Broken landscapes

March 5, 2013

For the past two years, I have been sewing this quilt by hand, on and off. I started assembling  fabrics after the shock and distress I  felt when  a major earthquake hit the  Eastern coast of Japan in March 2011. The earthquake triggered  powerful tsunami waves devastating everything on its way and caused nuclear accidents. Friends of mine were living in the same area. They barely escaped this disaster but so many, many people lost their life, were injured and are missing. Towns, villages were destroyed, homes broken, roads and railways heavily damaged,  whole landscapes disappeared.

quilt Japan, 3


The quilt is better looked at from the bottom to the top. This is how I started assembling my thoughts and fabrics. Scraps of materials like the broken pieces of a familiar world that suddenly was “deconstructed” by powerful  and unstoppable natural elements. Layers of fragments and leftovers remaining after the devastation. Phases of life after the tragedy.

dét 4Huge black and fatal waves reaching the shore, blowing away and destroying everything   on its way, leaving only  unrecognizable bits and pieces.

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Destructive waves moving further inside the country, over scattered parts of houses and objects that were discarded and that used to be part of people’s life.

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Little by little as waves receded, life went on when men and women overcame their indescribable fear, loss and distress.  With immense joint efforts, resilience and great courage, people started reconstructing homes, birds found their way in a nature that slowly came back to life.

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The top part of the quilt is sewn with  some Japanese fabrics. Symbols and tribute to  the People of Japan, survivors of  many tragedies, moving on with life courageously, great willpower and hope.

The quilt below, “Friendship Squares”, is one I sewed several years ago; it was sent with many other quilts made by quilters all over the world to various Japanese rescue associations that distributed them to people in need after the devastating events in 2011. My quilt was not very large, but I like to imagine it  warmed the body and heart of a child.quilt, carrés d'amitié


Autumnal quilt

October 25, 2009

This is a quilt I like to have around when Fall comes.  The walls of my home change as the seasons come and pass. I find that the shades of this particular quilt blend in  well with the colours of my surroundings: yellow, ochre, brown, green, rust. It  seems to capture all the rays of a sun that has lost its Summer warmth.

camaieu pastoral, automneIt is sewed mostly with precious leftovers  from other quilts.  French and English ancient fabrics, various silks and a pastoral scene on linen in golden tones.

The touch of these different materials is both soft and raw under your hands. The hand quilting adds a kind of uneven texture on materials that would normally be softer. Harmony in differences. I like it for the light it brings into the house and for the movement created by the various textures.camaieu detail

camaieu détail quilting