The summer is coming to an end and I have not done much quilting but I have done a lot of traveling and gathering of ideas, images and inspiration.
I always get renewed when I spend time in Pradelles, the village where I was born and spent my first 10 years. Pradelles is in Auvergne in what the French call La France profonde, or the essential France, and when i am in the villages and the beautiful countryside I have profound experiences. In Langogne, seven kilometers away from Pradelles, I visited again La Filature des Calquières (a spinning mill dating from the 19th century) and was amazed by the beauty of the old machinery. There were a couple quilts hanging in the entrance. Very traditional patterns but with very French fabric — especially the red quilt with Provençal designs.
I also found a new store in Langogne that would delight any quilter. Croch’ et Fil: Mercerie, Patchwork, Points Comptés et Broderies. Nadine Chazalette, the owner, was delightful and very open. Together we fantasized about having workshops with American and French students.
Late June in Auvergne is a delight of wild flowers. My cousin Noël taught me a trick that I am happy to share: pick red poppies (coquelicots) still in bud, put them in a vase and they will open in a few days and last quite a few more.
Back in Berkeley the end of the summer is marked by the Solano Stroll. I will have a booth with the quilts from my Harbor House students: Jane from Korea, Bunlay from Cambodia and Gisela from Mexico. Be sure to come by and say hello. We will be at the same spot as last year: booth 37 at the corner of Neilson.