Over the past few posts you've travelled with Mr Daisy and I to Paris and Nantes, and now we come to the real reason we were in France - for the big exciting book launch of Whizz Bang - Adventures with Folded Fabric Quilts...

at Pour L'Amour du Fil - The Festival of The Art Of Thread!

When I last posted I left you with this photo taken the night before the show opened. Quiltmania had shared this photo on their social media and it came up in my instagram feed. OohhH!! You can imagine how excited I was to see Happy As A Clam being hung and my name up in lights. It's a wonder that I slept at all that night.

Day 1- Wednesday 24th

I'll use quotes from my Instagram throughout this post because they were written at the time of the show and it's nice to share what I was thinking in the moment. 

"We’re on the tram that takes us to the exhibition center.. it’s raining which makes everything look like a black and white French movie.. but I know it’s going to be a colourful sunny day at @pourlamourdufil ❤️"

We caught the tram from the front of our hotel and 20 minutes later it arrived at the Exhibition center where Pour L'Amour du Fil was held. 

When Mr D and I arrived in Nantes we'd been told we could leave our suitcases of quilts at the hotel reception and then go out and enjoy the day. We didn't have to help set up, which meant I was extra keen to see how the quilts looked in their exhibition space. Especially because this Quilt Show is different from others, as the featured quilters have their work displayed with furniture and props. I'd studied the map and knew where my space was so I made a speedy beeline. 

There it was- the entrance with my name!

and inside were all the quilts from my book Whizz Bang- Adventures with Folded Fabric Quilts. 

From my instagram,
"One of the things that makes @pourlamourdufil different from other shows is the personal styling
in the exhibition spaces. The amazing organiser and editor of Quiltmania,
Carol has such a great eye for picking pieces that reflect the colour, shapes and character
of the different quilts.. c’est magnifique! I wish I could have packed the monkey light in my suitcase!"

The styling was brilliant! It's amazing how a few pieces of furniture add so much more to the story of the quilts. 

My exhibition space included 2 rooms and you can see that the quilts were well spread out so that there was space to appreciate each one.  This was great especially when the show was open and there were crowds of people as you will see.

I couldn't help taking a zillion photos. 

The first morning was action packed! I was filmed chatting about my quilts.

Then I raced upstairs to teach a workshop. I wondered how my workshops would go seeing as I don't speak French, but I had a translator for the instructions and then when I was walking around the room its amazing how you do communicate, and we chatted about all the things quilters around the world chat about. I was so happy to meet some french blog friends and instagram followers and everyone was so lovely. The time flew by, (yes I know I always say this), too quickly.

The green part was the main classroom where I was teaching. It stuck out over the stands. 

This is a photo taken from my exhibition space.

and here is a photo of the show taken from the classroom.

Zooming in on my exhibition space.

When my workshop was over I raced down to my salon to meet and greet people and chat to them about my quilts. Mr Daisy was there too. He'd been learning French and he enjoyed talking to people.
The day was a whirl of colour and smiles and was over before we knew it!!

A few quick photos to show how well I matched the space. Carol really had done a great job of accessorising my exhibit. 

My book had only just been released before Pour L'Amour du Fil. A very limited amount had been flown out to Australia a couple of weeks prior for AQC ( the Australasian Quilt Convention) where they'd sold out on the first day. So seeing multitudes of boxes of my book was a special moment. 

and seeing it for sale on the Quiltmania stand was wonderful too. It certainly stands out like a colourful spinning star. 

After the show's close on the first day we had a big group photo taken. This is a tradition for the show and over my years of reading Quiltmania I'd always loved these group photos, they captured such a feeling of fun times! It was amazing to think that I was actually there in the 2019 photo. Mr Daisy took this one of us all starting to gather around.

And here is the photo as it appeared in the August edition of Quiltmania. Happiness!

Here's a close up of me and to my left is the lovely Susan Smith who was my show buddy. I absolutely loved spending time with Susan and her friend Corinne. Our exhibition spaces shared a wall so it felt nice to know she was nearby and I had someone to share stories with before and after the show. Susan has been in the industry forever and had so many interesting stories of her life as well. Seeing her smiling face in this photo warms my heart.

Day 2, Thursday 25th

From my instagram,

"The morning began with a talk to a tour group from @ect_travel in the UK.
They were so lovely and let me chatter away about my quilts.
I promised more photos of my salon. It’s big and spacious, and needs to be, as you can see in the first photo,
it fills up pretty quickly once the doors open. It’s wonderful for me to see all of my
Whizz Bang quilts together hanging in one space. A visual diary of the last couple of years of sewing.
It’s also quite amazing to experience people’s reactions as they walk into my area.
I’ve had such positive feedback and all sorts of compliments in languages from around the world.
So many people say the quilts make them feel happy! You can imagine how happy that makes me.
But of course Happiness is a universal language."

Here I am with a group of ladies who had travelled from the UK to see the show. Part of their tour was a private VIP tour of my quilts with me. They were all so friendly and it was nice to share my quilts with such a receptive audience. A few of the ladies came back and visited me during the day to have another look and to tell me what they'd seen and bought at the show. I thought that was lovely too.

During the day the stand would fill up with crowds of people!

And then through the crowds came these beautiful smiling faces.
That's Michelle Marvig on the left. She is a prominent Australian Quilt designer, fabric designer and she leads quilt tours around the world including France. She had brought a tour group to Pour L'Amour du Fil. I the wonderful surprise to know some of the ladies on the tour as well.

