Passionate from a young age about the world of haberdashery and textile and also an embroidery addict, Frédérique Crestin-Billet decided to create an exceptional series of embroidery pattern charts: Museum and Heritage collection. Finding inspiration in the wealth of French possessions and production, each theme aims to make embroidery an intelligent and cultural experience. Each of the subjects starts as a spectacular pattern chart which, once embroiders, makes a veritable masterpiece measuring 60 x 60cm. From this main project are derived numerous smaller pattern charts and kits on the same subject.
The seventh opus in the Museums and Heritage collection: a pattern chart dedicated to Napoléon and Joséphine. It has been in the back of my mind for a very long time, but as luck would have it, this is the bicentenary of the Emperor’s death. This pattern chart does not evoke either political or historical events of his reign, but of course, the textiles! The imperial couple did much to revive the industry in Lyon by ordering kilometres of the most sumptuous fabrics. This project also evokes Joséphine’s garments – she was famous for inventing the Empire gown fashion and exquisite cashmere shawls.
For the sixth series in the in the Museums and Heritage Collection, there is not one spectacular cross stitch kit, but two! One is dedicated to the Palace of Versailles and the other evokes Marie-Antoinette’s garments. As I multiplied my visits to the palace, it became evident that the queen Marie-Antoinette was a subject in her own right. And as luck would have it, I came across a gazette dedicated to the attires of Marie-Antoinette, the copy of a register containing fabric samples for the sovereign’s dresses. This is why I opted for two pattern charts, both different but complementary. I leave it to you to discover the allusions between the two.
The Toile de Jouy fabrics is the first theme broached in the Museum and Heritage Collection. This compilation of projects to embroider evokes the history of all the fabrics created and printed at the Oberkampf Manufactory which was situated in Jouy-en-Josas. It was in this celebrated manufactory that the “toiles de Jouy” were printed. The Toile de Jouy Museum is a great place to discover Christophe Oberkampf and all his creations, as well as the development of printing and production techniques and the works of other manufactories. A wonderful place for all those interested in the history of textiles. All this can be found on the back of the large pattern chart in the Toile de Jouy series.
It is impossible not to be moved by the Bayeux Tapestry which is, incidentally, an embroidery. This exceptional piece of work almost 1000 years old has stood the test of time by a combination of miracles. Apart from the fact that it disappeared the reappeared, it is extremely surprising that a textile object has resisted for so long. Here is a series of cross stitch projects which are interpretations of certain passages of this embroidery measuring 70m in length which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007. They all use Laine Saint-Pierre darning wool. Discover this wonderful story on the back of the large pattern chart from the main project in this Bayeux Tapestry series, second part of the Museums and Heritage collection.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the re-launch of Maison Sajou, we have, in 2005, added a new opus to the Museum and Heritage Collection: the history of Maison Sajou haberdashery from the origins at the beginning of the 19th century to the opening of our Sajou Paris store in 2013 in the Sentier quarter. Our cult products are represented and placed in the historical context of French haberdashery. A dream for all embroiderers!
The fourth subject in the Museums and Heritage collection, these tinctorial plants were a great pretext to develop patterns representing a whole collection of flowers. As with all the subjects in this collection, I do not pretend to have explored all the plants used for dyeing fabric and thread. It is more of a subjective evocation. Even if I put in a lot of research, it was also important to find an aesthetic aspect, so that the finished result was a harmonious blend of sizes and colours.
The cross stitch kit dedicated to the Chenonceau Château is the fifth opus in the Museums and Heritage collection. It was created after a visit to the Château who wished to offer a selection of Sajou products in their store. My childhood memories of this magnificent edifice spanning the river Cher were pretty vague, but on seeing it again, I fell immediately under the charm. Everything is extremely beautiful and breathtakingly refined. Like any inhabited home, there is a welcoming smell of wax, flowers all over the place and it is full of furniture. And of course there is an exceptional collection of works of art. This pattern chart is the result of my visit and my interpretation of this magnificent Château which exists thanks to many women, another positive point, as far as I am concerned.