Archive for French fabrics

Awaken to the Closure of Le Rouvray Fabric Shop, Paris

Posted in French fabrics, French Quilts, Paris, Paris Shopping, Therese Waddell's Quilts with tags , , , , , , on February 9, 2014 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour friends!

For those of us who do some quilting, I have some sad news. It is with deep regret to inform you that the beautiful Paris fabric shop across from the foot of Notre Dame, ‘Le Rouvray’, which many of you have used, is now closed. After 45 years of patchwork and adventure in Paris, the lovely owner and co founder, Diane Obaldia passed away some time ago now and Le Rouvray has closed its doors for good.

Before her death, Diana wrote to me a expressing great interest in ‘My French Awakening’ and the article I did on her shop at: https://myfrenchawakening.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/awakening-to-le-rouvray-french-fabrics/

Good business deserves acclamation I’ve always thought and Le Rouvray was no exception. Diana was “touched and dazzled” by the article (which I felt was by no means brilliant) but beckoned “come have lunch with me” and that’s the kind of lady she was. No wonder her shop was filled with beautiful fabrics and beautiful service from quietly passionate people. Diana and her team made for a very successful business and above all, a business of friendship building. Well, that’s how I see it anyway.

I shall always regret not being able to share that meal with Diana Obaldia and hearing about her road to success and adventures in Paris. It would have made a much better story than the one I told.

What was your experience in Le Rouvray?

Best Wishes,

AuRevoir, Therese

copyright@2014Therese Waddell

 

Awaken to French Decor

Posted in Decoration & Design, French fabrics, French Quilts, French Travel with tags , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2012 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour my friends,

Why don’t you come and journey with me through some of the French homes and chateaus I’ve stayed in across France and get a sneak preview into the delicious world of French interiors?

We usually need this to enter the French bedroom…

and just imagine who has turned this same key before us last century!

In other French homes, we may well cast our eyes instantly onto beautiful embellished walls of murals and trompe l’oeil decoration. It’s just like stepping straight into a glossy page from ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ magazine. I don’t mind a bit of Mary Poppins transporting myself.

I can take you through unexpected rooms of historical significance as we enter century old libraries with artworks and even brocante antique bird cages…

And you’ll enjoy the quircky world in the homes of french provincial artisans who simply allow imagination to run wild… even in the bathroom.

And they’ll welcome us in elegant Bretagne interiors with more refined French simplicity

and chateaus where their wonderful ambience are true testaments to the passion of their generational owners. My french awakening to decor with its unique French appeal using beautiful french fabrics and quilts, made my stay even more inspiring and memorable than you can imagine.

But keep in mind you will sometimes have to polish the patina from an antique balustrade on your way up and down a French staircase…

to breakfast with the stars…

Life can be tough in French interiors.

Discover for yourself. x

AuRevoir,

Best Wishes, Therese

Awaken To Lyon, France

Posted in Decoration & Design, Food and Recipes, French fabrics, French Quilts, French Travel, South East France with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2010 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour mes amis,

How are things with you? I hope you’re feeling adventurous because you’re going to be taken to Lyon today. It’s about 400km from Paris (Gare de Lyon) to Lyon, and it will take just under two hours on the very fast moving TGV. Let the train glide you through some gorgeous French countryside and before you know it, you’ve arrived in Lyon.

Head straight for the Old Quarter of Lyon and explore the courtyards and traboules (alleyways) which the silk manufacturers and escaping French Resistance fighters used many years ago.

And you’ll see wells tucked in a corner or two- remnants of the past…

In the Old Quarter, you can browse fabulous shops and artisan galleries and enter any one of the Lyonnais cafes or fine restaurants for some gastronomic delight of veal sausages, salads, coq au vin made with local wine, pike (fish) dumplings, potatoes and lentils …

My french awakening  found Lyon the culinary capital of France! There’s so much to see, taste and experience here, you could easily spend a year!

For one thing, you MUST try the tempting meringues (the size of footballs ) from any Lyonnais patisserie. Mouthwatering meringues which are surprisingly encrusted with ripened red strawberries or you may fancy merigue ones filled with delicious French chocolate. Tempted eh?

And you can take Lyon in, sitting at a fountain with the locals and soak up some Lyonnais sunshine…

before visiting a fabulous Museum such as the Musee Des Beaux Arts. Get completely lost in the seventy rooms of this magnificent building holding many inspiring works from Primitive Art to Modern including the French masters and fantastic sculptures from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century works. There’s something for everyone here.