On my right are Margaret Mew and Judy Newman, two of my favourite people. They are both popular Quiltmania authors and are such lovely, fun women to be around.

Yay, Go Aussie Quilters!!

It happened to be ANZAC day which is an Australian day of remembrance, and a holiday in Australia. One of the tour ladies gave me a crocheted poppy brooch, I found the perfect place on my I Love a Sunburnt Country quilt. 

I also got to meet lots of my french blogging friends!! Bonjour! Bonjour!

Little Mimi was my cutest visitor.

More wonderful meetings on other days too. You can tell by my different outfits.

Remember the film that was made on the first day of the show. It was being shown on big screens  along with other authors interviews. It was quite odd to be walking around and then all of a sudden see my face on a big screen

Day 3, Friday 26th.

Here I am on the tram. My friend Michelle the Quilter from ButtonTree Lane and I swap random selfies sometimes.. from memory I think she was on a tram in Canberra heading home from work and I was on the tram in Nantes on my way to the show. I have headphones on, listening to my favourite music as I travel. 

The excitement of the day was finding out I that I was featured in the newspaper! When a reporter had been around and asked me questions I assumed they were interviewing everyone, I was surprised and very honoured to find the article about me. 

Of course I had to do a happy dance!

Ta Da!!

And so another day flew by, I'd taught in the morning and then spent the afternoon chatting to so many friendly people. 
I remember walking out into the early evening after the show and the light was so beautiful, sparkling on the water.

A bee was having a buzzing good time.
I do so love an apricot foxglove.

A pair of rectangle trees that I saw from the tram.

Day 4 Saturday 27th

It was the last day of the show and because I'd been teaching and spending time in my exhibition space I'd hardly looked around at all, at the shops or other exhibits. Mr Daisy manned the stand for me as I had a look around the shops. He would message me until I was needed back there to answer a question or sign a book, so I could only get away for 10-15 minutes and then would have to race back. So here are just a few photos of things I saw..

Ranbows of fabric.
Such delicious rich colour!

I loved meeting Odile Bailloeul and seeing her amazing colourful fabrics. She is a designer for Free Spirit and designs beautiful, fantastical fabrics in wonderful strong colours. 

Kathy Doughty was there with quilts from her latest book and a stand of fabulous fabrics all the things you'd expect from Material Obsession. 

Wendy Williams was there as a guest of Wonderfil Threads. Pictured here with Callista of Wonderfil.

Lovely Reiko Kato from Japan. 

And Susan Smith in her salon.

Emma of Le Patchwork d' Emma was such a smiling burst of sunshine every time she'd pop in to say hello.

And here I am doing a Thank You dance!! Thank you Pour L'Amour du Fil! Thank you Quiltmania! Thank you everyone who came and said "bonjour" and a super special Thank You to everyone who bought my book!!! And thank you to Janne for taking this photo!

The biggest Thank You goes out to Mr Daisy for being my right hand man!
And for having such great taste in shirts. 

It was lovely to get lots of messages and compliments about my quilts on social media, thank you to all of you too. 

To celebrate four big days of the show we ventured into Nantes,

and went to a special dinner with friends at the famous La Cigalle restaurant.

Everyone had been telling me how much I was going to love the restaurant and when I walked inside I could see why...

It was a grand, opulent, ornate, golden, feast for the eyes!

Mr Daisy was happy when he got a beer the size of his head!

A most wonderful gathering!! Lots of Aussies, English, French, Belgium quilters.
That was it for the show It was over but with enough wonderful memories to last a lifetime. The next day we rode on a giant elephant and ate magical marshmallows, I wrote about those adventures  in the previous post. 

After that we headed back to Paris by train to this fun hotel where we stayed before our plane left for Australia the next morning. The hotel was particularly fun for photos.

We stopped in Abu Dhahbi on our return flight and always one to try local cuisines we bought our selves a box of gourmet stuffed dates. They were divine, and another memory to cherish from our trip. 

One good thing about being slow to write about my travels is that I can include the photos of the magazine coverage of the show. 

In edition #132 was a mass of photos of the featured quilters and highlights from the show.

Here's the happy group photo again.

A lovely write up about the Whizz Bang Maison.
Photos from my teaching.

Wow! This feels like such a mega post!! All I can say is that I look forward to returning one day to France to travel again, and teach workshops again at Pour L'Amour du Fil. People ask if I'll write another book, I do have some different ideas, but books are a lot of work so I'll concentrate on writing individual patterns for a while. I do have some new ones coming... 

For those interested in finding a copy of Whizz Bang,

Ask at your Local Quilt Shop, it's the only book of its kind about these sorts of quilts so (in my humble opinion) all shops should stock it.
You can get it directly from Quiltmania in Europe, 
and Quiltmania in the US
In Australia you can get it from Can Do Books. 
I don't recommend Amazon because I've found it's more expensive there, plus its nice to support smaller businesses. 

The book is in French and English as are all of Quiltmania's books. It's well laid out and I've always found that when I read their books I click into only noticing the English parts. 
I chose Quiltmania because of the quality of their books and the way I knew that they would let me include lots of beautiful photos. It was important to me to have lots of pictures because these quilts are so full of beautiful textured details and the full pages of close up photos really show those details and provide extra inspiration. Every picture tells a thousand words.
Oh golly, listen to me, I could rave on and on about the book.. but maybe I should leave it there.  
I'll be back with more travel adventures soon, I still have to write about New Zealand, The Aussie Outback, my trip to Houston and more.