Sunbonnet Sue takes off for France, paint palette and brushes in hand. This time she’s wearing a lovely painter’s smock made from a vintage blue/green/brown striped fabric with her batik beret to match. I took special care with her hair, and I think it looks just lovely. Sunny Sue’s ready to join up with some of the most famous French painters, including Manet, Degas, Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Gaugin, Toulouse-Latrec, Matisse and more. I’m sure she’s already rented her cold atelier in the 17th arrondissimente, and spends her evenings with the other Bohemians at a sidewalk cafe, swilling cheap red (but French!) wine and sopping up her bean soup with a thick crust of brown peasant bread.
If you’re in the mood for a little quilting while in Paris, I suggest you visit the quilt shop near Notre Dame cathedral, Le Rouvray, owned by an American and filled with interesting fabrics from the U.S., France, Britain, and Japan. The French fabrics are beautiful, and the staff was very helpful, even if we did have the occasional communication issue. Still we all spoke the same language when it came to fabrics and quilting (or patchwork as it’s called there!). Paris also boasts a second quilt shop, Best of Quilting, in Marcoussis. This shop is also lovely and jam-packed with quilting goodies and a great staff very knowledgeable about “le patchwork”.
If you’re still on the hunt for tissues (fabrics) after these two shops, check out Marche St Pierre near Sacre Coeur. In this area, you can also find several smaller fabric, notions, and embroidery shops, but you’ll have to wander around a bit to find them. Try to squeeze in a visit to the Museum of Fashion and Textiles, if you can — very fun and interesting for fabric hounds! Sentier is the big wholesale textile district, but it can be a little dangerous and unless you’re looking for wholesale purchases, maybe not worth the visit. If you like to get down and scrounge around a bit, think about the Parisian flea markets. Check out Porte de Vanves flea market for new and vintage textile items (and more!) and Les Puces (The Fleas) at Porte de Clignancourt is perhaps the best known of the flea markets. Paris is a city made for walking, so wear good shoes and watch your wallet in the markets, but be prepared to have a great adventure looking for goodies!
So I hope I leave you inspired to quilt, to embroider, to paint like the Impressionists or Fauvists or Cubists, to visit a flea market, or to travel to France, especially Paris…. I leave you with this inspirational pink flower from my backyard to brighten your day. Au revoir, mis amis!