For practical information such as opening times go to:

http://www.mba-lyon.fr/

For a dominating view of the city, head for the Basilica of Fourviere on the hilltop (take the funicular upwards) and you will be overlooking all of Lyon.

The cream and pale blue  is Fourviere’s homage to Mary, who is believed to protect the city of Lyon.

You can walk the very pretty terraced gardens at the base of Fourviere…

and stroll through the Garden of The Rosary…

and while you’re near the Basilica, why not visit the site of the Roman Ruins where Lyon was first founded? These days, concerts, opera and dance performances are held in the large amphitheatre which is still intact.

and the Museum of the Gallo Roman Ruins. It’s truly beautifully displayed.

Then walk across the bridge where Old meets New and wander around in bustling, modern Lyon for a whole lot more.

For anyone interested in fashion and costumes, quilting, silks and tapestries, find your way to the Museum of Fabric/Textiles (Tissus) and Decorative Arts (and don’t spare the horses!).

You’ll be able to not only view some drop dead gorgeous fabrics and textiles and authentic costumes with extreme detail and finery but you’ll be able to purchase some fabric samples  which are made into envelopes (these are very small, but heavenly) in the foyer shop…

This place is a quilter’s dream and a haven for fabric collectors.

 For more information go to:

http://www.musee-des-tissus.com/

Lyon will keep you happy for quite some time. You can discover the fantastic trompe l’oeil paintings on many unexpected spots on buildings and if you’re lucky enough to be in Lyon on the 5th to the 8th December 2010, you’ll witness the city coming alive with the Lyon Light Festival (Fete des Lumieres). Take a peep here…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyphK_Jvtu8

Thousands of candle lamps are lit in the windows of Lyonnais homes as well as fabulous lighting illuminations along streets and shopping precincts in honour of the Virgin Mary.

Now that’s spirit for you!

I know you’ll have a wonderful time here in Lyon. See for yourself!

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

Copyright@2010 Therese Waddell

Awakening to Quimper and French Fabrics

Posted in Decoration & Design, French fabrics, French Quilts, French Travel, North West France with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2010 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour mes amis,

Enter the fabulous French village of Quimper in the south west of beautiful Brittany. Being the artistic and cultural centre and the oldest city in Brittany, Quimper (pronounced cam pair) offers pleasant surprises for any shopper, quilter, pottery/earthenware  or gourmet food and history lover. Or perhaps you’re a little or a lot of all these- either way you’ll really like what Quimper has to offer!

There’s always a few surprises here and who doesn’t like surprises?

Like the odd pony or two greeting you on the cobbled street of the main thoroughfare in the Medieval Quarter…

Walk through the streets lined with medieval half timbered houses as Quimper has done a great job in preserving the city’s heritage. Keep going towards the cathedral and find the gorgeous modern carousel sprouting weird and wonderful sea creatures straight out of Jules Verne’s, ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea’ I’m sure…

I do love a carousel!!

Then there’s the Cathedral, the Cathedrale St Corentin built between the 13th and 15th centuries and is a fine example of Gothic architecture. Come see the beautiful stain glass windows commemorating Breton Saints. Why not take a virtual tour of this lovely cathedral while you’re sitting there? Go to:

http://www.360-degres-web.com/visite-virtuelle/cathedrale/index.html

Quimper has literally loads of shops including gourmet foods, chocolates and fab local produce, creperies, bars, many great restaurants, decorative craft shops and clothing boutiques.

Oh, you may decide to ditch your usual beautiful companion and take a like minded shopper at this point. (Are you nodding your head right now?…)

There are many galleries and art dealers selling paintings by local Bretons here as well and you’ll also find painters from the Pont Aven School in Quimper’s superb Musee des Beaux Arts. Take a look won’t you at:

http://www.musee-beauxarts.quimper.fr/

Also, being so close to two rivers (The Odet and The Steir), faience pottery is all the go here. Beautiful, hand made original pieces which are never duplicated are made just outside the town of Quimper in a nearby factory. It’s been making faience pottery for about three hundred years now, (having been commissioned by King Louis XIV himself)  so they really know what they’re doing! The faience pottery is world famous and it is sent to anticipated customers all around the world as we speak!

You could easily spend absorbingly brilliant hours here. And that doesn’t include treasure hunting at the Quimper markets (if you’re there on any day other than a Sunday) for bricolage, vintage treasures and sewing and quilting fabrics.

Did my quilting friends all just sit up?

