Nantes Quilt Show 2017 – Quilts and Elephants

Nantes quilt show 2017

Nantes quilt show 2017

The Nantes quilt show 2017 was just as delightful as the previous one that I visited in 2015.  It’s called Pour l’Amour du Fil, meaning For the Love of Thread and it covers a wide range of needle craft.  All the quilts and the trade stalls are completely different from those at UK shows, so it’s a real treat to go there.

The centrepiece at the entrance to the show was these two elephants, dressed out in lovely rich fabrics.  Nantes is famous for its mechanical animals – more about them at the end of this article.

The quilts in the exhibition

Quilts on show

Quilts on show

The quilts on display were of course beautiful.  I love these quilts made using both patchwork and applique.  Once again I wished I had the time to do far more applique than I do now.  Ah well, when I retire ….!

Jen Jones Welsh quilt

Jen Jones Welsh quilt

The smaller displays

The Nantes quilt show 2017 was run as usual by Quiltmania.  This means that in addition to the open display of quilts there were also many small galleries showcasing the work of quilters who have had books published by Quiltmania.  I was delighted to find a whole section of vintage Welsh quilts brought over by Jen Jones from Lampeter in Wales.  It was ironic to think that it probably took me less time to fly from Birmingham to Nantes than it would have taken me to drive from Birmingham to Lampeter!

Passacaglia quilts

Passacaglia quilts

Passacaglia quilts

You may well have heard of these, but this was the first time that I had come across Passacaglia quilts.  There was a whole section devoted to them and they were beyond beautiful.  The pattern comes from the book Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein and it’s definitely not a quick or an easy quilt to make – I have nothing but admiration for the quilters who had made quilts for this section.

I did look for the book, but it’s not on Amazon.  There was one available on Etsy, but that was £45.

Quilted jacket

Quilted jacket

Trade Stalls at the Nantes quilt show 2017

The trade stalls were fascinating, featuring mainly French traders.  I fell in love with this jacket.  The pattern for it was on sale but when I tried the jacket on it was much too small so there wouldn’t have been any point in buying the pattern.

Apocalypse tapestry

Apocalypse tapestry

Travelling further afield

I took a train to Angers for a day trip.  I happened across a lovely chateau which was fascinating – it dated back to Neolithic times.  However the cream of the visit for me was the Apocalypse Tapestry.  This is actually a series of tapestries telling the tale of the Apocalypse according to the Book of Revelation in the New Testament.  Lots of dragons and monsters being slain.  It really is an extraordinary piece of work, about 100 metres long altogether – the oldest surviving set of tapestries of this size.  They were commisioned in 1375 (!) by Louis I.  I felt really privileged to have been able to see such a wonderful work.

And finally – the elephant

In the middle of Nantes lies a park of machines where they have some weird and wonderful mechanised animals and insects.  The most intriguing is the elephant.  He wonders around the park, carrying quite a few people, and trumpets and shoots water at the people around him.  As you can imagine, the children think it’s wonderful and scream with delight when he sprays them with water.

Here’s a short video of him:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About Rose


  1. Irena Mangone says:

    I loved be quilts and that elephant Arent There so many talented people.

  2. Jo Williams says:

    I also enjoy your quilt patterns. I also enjoy you sharing your adventures. The elephant is quite of a masterpiece for the artist.
    I live in Indiana in the United States.

    • Hi Jo. I’m sure that every area has its own special attractions, but the Nantes elephant is definitely one of a kind! Have a great weekend in Indiana.

  3. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Great field trip. Loved the elephant. The quilts were amazing. Must have taken a long time to do them

    • Hi Sandra. I admire quilters who can spend so much time on just one quilt – with such wonderful results.

  4. Carol Smith says:

    You have outdone yourself , everyone who knows me knows my passion for elephants, that was outstanding. I who have loved to see it and it could have drowned me with water!! The quilt pattern was as usual beautiful. Thankyou for you weekly blog

    • Thanks, Carol. I seem to have ended up with a bit of an elephant theme in my bedroom, but it sounds like you must have a lot more elephants than I do! The elephant managed to spray my camera – he had good aim.

  5. Linda Dickson says:

    What wonderful adventures you have. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Colleen McKinlay says:

    Once again a great field trip Rose. So interesting. That elephant is amazing! So interested in welsh quilts. Having a welsh Gramma has inspired me to read more books and do more research on this style of quilting. Another dream project!

    • Hi Colleen. Jen Jones has a wonderful gallery in Lampeter, Wales. I visited there many times when I lived in Ludlow. She has a huge collection of antique and vintage Welsh quilts – a really interesting place to visit. Enjoy your research!

  7. Carol Tambourine says:

    Thank you for sharing. I love reading about your travels.
    What do we call the type of quilt which is pieced and appliqued. I would really love to attempt to make one.

    • Hi Carol. I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to that, but they do make lovely quilts, don’t they. I’m sure you could find a pattern for one on the internet.

  8. Betty Mask says:

    Hi Rose, I look forward every week for your blog and your patterns. I loved your trip and as I love quilts that was good, but I loved the elephant the very best. Thank you for taking the video and shareing . I live in the State of Mississippi in the USA never seen anything like that

    • Hi Betty. The elephant was quite spectacular and I really enjoyed seeing him again. He was just as much fun as the quilt show!