My first Folk Quilt project of 2012 is off to a great start. It is a String Pieced Floor Pillow that fuses Jinny Beyer Fabrics with recycled scraps of polyester, rayon, linen, and knit culled from the back of my Grandmother, Mary Beatrice Shorter (1914-2008).
The aesthetic is both fresh and modern, but deeply rooted in traditional techniques such as paper string piecing for stability and body with an added sprinkle of floral applique artistry.
However, my pattern is heavily influenced by the book Signs & Symbols: African Images in African-American Quilts by Maude Southwell Wahlman. The dominant design element, multi-patterned string piecing, reflects a symmetrical interpretation of the Kongo cosmogram of birth, life, death, and rebirth – the four stations of our life cycle.
Be sure to add this book to your library. It is a wonderful history of African-American textiles and is an inspirational resource for both traditional and modern quilters alike.