Look what I found in the Quimper markets…

This floral number I used in my ‘La Vie En Rose Quilt’. For the pattern and more go to  http://www.quiltingthejourney.com

The second divine little number I’m using in a quilt yet to be revealed.

It was no wonder we visited Quimper on more than a few occasions that same holiday and we came away from this great town with an armful of gifts  for family and friends back home and quite a few metres of fabric!

On leaving Quimper, we looked up and guess what?…

Does this not say it all?

Go to Quimper on your next trip to France. You’ll learn and see heaps. You’ll love it!

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

copyright@2010 Therese Waddell

Awakening To French Fabrics in Montmartre

Posted in East of France, French Affair, French Quilts, French Travel, Paris, Paris Shopping with tags , , , , , on February 20, 2010 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour mes amis,

I have another quilting secret from Paris. If, like me, you are on the hunt for more French fabrics while in Paris, a trip to Montmartre is always worth a visit. It has fabric shops galore snaking in and out of the Montmartre maze of streets (or rues) and is loads of fun as you join the treasure hunt for all sorts of quilting fabric!

I consider Montmartre “fabric heaven” and bargains are to be had here but be on the ready to bargain at times, particularly if you are buying metres and also check for seconds thoroughly while you’re at it.

To start, begin your hunt from the bottom of Sacre Coeur steps. I wish I could take you with me next time but for now I’d like to show you what I bought last time I was poking around in Montmartre. My french awakening grew costly with all my purchases, but I have used many of the fabrics I’ve bought since then and that’s actually a bonus in some quilting circles!

All you non quilters ( and I do appreciate there must be a few of you) MUST NEVER EVER under estimate the process of quilt construction.

Step 1: Acknowlegde that fabric choice is a long but never painful process for the quilter.

Step 2: Acknowlegde that fabric once chosen, can be rechosen after choosing countless other alternatives in between.

Step 3: Acklowledge that many quilts may spring to mind when choosing fabric for a single quilt but the quilt intended will always be acknowledged eventually.

Step 4: Acknowlegde that a pattern should be adhered to for the sake of complete dilemmas in the fabric shop.

Step 5: Take a friend, but realise that a quilting minded pal will stick to the golden rule  in the shop which is:- Be there, nod a great deal and take with you plenty of tissues when the last of the fabric bolt is empty.

Step 6: Acknowledge that colour choice was wise and make note of the shop’s opening hours for the rest of the fabric you decide to go back for in the morning!

Having done all this, take a peep at some of my Montmartre french fabric discoveries.

Here are some of the silks and woven cottons  of many colours which I made into a quilt for the wall.

And look at this beautiful cherry red toile which I have used many times (I bought so much of this gorgeous fabric) where every scene depicts a story. French fabric can say so much about…

Romance…

Contentment…

Passion…

And dreaming…

And if you like this, you may like my other purchase of divine little French motifs which I have used in my ‘French Country Quilt’. My website at http://www.quiltingthejourney.com

will have all my patterns including this one very shortly.

If you love blue, as many of you do, you will like these.

Or take a look at the Louis XIV prancing horses on fabric…

And the other circus menagerie which would look fabulous on any quilt.

Then, there are these pieces to inspire a medallion quilt of all sorts…

So, my dear quilting friends the treasure hunt begins in Montmartre! Don’t miss it next time you’re in Paris. Remember though that great things take time and fabric hunting is a work in progress!

Have fun!

Au revoir,

Best wishes, Therese Waddell

Awakening To Le Rouvray French Fabrics

Posted in Decoration & Design, French Affair, French Quilts, French Travel, Paris, Paris Shopping with tags , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2010 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour all quilters,

Quilting secrets should be shared I realise and this is a special blog to introduce my subscribers and friends to some fabulous French quilting shops and market places which I have used regularly when in France.

Purchasing gorgeous fabrics is a quilter’s haven and no doubt there is no limit to purchasing “must-have-to-die-for-fabrics”. We admit that our fabric stash is a work in progress and any information on quilting and patchwork shops and the exact location of divine fabrics and gorgeous remnants is a quilter’s dream. So here we are!

When you’re next in Paris, your first target is Le Rouvray.

This shop is located in the Latin Quarter, a stones throw away from the grand Notre Dame Cathedral at 3 rue de la Bûcherie – 75005 Paris. The nearest train stop is Maubert Mutualite  Subway and Saint Michel RER.

Firstly, I must tell you all that it is only open between Tuesday to Saturday from 1pm to 6pm. Always double-check before you set out as you will be soo disappointed if you miss it if you have a limited time in Paris. (Not to mention that your  partner will hear about this catastrophe for years to come).

