Awakening to French Quilts

Bonjour mes amis.

This weather is really inducive to the arts or any indoor activity don’t you think? Outside drizzling rain and inside opportunites. Staying at home now and again in this sort of inspiring weather irrevocably brings me to what I love to do-designing, writing, quilting… My list is endless. My time like yours, is not. Therefore I BLOG, offering quick blurbs of France, which are essentially a combination of the things I love, especially on a day under a rain splattered roof.

So, how are you?

I’m thinking of quilts and all things French as usual so I invite you to enter the charming world of the French bedroom (chambre) in the small village of Lautrec…

As I listen to the trickle of the rain, this room and bed is looking more inviting by the minute with its cosy warm hues and turned down cover but then I remember the quilts…

My french awakening to fabulous quilting was realised in Lautrec- a village in the south west of France. See for yourself and examine a great example of a whole cloth quilt with its elegant pattern and highly developed style. Just lovely don’t you think?

I make a lot of quilts and design in colour (check out but there is definately something to be said about a fashionably plain white French quilt which highlights detail and shadow at every turn of the needle. What do you think?

Beautiful? I’m sure you would agree. Pity no one can agree on the exact origin of quilting, but the earliest reference to a French quilt was in a ship captain’s inventory from Marseilles way back in 1297.

I rather doubt any females today could tolerate the loathsome and often bloody battles on board a medieval sailing ship of the thirteeenth century. However, this very same quilt could have belonged to the French woman of a marauding Viking or a sturdy lass being transported amongst a fleet of crusaders fighting for the cause. We shall never know. (The identification label was well and truly missing from the back!)

Perhaps its owner was the sea captain himself, but to think a ship’s captain would ever admit to not only owning a quilt but carrying it under his muscular arm on his sea faring journey, is quite another story.

French quilts were common in the seventeenth century around Provence and have since then become extremely popular across the globe. The quality of French fabrics (tissus) I can attest is second to none, regardless of what is on offer elsewhere.

If you’re interested in the beautiful Provence Indiennes fabrics, you’ll enjoy this-

Only the very lucky own a French quilt.

Happy sewing and happy travels all of you!

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes,Therese Waddell

copyright@2010 Therese Waddell


6 Responses to “Awakening to French Quilts”

  1. You’re right 🙂 The weather is so conducive to indoor activities – especially crafts! It’s been raining down here in Aquitaine all week and I have pulled out my crochet projects in response. I haven’t ever paid much attention to quilts before, but your blog is inspiring me to start looking around and appreciating them!

  2. Have just come across your blog and am thrilled. your work, your journey are beautiful and such an inspiration. I will be popping back to ‘read’ you regularly!

  3. Annie Leber Says:

    Love your web sight, have been a ficionado of anything French forever. Do you have a contact where these beautiful French fabrics can be purchased. Just order your pattern and am anxious to find the fabric Thank you for this beautiful trip to France via quilting annie

    • Dear Annie,
      Thanks so much for your lovely email and for ordering, ‘Diamonds Are Forever’. My humble apologies for not writing earlier but I haven’t been home from France very long and I’ve had a huge backlog of emails to attend to. However, I’ll send your pattern off tomorrow afternoon. You’ll be sewing in no time my friend.
      Send me an email via and we can have a chat about getting you some gorgeous fabric. kind regards, Therese

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