flea market and stitching report : france edition

In June I spent a couple weeks in France with French General stitching and roaming around brocantes and vide-greniers (that’s French for flea markets and yard sales!). I came back with a little bit of stuff and a ton of inspiration. I’ll show you some more of that in a minute (the image above is from a fantastic, elegantly ramshackle shop in St. Antonin). First I want to show you what we stitched in the studio.

Don’t see the video above? click here.

The project was a journal version of the stitchbook, made from scraps and inspirations found in our travels. I sure do love old cloth. It’s mainly what I look for in France and my book is a celebration of that, toile, woad dye and classics like roses and checks.

The students were serious stitchers and embraced the thought of inventing pages inspired by the experience. So many great ideas and interpretations.


This book was shorter than the full 100 day stitchbook, 12 pages instead of 20. Also on most of the books the edges were left raw and straight stitched together.  It makes an excellent vacation/road project, easy to carry and perfect for stashing little treasures and memories.


This is a little of the fabric I brought back with me. Songbirds are already in progress and there’s a whole blog post about that too. And in the gallery below there are a few more favorite images and treasures.

It was a big adventure! And the first time I’ve traveled in a long time.  It’s also a very happy thing to be home again and back to all the things I love doing. I am a person who loves routine, I think a lot of stitchers are, how about you?


  1. Hi Ann! Loved this photo journal of your trip to France with French General. I was a pleasure meeting you! You are truly an inspiration to me. Am just now finishing my book at home – but I resisted the urge to add from my home stash! Only the things I brought back from the craft studio. Love this permanent reminder of a glorious time on the France Getaway! PS – I did remember to send you a photo of my Lucky Fish – hope you saw them!

  2. Bonjour Ann! I so enjoyed this post, revisiting our adventures there in France! Thank you for your inspiration, perspective and humor! And I’m hoping you did indeed pick up a pair of those linen overalls for yourself after all !

  3. claire hampton (susan herbster)

    There is something so natural about the fabric book. I love the raw edges. May I ask how the pages were assembled?

    • If you’ll scroll back in older posts, you will find excellent instructions from Ann posted. I think there is even a video. Have fun!

  4. How fabulous! I love the beautiful fabric pieces you brought back, too! I have never had a desire to really travel anywhere except France. One day I am going! Thank you for sharing your fun!!

  5. Ann, I can’t think of anyone better suited for the workshop in France – i hope that one day I can take a workshop from you, wherever!! Your students excelled, from what i can see. Looks like you had a glorious time, and i can also completely understand the bliss in being home once again to familiar surroundings. Good job, teacher!!

  6. Jan E. Abrams

    How lovely and inspiring, Ann! Thank you for sharing all of the photos. I hope to make a stitch book of my own in the near future and incorporate some of the textile “ephemera” I have collected over the years that are currently just sitting in a box. Thanks again!

Comments are closed.