Their phone number is 0 (+33) 1 43 25 00 45 and their website can be found at: http://www.lerouvray.com

At Le Rouvray (owned by the lovely American Diane De Obaldia with her trusty team of friendly French ladies) they speak “patchwork.” You will easily get by even if you do not speak any French at all (and if Diane is not in the shop).

They offer wonderful assistance and a gorgeous selection of fabrics and antiques. In fact, their collection of old home wares has grown over the years and many teapots, cutlery and crockery are an interest in themselves, so allow a lot of time here. (Was that necessary to say? I don’t think so!)

You are not just buying fabric by the metre, you can choose wonderful fabric packs of brilliant colours and designs. Also, if you do speak French, they have been known to offer first hand assistance and travel information when needed. Here, there are smiles all round constantly and as a bonus, I’ve had a number of free samples given to me each time I purchase.

If you are looking for very good quality cotton fabrics, including Toiles and French Provincial, Le Rouvray is your answer. Their ‘Promenade Collection’ is divine if not sold out already. Each year, there is always something new and equally gorgeous and they do offer classes in the latest quilt hanging in their window.

You can buy fabrics online but there is so much more fabric to choose in the shop itself. The website also offers a free pattern to download.

So next time you’re in Paris, take yourself (and a girlfriend) to Le Rouvray. You’ll be delighted with your choice and the experience.

Bonne Chance!

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

copyright@2010 Therese Waddell

Awakening To Sacre Coeur, Paris

Posted in French Affair, French Music, French Travel, Paris with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2010 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour everyone,

The beautiful white Basilica of  Sacre Coeur is now a Pilgrimage site and stands high over Montmartre, Paris. It lulls my french awakening everytime I walk into it when the nuns are singing their vespers – a stark contrast to the cries of St Denis before he was beheaded on the very same site back in the third century!

The high pitched  harmonious sound of choral nuns in this sacred space takes my breath away and it echoes over the foothills below. I was told by some locals that you can actually listen to their vespers live with Radio Notre Dame !

The walk through the gardens around Sacre Coeur is lovely and the view from the top across Paris is sensational. Take a look at this. You can even climb the spiral staircase at the top of  Sacre Coeur to get a more spectacular vista.

Follow down the back of  Sacre Coeur where fewer tourists go and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find some great inexpensive restaurants and cafes.  By the time you’ve eaten, go back up to Sacre Coeur and take a final look at dusk. It’s just superb!

To approach Sacre Coeur, you can  take The Funicular or cable car if you don’t fancy the steps. It runs from Place Suzanne-Valadon to the Place Willette just below Sacre Coeur. It’s magic to experience, especially with children who will be doubly excited when they finally set eyes on the swirling carousel at the bottom. (or perhaps you can use your child as an excuse to go on yourself!)

I’ve only ever had great days here in this very bohemian part of Paris, but I do suggest you be prepared for sometimes forceful  sellers of junky souvenirs at the bottom of the stairs.

Montmartre holds such an array of quirky shops and great experiences. You can do what I do and go fabric hunting as well.  Fabric houses three storeys high will keep you occupied for hours. (Go with a girlfriend!)

It’s a sewing and quilting paradise around here and you’ll find all sorts of gorgeous fabrics including toiles and also beautiful French tapestries.

Be wary though that you’re buying’ ‘Made in France’ and you’ll be so pleased to show it all off to your friends back home!

For night entertainment, there are plenty of bars and bistros and the famous Moulin Rouge is under the Moulin de La Galette,the last windmill in Montmartre- painted in bright seductive red. You can’t miss it!

Contact: http://www.moulinrouge.fr/home-flash-gb.html

for prior bookings to a fabulous show of dancers- a feathers and sequins extroadinaire!

Visit also the Place du Terte  near Sacre Coeur, filled with some very fine enthusiastic artists ready to sketch your portrait.  Albeit the Place is filled with tourists but that doesn’t deter their artistic talent and creativity! Take it all in. Nothing beats the smell of conti pastels in the hands of struggling artists!

Postcard shops also are in a frenzy for very good reason. Many here have a huge range and I  bought some wonderful vintage ones for friends back home.

Walk the cobblestone steep streets (with flat shoes of course) and get yourself lost through the maze of side streets and alleyways of Montmartre. Get yourself lost for a while.

It won’t happen for too long as you can always look upwards towards the hill of Sacre Coeur and it will lead you home!

Enjoy your day,

Au revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell