Quilt Music

In December I went on a field trip to the Michener Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.  There I saw Blanket Statements: a show of quilts designed by Kaffe Fassett using his fabrics, as well as historical quilts from the Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles.

Kaffe Fassett’s colors are strong and exuberant; they sing.

Kaffe Fassett: Autumn Crosses

Kaffe Fassett: Autumn Crosses

The colors in the older quilts are more muted. The old fabrics carry memories. Even though they aren’t my memories I can feel their pull and power.

They hum.

Etlderton Log Cabin from the 1890's.

Etlderton Log Cabin from the 1890’s.

Small Squares from the 1930's.

Small Squares from the 1930’s.

1890 Chevron Stripes

1890 Chevron Stripes

You can hear them especially well up close.

1890s log cabin close up


1874-1900 hearts and crosses

1874-1900 hearts and crosses

detail from Red Manor House Coverlet, 1850's

detail from Red Manor House Coverlet, 1850’s

I don’t know who Mrs. Fitzherbert is, but I like her quilt and her name. This quilt whistles.

1800 -1850's Mrs. Fitzherbert top

1800 -1850’s Mrs. Fitzherbert top

In another room at the Michener were quilts made of wood by Laura Petrovich-Cheney. They clatter and chatter.

laura petrovich cheney

petrovich cheney

Laura Petrovich-Cheney

Laura Petrovich-Cheney

These shows left me inspired to find my own melodies. If you want to hum, sing, whistle or chatter with some quilts you can see the Blanket Statements show until February 21st, and the wood quilts until May 15th.

p.s. If you take a trip to Doylestown, don’t miss the Mercer Museum, the Moravian Tile Works and Fonthill. I just wrote about the Moravian Tile Works at Books Around the Table.


Last weekend I was lucky to go to part of a quilting retreat taught by Joe Cunningham and organized by Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts.patricia and joeWe met at a quiet retreat center on the Hood Canal where we had a good workspace, good living space and good food amidst beautiful scenery.

In front of a warm fire (and under the watchful glass eye of a ruminant) we looked at quilts made by participants of the retreat. IMG_0578Here are a few of those quilts. Everyone’s quilts were amazing but most of my photos are too fuzzy to share.
Susie Wolcott  –susie wolcottSeda Terek –seda terekBarbara Hassenrikbarbara hassenrikGeoff Hamada –geoff hamada

Jennifer Rhoads –jennifer rhoadsOne day’s assignment was to quilt a sentence of three words, at least 36″ wide. Joe showed us slides of quilts with words on them. I don’t have copies of the slides he showed, but I found these images with a similar feel. freedom first squair quilt glad day quiltAfter we looked at the slides we were set free. Everyone attacked the problem in a different way. Joe Cunningham is a great teacher. He inspired us and got us rolling on our own projects. The projects were engineered to allow the unexpected to occur. Joe helped us when we wanted help and let us steam ahead unimpeded when that was desired. The environment was kind and friendly. Joe even played the guitar for us.Joe CunninghamHere are some of the letters and sentences (in progress) that people made.
Laurie Wilkey pieced this. laurie wilkey IMG_0585 IMG_0584Susie Wolcott’s letters were put together to spell Mush Head Day.IMG_0599 IMG_0598 IMG_0596Janet Hasselblad wrote this:janet hasselbladSara Goss added a pieced demonstration of her idea.saraLynn Haia wrote about her dog Tallulah and his toy Bluey.lynn haiaI wrote WHY ? and WHY NOT. I pieced the letters with fabric cut from a patchwork skirt that had been sewn by my Great Aunt Marjorie Powell..aunt marjoriepaschkis why why notWhy was the retreat so fun? A good teacher, thoughtful planning, a beautiful place, and the pleasure of meeting interesting people with common interests, all of us working side by side. The feeling of the retreat can be best summed up by a  quilt from 1874 which says: From  every quarter flowing joyful crowds assembled round and spake with exalted zeal.
…Just substitute sewed for spake.Cornelia Vosburgh quilt

p.s. Here is a link to my blogpost about Wordwatching at Books Around the Table. Please stop by!


In December of 2014 my husband and I went to Portugal and Spain. We saw tiles everywhere. The blue and white tiles are called Azulejos. IMG_9303

We saw tiles on walls.




on benches


on signs


and on the ground.



We saw tiles with animals and birds on them.

IMG_1017 copy



and tiles that were pure pattern.

Version 2

Version 2

When I came home I did some paintings that were inspired by the tiles and other things I saw on that trip. Many of those paintings were used to make a new line of fabric for In the Beginning Fabrics. The new line is called Azuli. The word sounds like Azulejos and the word azul which means blue in Spanish. It is fun to say, but doesn’t have a true meaning.

Here are some of the paintings that didn’t become fabric.

Paschkis blue bird

Paschkis cat

Paschkis peacock

And here are some paintings that did become fabric!

Paschkis capella repeat

paschkis vine hexagon

This pomegranate pattern became an allover repeat (and I added a few seeds).paschkis pomegranate

in the beginning azuli

This allover pomegranate pattern was printed in a blue or burgundy color way.

azuli floral copy

in the beginning azuli

purple orange pom

Here are peacocks we saw in Portugal.


and fabric inspired by their feathers.

Paschkis peacock

A rooster from the trip…


and a rooster that flew into the fabric line..

paschkis rooster

Azuli is available now at fabric stores such as Gathering Fabric in Woodinville, Washington, Pacific Fabrics or online at Winter Creek Cloth.

Putting together this blog post has made me remember the trip so clearly. I think I might need to go back and get inspired all over again.

