Book Review – Flaneries dans Paris et Ailleurs

Flaneries dans Paris et Ailleurs
by Martine Apaolaza
(Quiltmania Editions 2014)

French Embroidery Book 017


I am not an expert, so correct me if I am wrong, but ‘Flaneries dans Paris et Ailleurs’ I think translates into ‘Wanderings in Paris and Elsewhere’. This is a delightful book published by Quiltmania, showcasing the work of Martine Apaolaza. I came across this book by chance in one of my favourite quilt shops and once I had it in my hands I just couldn’t put it down, especially as it seemed to be the only one there.

Martine’s style began in her childhood where she described, ‘everything is rooted in us’, but she is also influenced by painters of old Paris, antique advertising posters and Parisian roof tops. The idea of saving materials, (fabric and thread) and using up the smallest pieces, (which sounds very familiar to me), is at the heart of what Martine does. Therefore she constantly looks around for interesting pieces to collect and vintage fabric to use in her work. Her creations epitomise the notion that satisfaction can be gained from having little.

The book is a collection of beautifully detailed pieces of textile art, made with a mix of applique and embroidery. (My favourite being the sewing shop window of course). The projects are mainly sewn by hand, but then constructed with a machine. Each piece has been given a skill rating of 1 – 3 Eiffel towers, 1 being for the beginner and 3 towers for the advanced sewer.




The book is written in French with the English translation alongside. This is the only negative I have to say about the book. The translation is a little strange in places and confusing. The wording is not quite how we would usually speak, but you can get the gist of what is being said and it does not detract from being able to use the book. There are step by step instructions on how to create a shop window, how to create a building facade, as well as how to use reverse applique, the technique needed for the projects. (There is also a large diagram sheet at the back of the book to be used for tracing the shop and building fronts).

The beautiful collection of shops and buildings include a toy shop, lingerie outlet, hotel, grocer, baker and spectacle maker, to name but a few. Finished projects include an embroideress case, (which I haven’t heard of before?), use it embroider on the go. There is also a sewing kit, phone and spectacle case.




I already adore French style and have put my own little collection together on Pinterest of French themed photos, see here. So this book just encapsulates that style, mixed with my favourites embroidery and applique. Stitching heaven! All in all I find it a very inspirational book and lovely one to keep in your collection.



Let me know of any good books that you have come across in the comments box below.


(Photos published with permission by Quiltmania)




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