In Quilts of Provence Kathryn Berenson—the recognized expert on the subject—lays out a richly woven narrative of these intricately detailed heirlooms. This sumptuous book documents the exceptional beauty of the traditional craft practiced by needlewomen in southern France, covering both history and how-to—from the production of this exquisitely detailed work to techniques and patterns for recreating quilts, throws, and apparel. “This story of the art of corded and stuffed quilted work . . . ﬁnally gives Provence its rightful place in history,” writes Michel Biehm in his foreword.
Berenson chronicles the long history of Provençal needlework, highlighting the craft’s players, among them the artisans who created these revered quilts and the queens and average French women who treasured them. Along the way, she reveals the intriguing politics surrounding French textiles—including a seventy-year prohibition outlawing printed cottons during the eighteenth century. Berenson’s extensive knowledge of traditional quilting also leads her to groundbreaking conclusions documenting the inﬂuence of Provençal needlework on quilting around the world.
Quilts of Provence provides guidance to readers for creating these artful quilted pieces, with ten projects perfect for intermediate or expert quilters—work sure to inspire beginners as well. Projects include an elegant baby’s bib and an infant lap piece, a comfortable woman’s vest, a quilted pillow sham, and a range of exquisite bedcovers and quilted throws, some of which merit display like the works of art they are. Also included are a detailed resource section, which provides information on how to care for and hang quilts, where to see them displayed, and where to buy antique Provençal quilts. Full-color photographs capture the charm of tiny, hand-stitched infant shirts, the elegance of all-white bedcovers, and the feminine appeal of colorful quilted petticoats.