Thursday, December 23, 2010

'tis the Season.....




.......for red inspirations!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Midwinter's Sunset!


Sometimes the colours of nature are so intense that they almost appear to be artificial. This was one of those sunsets!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Show Time!


The Portobello West Market last weekend was a good experience. We met some great folks, both other artisans and shoppers, and we even sold some things. Well worth the effort!

Now, on to the next project!

It was the night before......



The team assembled and last minute details were taken care of. Thanks team!

Loose Ends and Clean-Up!










Things are coming together for the market on the weekend, but there are still some loose ends and clean-up.

Zen and the Art of Free Motion Quilting






Although hand quilting and its rhythmic, rocking motion has always been a natural expression for me, free motion machine quilting is becoming very comfortable as well, not to mention much faster.

When sight, sound and touch are synchronized, and the thread in the needle draws to its rhythm,the Bernina sings.

Monday, November 15, 2010

12 Days to Go!


12 days and thousands of stitches to go before the Portobello West Market on November 27th and 28th. What a blast!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

To Market, to Market...........





We're off to the market! Come see us at the Portobello West Market on November 28th and 29th in Vancouver, or visit us at http://www.seamsfrench.com/.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Colours of My Life!







Autumn "leaves" me inspired!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

"The Kitchen God's Wife"


My faithful Kitchen God and the Diva of the Dining Room were united on Saturday, October 30, 2010. May the union be blessed with divine cuisine!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday Night Sushi


My favourite kind of restaurant. Dressing for dinner takes on new meaning in this town.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Stanley's Park


The Seams French IT Team gathered for its weekly brainstorming session.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Queen Reigns Supreme!


When the pedal hits the medal, Bernina goes F1!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cathedrale windows





Heading NW on the A75 from Montpellier, you will arrive at the little town of Lodeve in about 45 minutes. Like so many of the towns and villages in the Languedoc, there are treasures to be found around every corner. Our destination was the "Musee Fleury", which was featuring a Gauguin exhibit. Aside from the Gauguin on exhibit, there were some marvelous contemporary French works on display as well. Much inspiration was gleaned from the experience, and many quilt designs are hoping to find their way to fabric. (Some day!)
Aside from the very fine gallery in town, Lodeve is also well known for it's medieval cathedral, "Cathedrale St-Fulcran". Lodeve is an ancient town with Celtic origins, however, the town and the church thrived during the middle ages because of the local wool trade. Most of the current structure was built in the 12th and 13th centuries, although there are traces of the original 6th century foundations. The cathedrale is still a stop on the pilgrims route, walking on the Roads towards Santiago, just as it was centuries ago.

The mid 19th century stained glass windows made a particular impression on me. The colours are vibrant and lively; joyful! Inspiration is everywhere; we just have to let it happen.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Colour Considerations I: Stone/Red






In the spring, poppies paint the local landscape a brilliant red. A delight for the senses!

Colour Considerations II: Terracotta




Terracotta clay roof tiles play a constant role in the general landscape of the towns.

Colour Considerations III: Stone







Natural linens, 100% cotton and toile de jouy play the leading role in much of my work. The stone coloured linens are reminiscent of many of the medieval stone built structures found in most of the towns and villages of Southern France.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm in heaven, simply heaven......





It's the fibre lovers paradise; the motherload; the big kahuna! At the base of Sacre Coeur, in the Montmartre district of Paris, live thousands and thousands of orphaned bolts of fabric, just waiting for the right person to give them a loving home. Always on the look out for yet another metre of fabric in need of a loving home, I did my part for the "fabric rescue program".

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Une Catastrophe!


While in the process of designing some custom placemats, that are to coordinate with a specific set of dinnerware, catastrophe struck! The fabric was chosen from a print-out of the dinnerware found on the web. Not a good idea! When confronted with an actual dinner plate, the colours chosen were very wrong. By this time, the fabric had been purchased, pre shrunk and the piecing had been done. All was set for the hand applique to commence. C'est tragique!


But the fabric did look quite beautiful drying in the warm sun!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The mimosa trees were already in full bloom on our arrival, and by now, most of the early flowering shrubs and trees provide a colourful accent to the all the light coloured stone houses that line the streets.

We had hoped for sunshine when we got back to “Le Grande Sud” 4 weeks ago. Spring has been a little reluctant to make a firm commitment this year.
However, the Saturday market in town already offers “produits du terroir” (locally grown produce), in the form of asparagus and “garriguettes” ( very aromatic, flavourful strawberries ).

In everything that I see, I can visualize the next quilt, or wall hanging or table setting. Thank goodness for the digital camera, which allows me to record these images, and refer back to them as often as necessary.
I am currently designing several new pieces which will make it to the web site before too long. The problem here is the same problem that I face in Vancouver. There are only 24 hours in a day, and sleep seems to be a necessary part of life! So I put in the necessary hours of sleep required. When morning finally arrives, I’m eager to get started with the new day and to discover more about this textile art.


In the meantime, Leah is back in Vancouver, hand piecing her way through a 17oo piece quilt. (Is she kidding?!?) I am also hard at work trying to improve my computer skills, in all areas, but in particular, for use in the design process.
Leah and I share ideas and provide help and support to each other on an almost daily basis (our version of “on-line support”). We have been known to each sit at our computer until the wee hours of the night (for me), and browse the web, while having a running dialogue via skype. Being able to work together this way has made our 2 continent partnership quite viable.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Our Story


The idea of Seams French came around when my mom Elizabeth and I moved to Europe. It was about five years ago that I went off to grad school in the UK, while my parents decided to realize their dream of living in the south of France. I was studying contemporary art, and Elizabeth was developing her already considerable quilting skills by learning (and mastering) the techniques common to the region of Provence.

After two years I graduated and moved back to Canada to marry my beloved husband. We now live in Vancouver and absolutely love it! My parents live nearby in the same city for part of the year, but continue their French adventures on an annual basis.

Realizing that we work well together and have similar interests, Elizabeth and I have decided to begin our own sewing adventure. We consider it a bi-national effort of sorts, working together and separately as we see fit but constantly and enthusiastically. Elizabeth has developed her own line of fine linens which you can check out at www.seamsfrench.com, and loves the challenge of custom projects. I've taken a shine to quilting and have become the trusted apprentice, loving the process of colour selection, construction and the chance to learn a trade that so many of the women in my family have participated in at one time or other.

While Elizabeth is in France this blog is a way for us to communicate, but we're also hoping that other people who see this site and share similar interests will feel compelled to join in the conversation. Thanks for reading and happy threads!


-Leah Janzen

Monday, February 15, 2010

We are finally online!

It's been a long journey, but we're finally here and we're finally Seams French! Looking forward to sharing our threads :)