Embroidery in Paris
With some of the ‘big names’ of embroidery having their heritage in France, there are a number of places a few of us embroiderers would like to go to if at all possible. So when Marlous from the Stitching Sheep invited me to join her on a trip to Paris to go to their iconic Aiguille en Fete, I was eager to join her. And it worked in perfectly with holidays here in the UK! Not only did we visit the show, but we also had a great time at Au ver a Soielearning gold work with Jenny Aiden-Christie, and then at their special evening shopping event.
Learning with Jenny Aiden-Christie
Jenny is a tutor I was once told that if I ever get the chance to do a class with, I must do the class! So this really was a case of perfect timing. This was a short class of a few hours where we learnt gold work techniques when making one of her little milleflori brooches. Perfect timing for me as I am about to embark on my gold work piece for the Certificate!
The class was run in both English and French. Most of us spoke English well enough for all tuition to run in English. There were a few occasions where French was used for those who weren’t familiar with the English terms – Jenny speaks a little French, but one lady was a very good translator all round!
Tips from the professional!
With the class being quite short, we weren’t focused on finishing the piece, but rather on learning the techniques. Jenny gave some great tips for working with curves which would have been useful for my owl.
I didn’t, and still haven’t, finished the brooch, but here is my work from an afternoon! I’d like to think I’ll finish it before starting the Certificate piece, but I’m not sure that will actually happen.
Embroidery in Paris – Shopping!
Au ver a Soie – Nuit de la Broderie
The Au ver a Soie shop in Paris doesn’t open it’s doors to the public often. Monthly on a Monday, and a couple of nights a year they offer a night of embroidery, or ‘Nuit de la Broderie‘. With the Fair on in Paris, we were lucky to be there for one of their evening shopping nights.
Their shop is a real thread haven, not surprisingly! It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to see all their different types of threads, in all the different colours, all in one spot. With drawers and drawers one really could go a little crazy.
I restrained myself quite well, and picked up just a few little thread collections. For some reason this orange collection really appealed to me! I’m not sure what I will yet create with it, there are a few ideas floating around in my mind.
Just around the corner from Au ver a Soie is Sajou – the maker of the beautiful wooden and mother of pearl embroidery supplies, along with some threads, fabrics and other embroidery bits and bobs. I’ve written about their mother of pearl scissors before. These supplies for me, sit in the pretty pile, rather than the overly practical pile.
But, that aside, I wasn’t going to give up the opportunity to visit their shop! It was beautifully laid out, with a lovely sales lady. Another real treasure trove. I’ve always loved their little pincushions, and I when I saw this little tin I had to get one! The lady was really lovely about changing the contents over too. I didn’t think I really needed, or would ever use, all the eyelet closures contained, so I swapped them out for the little reels of cotton. I also won’t use these, but at least they are pretty!
Aiguille en fete
I’ve dreamed of going to this craft fair for a number of years, I think ever since I saw it advertised in Inspirations magazine five or six years ago. So this was a real treat, and I was quite excited to be joining Marlous on a trip to the show!
It has been a number of years since I’ve been to a craft fair in Australia, and I can’t really remember much about them except there being a lot of quilting and other general crafts. So I’ve only really got the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace to compare it to in recent memory.
The thing which really struck us both was how light and bright it was within the show hall. At Alexandra Palace there is a lot of overhead lights, but no natural light. Here, there was a better mixture of the two so you don’t get so tired so easily from the lighting.
It is also a very ‘classy’ show. At the previous shows I’ve been to there is also a shop or two of cheap tidbits, but here, it was all good quality supplies, with beautifully presented stalls. At Jenny’s class the afternoon prior to us going along, the other ladies had been disappointed in the number of embroidery stalls there. So I think we must have both set our expectations quite low, as we were pleasantly surprised!
Just a few purchases!
Again, I was very well restrained. There were a couple of magazines (in French, but with good pictures so fingers crossed), which are comparable to Inspirations in quality, so I took a gamble at my lack of French and picked up a couple! After having now looked closely at the box making one I may have bitten off more than I can chew with translations, but there is always Google Translate! I’m already thinking ahead to my appliqué piece (yes, I know, there is still gold work to go in the Certificate!), and I picked up some little bits of fabric and other ribbons which I will potentially be able to use for that. Some cute little buttons, and that was all!
And that was our couple of days in Paris with all things embroidery related. It was a wonderful time. It was so lovely to experience it with someone as keen on embroidery as I am. My hubby arrived Saturday afternoon just as we were putting our feet up from walking around at the show, so we even managed to time that well! Though I’m still a little tired from all the tourist things we did on our ‘last for now’ trip to Europe!