Susan is our point of contact to France and she writes the following:
In the Middle Ages the area around Albi/Southern France has made much money by gaining and producing a blue colour ("pastel") from a local plant. This trade is revived in our days and inspired a contest cum exhibition in January 2002 to have the theme "blue of the Cocagne district".
Being interested in France since quite a time I took part in this contest. Already the first letter from the organizers promised me free accommodation with a quilter if I would come and bring my quilt. My host was Cécile Milhau, being the leader of her own group of patchworkers and quilters "La courte pointe". They sometimes say "quilter" but more popular is the expression "matelasser" (being close to "mattress") for quiltwork. The group has monthly meetings and some of them even take the trouble of one hour's ride to come there .

Cécile also is the representative of her district for the French Patchwork guild.
During my stay we became good friends and are in close contact since then. The French quilters are very diligent, accurate and ambitious. They love fine and rich hand appliqués and embroideries. Nevertheless the famous boutis is not made in this group.

For our exhibition in Stadtbergen 2003 this group has supplied some of their work for our theme "friends".
I would also like to recommend the area of "Tarn" northeast of Toulouse for more than patchwork: it is certainly well worth a thorough trip!
Cécile's quilts can be seen in the internet and she can be contacted in French electronically: