in those two days.
I thank everyone who crossed my path and made this exhibition such a wonderful experience for me. I sure will be back next year but for four days!
As we drove home the radio was playing a Rolling Stones Song and here are some of the lyrics:
“Angie, AngieYou can’t say we never tried”