The CARON Collection is pleased to feature one of the outstanding
shops who so ably provide stitchers with not only supplies but guidance,
technical expertise, and inspiration. We hope you'll support your local
shops and browse through our extensive SHOP
LISTINGS to find a shop near you.
along place d'Austerlitz in Strasbourg, France, one's attention is drawn
to and immediately riveted by the tiny shop window of "Fils Du Temps"(Threads
of the Times). The alluring display is a feast for the eyes in which each
component is a treasure that speaks right to the heart! Their seemingly
random arrangement belies the imaginative effort devoted to the placement
of each piece to best effect. Framed samplers, embroidered pillows, aprons
and baby bibs; stitched mittens and sweaters; and lace-edged kerchiefs
are interspersed with antique dolls, puppets and whimsical figurines; miniature
furniture, pottery and fanciful wind-chimes, amid a profusion of unusual
blossoms spilling from baskets throughout. One simply cannot resist this
enticing vignette, which is the reflection of the fantastical and remarkably
theatrical imagination of Beatrice Orriere, come to life.
treasure "hound" with an impeccable eye, Beatrice has amassed
an eclectic collection of objets d'art which are being given a second life
in her shop. The atmosphere within is so cozy and exudes such humor and
mischief, that it is impossible not to be enchanted. An assortment of over
2000 cross stitch charts fills old crates set atop the original wood counter.
A showpiece cupboard which Beatrice found in her parents' cave (cellar),
was restored and now spills over with fabrics, tablecloths, towels, shirts,
vests and virtually anything else that can be stitched on.
"Fils Du Temps", which started out as "Coin Broderie"
(The Stitching Corner), is situated across from Strasbourg Island. The
town sits right on the border between France and Germany, separated by
the Rhine River. A short walk brings you to the famed Strasbourg Cathedral
with it's magnificent tower clockworks. This Alsacian area is known as
Krutenau, literally translated as "meadow of obstacles," referring
to the time in the 14th century when the area was all marshland. Adjacent
to Beatrice's shop are artisinal bakeries, greengrocers, flower shops,
patisseries, antique shops, and bistros. But Strasbourg's greatest claim
to fame is earned by its elaborate Christmas festivities as the acknowledged
European "Capitale de Noel." Beatrice's own shop window is then
transformed into a winter-wonderland, brimming with festive holiday paraphernalia.
developing her displays, Beatrice adores integrating anything that has
a connection to the particular embroidery motif being highlighted. Presenting
a design based on the character of "The Little Prince" by Antoine
de Saint Exupery, she juxtaposed it with an aged, well-thumbed copy of
the book and an assortment of necklaces, bracelets and rings with the boa
constrictor, elephant and sheep as motifs on the jewelry. Similar arrangements
have been created to celebrate Halloween, the Alphabet, the Seasons and
Beatrice envisioned having her own business, she first considered opening
a "Tea Room" serving the kind of mouth-watering pastries her
grandmother used to make. But serendipity came along in the form of a shopkeeper
who was closing her store which contained a minuscule cross stitch corner.
Beatrice realized that there were no other specialty stores for needlework
in Strasbourg and that this type of shop also fit the primary requirement
she had for her own enterprise: that it be a business which allowed for
artistic and creative expression with a maximum of customer interaction.
The dye was cast when she found space available in an old bookstore. Once
it was converted into a needlework shop, Beatrice used the existing bookshelves
to display her international inventory of cross stitch kits. She is especially
keen on collecting antique alphabet samplers; her most precious one is
dated 1811. Being a "great lover of popular art and letter (alphabet),"
she realized in retrospect that she could "... only sell alphabets
to embroider in a former bookstore...In life [there is] no stroke of luck,
everything has its reasons and meanings."
More and more stitchers who were familiar with only a limited range of
styles and techniques found their way to "Fils Du Temps," where
Beatrice kept them fascinated with a constantly changing inventory. The
casual feeling in the store encourages dialog between stitchers, who enthusiastically
exchange hints and advice generating their own projects.
In her unending quest for the next "find," Beatrice uncovered
a century old Alsacian design which she adapted and offered as a kit. Named
"The Alsacians," it became her best seller. A recent trend afoot
involves the rediscovery of "kelsch," a fabric, spun and woven
from flax, that was popular long ago. The traditional color combinations
are blue & white, red & white, and red & blue, which form a
plaid-style pattern. Beatrice utilizes this material to fashion a custom
mat border for "The Alsacians" embroidery to stunning effect.
Beatrice then located an antique frame dealer and commissioned him to create
a Louis Philippe frame for it. The Louis Philippe frames are often found
on Hansi drawings, Hansi being an illustrator of great repute. The finished
work of needleart was so handsome, everyone is clamoring to make one just
Recent acquisitions for the shop include a new series of alphabets reproduced
from Hansi's original designs. These have been widely available as motifs
on cards, dishes and fabrics, but never for embroidery. Beatrice attempts
to keep in stock a few specialty frames: some fabricated from exotic woods
and others decorated with folk art designs in unusual shapes, but mostly
she feels that Europeans are still very traditional in their tastes and
that Americans are much more adventurous and imaginative.
strives to stock specialty items not found elsewhere. She was the first
to carry "Charland Designs" in France. Both Charland's patterns
and the charms that embellish them are favorites and they tempt stitchers
to work on very fine linen and experiment with new stitches. Another line
featured is "Arts et Collections d'Alsace" which consists of
innovative decorating accessories; nearly everything they produce is a
replica of a museum piece such as those found in the Musee Alsacian. Their
selection of Christmas ornaments is especially hard to resist. The Caron
Collection of threads and fibers is an absolute must. The Waterlilies are
especially compatible for reproducing the antique alphabet samplers. The
color tones most favored are Royal Jewels, closely followed by Passion,
Holiday and Cherry. These luscious silks add a unique quality to the olde
lettering styles, giving them a contemporary flair without sacrificing
their traditional character.
the millennium approaches, Beatrice is already planning an exhibition in
the year 2000, to express gratitude to her customers for their contribution
to the continued success of "Fils Du Temps." A previous needlework
show was mounted in 1995 in the Citroen Showroom, which Beatrice and friends
converted into a magnificent gallery. This gala event astounded the Citroen
staff not only by the visual transformation of the space, but especially
by the number of people that the show attracted. The proceeds were donated
to the "Enfants Espoire du Monde", a foundation which aids children
in developing countries.
Beatrice is assisted in her endeavors by Anne, a student of art history,
who exhibits her own special talent for combining beads and cross stitch
to make one-of-a-kind needlework pictures, an exclusive at "Fils Du
Beatrice has developed an exceptional brand of alchemy which enables her
to transform materials from one form into something completely different,
dazzling and unexpected. Or maybe she just believes that if you think you
can spin straw into gold...guess what? YOU CAN!
Fils Du Temps is located at 7 place d'Austerlitz, 67000 Strasbourg, France
Store Hours: Tuesday & Friday - 11am to 7pm
Wednesday & Thursday - 2:30pm to 6:30pm
Saturday - 10:30am to 12 noon and 2pm to 5pm
Fax: (33) 18.104.22.168.96