IMG_1015_2 copy

Now, Then and Soon

If you are subscribed to this blog you will have noticed that I haven’t posted much on it. This year has been busy with new books. P. Zonka Lays an Egg has just come out and I’ve been working on some others. I’ve also started a new business selling prints (Julie Paprika). And there has been lots of art making and lots of life living. Today I am posting an announcement for an upcoming show in a beautiful barn. The show will include textile art.

bitters barn invitation

As I get the work for this show photographed I will post some of it here. I apologize for being an inconstant blogger in the past, and I promise that I will be equally inconstant in the future. But I will post occasionally! And I thank you for occasionally reading.

Swedish Embroidery, seen in Selvedge Magazine

Swedish Embroidery, seen in Selvedge Magazine

Mr. Big

Recently I was sewing a quilt. It had a face on it which turned out to be larger than I expected.

Paschkis big pink head quiltI wondered what a REALLY big quilt would look like. Hmmm – if I sewed together pieces of old wool blankets I could make a very large quilt without backing it. And thus the idea for Mr. Big was born.

I put out the call for wool blankets and several kind people gave me some.Thank you Fay Jones, Kate Harkins, Reeta Tollefson, Diane Glenn and Marcia Paschkis! I cut all of the blankets into 12″ squares which my  trusty cat Ruby guarded.wool squares Ruby on wool

Once I knew how many squares were available, I drew up a plan.big wool quilt designEach ¼” square would be a 12″ wool piece. I didn’t have a room large enough to lay it out, so I borrowed one from Coyote Central. Once I saw the quilt  I took away the two outer rows bringing it down in size to 11′ x 18′. I left the figure intact but rearranged the background several times. Paschkis big quilt planAfter I saw how big it really was I felt overwhelmed and wondered what on earth I was doing. But if I didn’t keep going than I had needlessly destroyed a lot of nice blankets.

So I picked up each row and put it in its own bag. I came home and sewed.  The sewing became more cumbersome as the quilt grew. But it was possible! It was even fun; the ridiculousness of the project made it entertaining.sewing bigThe finished blanket was once again too big to spread out in my house, so I took it back to Coyote for a look. I stood on a ladder to photograph it.Paschkis Quilt BigAnd then took a rest (photographed by Marybeth Satterlee).me on bigIn May I will be having a show at the Bitters Barn in La Conner. I hope Mr. Big will fit on a barn wall there. After that I will need to find either a cold giant in need of a blanket, or a giant wall. Hmmm.

The Brave Little Tailor by Franz Wacik

The Brave Little Tailor by Franz Wacik


Paschkis word birdOh, birds. I love to see them, listen to them and draw them. Birds can be real or symbolic.

A bird can be conveyed in a single line, as in this French fabric from 1886.1886 france birds

Or in many lines, as in the Pennsylvania Dutch Fraktur from 1815:fraktur bird

I have a flock of bird images pinned up in my studio for inspiration. Here are a few of them.

Owls by C.F.A. Voysey from England (1897):voysey owls

Peacock from a 1920’s Japanese Matchbox: matchbox peacock

Gluckwunsche from the Wiener Werkstatte:

werkstatte bird

I put birds in my paintings, fabric and books. These birds were from my first fabric line, Folklorica.bobolinkI painted these Golden Birds for my sister.Paschkis Golden BirdsAnd designed a line of fabric called Chickadee.Paschkis Chickadee VineBut after the terribly apt Portlandia episode (Put A Bird on It) I felt ashamed of this love. I must be able to think of something else to draw!

Of course I found other subject matter.Paschkis bicycle trickBut birds flew back into paintings –Paschkis bluebirdand paper cuts:Paschkis cut bird borderand onto quilts:Paschkis yellow bird quilt crowPaschkis Cat and Bird Quilt

Birds are all around us, real and imaginary.Paschkis owl and birds

I think that if you feel like it, you should put a bird on it. Why not?Paschkis - connection

paschkis bird





A Rose is …

a rose.RosesIn June a friend brought over a big bucket of roses from her garden. There were so many roses that we had more than one bouquet.

Roses with Sundberg sculpture

The mermaid  was made by Lana Sundberg.


The roses were achingly beautiful and they smelled good. But roses fade. Alas.

faded roses

Luckily roses on fabric can provide timeless pleasure. Here are some patterns to savor.

These 19th century English chintz borders are from the book  Textile Designs , an encyclopedia of historic fabrics compiled by Susan Meller and Joost Elffers.

chintz england 19th

chintz englandSusan Meller also wrote an amazing book about Russian Textiles . It includes examples of printed fabrics, embroidery, ikats, paisleys and stripes. It shows the cloth and robes made from them. Here are some rose fabrics from that book.

russia 1870s

In the variety of Russian fabrics there are so many rich reds: crimson, scarlet, cherry, carmine, rust and maroon.russia 20thrussia mid 20th

russia late 19thRussian roller printed clothTurkmen robe 1930

This Suzani piece was embroidered. The designs were drawn on the cloth, then separated into panels. Various family members would embroider the separate panels which would then be sewn back together. The slight variations in the density of the stitches and the slight flaws in the registration give the piece life.suzani embroidery 19th

Roses line this woman’s mulisak from Khiva.munisak 20th centuryReturning to Textile Designs , you can find these roses from France (1922 and 1930):

france 1922

france 1930

And this bouquet, made in England for export to Portugal in the mid 1800’s.

eng for portugal mid 19th

Here are some of my roses, from the Bohemia fabric and card line:

Paschkis roses

So, gather (and stitch) your rosebuds while ye may.

This poem is by Sandra Gilbert, from her book Kissing the Bread.

sandra gilbert