Schwetzingen was the summer palace of one of the Hannover Electors in the eighteenth century. As a palace goes it was rather modest but the grounds are wonderful and designed to elevate the mind replete with structures of classical design and a "arabian" garden and minaret. The wooden structure at the bottom right was the study of the elector, inspired by African huts again to inspire the mind.Ultimately however I enjoyed the way that animals had made each of these 'edifying' stuctures their own- a fine juxtaposition i thought.
Annecy in the Haut Savoie in France is the home of Isabel Healy a member of the Alternative Quilt List run by Marion Barnett. Thelma Smith and I spent a delightful three days as Isabel's guest. The views around the lake were gorgeous and we were blessed with stunning weather. The town of Annecy itself is sometimes called the Venice of France and the old section of the town has canals.
Ribeauville lies in the Vosges foothills and is a treat for the eyes with its brightly coloured Saxon houses and colourful flowered window boxes. I particularly enjoyed the fountain square which had large baskets of vegetables and herbs rather than flowers as decoration- true to the gourmet traditions of the Alsace..Ribeauville itself was home to one of the first textile printing mills in Europe and there is a still functioning factory where fine fabrics using the old motifs are still produced.
Vezelay and Chassy. Vezelay is one of the basilica's on the Pilgrims' route- the basilica stands atop a hill to which one must ascend ( though not as punishing as Rocamadour). The basilica crypt is said to have relics of Mary Magdalene and also said to lie on a leyline. The more lacelike church is the gothic small basilica of St Pere a village two kilometers from Vezelay.
I enjoyed attending the Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork and will be teaching there next year. There were some wonderful exhibitions and I bought some of the small Afghan embroideries which Pascale Goldenberg is selling in order to raise funds for Afghan women .The idea is that you use the embroideries to make a larger piece which will be exhibted in the future- so that in essence the work is a collaboration.
Some new discoveries for me; Doerte Bachs curated exhibition called Time Patches- there were some wonderful pieces vailable and a catlogue in full colour with a page devoted to a detail shot and the opposite page with a full image is availabe through the website by contacting Doerte. Another was the work of Mariana Fruhauf ( sorry don't have the umlaut for the u in her surname)- I particularly liked the pieces that had holes cut out filled with rocks and other 'rocky'beads.
I hope to get back to some work today or tomorrow- I have a lot to do before my next trip which will be to the Middle East in February.