Even the most unrooted of us are aware of the symbolic nature of quilts. Each precious piece used to create them reminds its owners of a story, a feeling or an untold mystery. A quilt truly is the “fabric of time”, and it’s thread has bonded us equally to our Americana cultures for over two centuries.
We in the heartland feel a particular kinship to the quilt with our farm-bred waste-not-want-not upbringing. Our patchwork farms and fields even resemble quilts. So dedicated to this generational craft are we, that it is honored in festivals, painted on barns, and favorited overwhelmingly as the fund-raising grand prize in just about every church I know.
So when I saw those same beautiful patterns celebrated on a New York fashion runway last fall, it got my attention. Designer Raf Simons incorporated very old, authentic quilts into his work for Calvin Klein.
The quilts were taken apart and re-pieced into stunning collar accents and gorgeous full length bodices on coats. My favorite use of the theme was Simons’ jacket lining design. Not only spectacular, but an incredible way to wrap yourself in 100% cotton comfort.
A Belgian native, Simons was smitten by the historical tradition of the American quilt, and intends to continue using it in new collections.
Other famed designers, such as Prada and Mimi Prober have also put their stamp on a line of quilts and inspired clothing.
It would seem that the NE not only embraces the quilt, but has defined a new way to “strike the pose”.
Want to try your hand at a New York state of mind? This quilt design named “New York Beauty” is a powerful candidate. It’s sleek spike design reminds me of the Statue of Liberty, or tall skyscrapers like the Chrysler Building. Finished quilts are quite modern and surreal.
Creative inspiration derives its source from all places, stories and histories–just like quilting! Have a great quilting month, everybody!