First up are the amazing hand pieced quilts of Willyne Hammerstein which remind me of looking through a kaleidoscope as a child.
I believe that Willyne pieces over papers and hand stitches everything together. The fussy cutting gives wonderful variety and movement.
If you want to see more she has two books, Millefiori and Millefiori 2 which is new out.
I did not expect to like these quilts but they are absolutely stunning, the colours glow and I can only apologise that you don't really get a proper sense of their intricate beauty from my photos.
In complete contrast are the applique quilts of Irene Blanck from Australia. Also exquisite but a totally different colour palette, style and technique.
The quilts were beautifully displayed and I would love to be able to show you more - I am not great at applique but these quilts just make me want to have a go. I did buy Irene's book, Focus on Applique, so who knows, you may see my attempt on this blog in due course...
Two Japanese quilters next: Fumiko Nakayama makes extravagantly coloured quilts using the Mola techniques of applique and reverse applique. The designs are exuberant and not at all what one expects when one thinks of Japanese quilting, but there is the same meticulous stitching and attention to detail that seems to characterise Japanese work at the highest level. These photos cannot really show the way the fabrics are layered and cut back and stitched with absolutely invisible stitches to give just the right colour in just the right place. Extraordinary. And some of the pieces were huge!
These next photos are more of what one thinks of as traditionally Japanese, made by Tomie Nagano from recycled antique kimonos.
I'm afraid the camera flash has bleached out the smoky dark depth of the indigo but the pictures will, I hope, give a suggestion of the grainy texture of the cloth. Again, these were large quilts made of lots of small pieces: the squares in the Double Irish Chain at the top were about 1 1/2" finished and I believe it was all hand pieced and hand quilted. The last quilt which is a sort of Rail Fence pattern must have been hand pieced as you will see that the pieces all interconnect - no quick tricks here!
And here are just a few photos of quilts I liked but cannot attribute:
And some boutis, because it was France after all! Such beautiful work, though not something I am ever likely to attempt.
My WIP this week is a New York Beauty which I started back in 2005 in a weekend workshop with Valori Wells. Inspired by the sight of so many wonderful NYB's at the Nantes show I have dug mine out and will show you more in coming weeks (once I have mastered curved seams!).
Linking to Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday: always love her WIP's.