The Source for Contemporary Art Quilts, Exhibitions & Appraisals

Soizik Labbens, a graduate of the UK's Cambridge University, was born in Brest, France, in 1931, and lived in Paris for more than forty years. A pioneer among French quilters, she learned how to make quilts in 1974 at the legendary Parisian shop Le Rouvray and teamed with founder Diane de Obaldia to create that store's fabric department. She began traveling to the US in 1977, where she taught classes at International Quilt Festival in Houston for many years, and, in 1985, her quilt Oh! Happy Days was the first European quilt chosen for a Quilt National exhibition. In 1994, she was named one of the "88 Leaders in the Quilt World Today" by the Japanese craft publishing company Nihon Vogue and profiled in the book of that title, and, in 2001, Thirteen Moons Gallery in Santa Fe featured her work in a solo exhibition. She has a wide ranging visual curiosity, and her work is influenced by her study of architecture, painting, photography, film, and textiles from around the world.

Labbens told Nihon Vogue, "I work on the wall like a painter and... hand painted and hand dyed and fabrics give me a huge palette to play with. The search for new textiles is part of the pleasure: beautiful brocades from Japan as well as a specific fabric from a very well known designer, authentic hand-woven and hand-dyed pieces from Africa, and why not finely colored dish towels? I like to make people dream in front of my quilts."

This quilt, which employs a wide variety of fabrics, is an example of Labbens's unique Log Cabin style patchwork and won third prize in at the first Patchwork & Quilt Expo (then called Quilt Expo Europa) held in Salzburg, Austria in 1988. Miroir du monde means mirror of the world.


Toward Barred Island by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade (detail)

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Toward Barred Island by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade (detail)

Bottom left and right: Toward Barred Island (detail) by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade