Tag Archives: Julie Paschkis

Hello Yellow!

Paschkis drawingSun can be in short supply in the great northwest. Maybe that is why I love the color yellow. I wear yellow clothes and paint yellow paintings.
possibilities and parrots Paschkis
I’ve just designed a new scarf called Sun Swoon for Dragon Threads. This is my second scarf for them (thank you everyone who got Summer Birds). The new scarf is YELLOW!
I painted it in two sections:yellow scarf panorama copy
And then flipped each part around to make a center and a border.
yellow center Paschkis
Paschkis scarf borderThen I put it all together to create the scarf (taking out the faces after consulting with some friends and family).
sun-swoon-scarf copy
The scarf is 70% cotton and 30% silk. It is sheer and floaty, with machine hemmed edges. It is 35″ square. The color is saturated on the front and back.
It feels good to sit in the sun and to feel warmth on your skin. But some days aren’t sunny! On those days you can wear this scarf and take a little bit of summer with you wherever you go. It’s a yellow hello. Here is the scarf around my neck:
Paschkis scarfand on a mannequin (which is sitting on embroidery from Uzbekistan):paschkis scarfOn the days when you don’t wear the scarf, your furniture can wear it.paschkis scarf on table

If you would like to buy a scarf, they are available now at Julie Paprika for $42. Click here. THANK YOU!!!!

A Good Gig

This week I went to Gig Harbor and spoke to the Gig Harbor Quilters Guild. Quilts historically were often made by more than one person, at quilting bees.

BeeHiveVintageGraphicsFairy31In modern times quilters maintain community through quilters guilds. It is wonderful to meet women (and occasionally men) who build a community through a shared love of textiles. The Gig Harbor group is friendly and interesting. The president Barbara Kadden and the treasurer Dana Toulson are organized and kept everything running smoothly.
I talked about how I design fabric, draw pictures, draw inspiration and make quilts. Here are a few of the images from my talk:

Some cloth quilts:

Paschkis quiltPaschkis ampersandPaschkis Clementine

And a paper quilt:

Paschkis paper quilt

These are some of the quilts and other projects that the guild members shared. The work was inspiring in its range and beauty. Please excuse my photography which doesn’t do the work justice Also, a few people showed quilts before I thought to get out my camera!

IMG_1268 IMG_1272 (1)

IMG_1280 IMG_1274IMG_1275 IMG_1281 IMG_1269 IMG_1286 IMG_1289 IMG_1294IMG_1297 IMG_1295

I was especially touched that several guild members made pieces using my fabric line Kalinka. There were quilts, pillows, trapunto and hangings.

IMG_1264 (1)


Dana Toulson made this quilt with Kalinka on the front and back.IMG_1299IMG_1300Barbara Kadden quilted lines from Yedid Nefesh, an old Jewish liturgical poem:
Heart’s delight, Source of Mercy
draw Your servant into Your arms.
I leap like a deer
to stand in awe before You.IMG_1266

I was nervous beforehand to stand before a quilter’s guild. But their warmth and friendliness filled my heart with delight. Thank you, Gig Harbor.


I have loved scarves ever since I met Auntie Katushka in the book Poppy Seed Cakes.katushka
For much of my adult life I have worn a scarf in my hair. I like having a little color on my head. Occasionally I try to give up the habit but it doesn’t last. I keep the scarves over a chair.scarf collection
My favorite scarves are made by Soueleiado, designed by Charles Demery. I have several of them, mostly worn to threads and shreds. soueleiado soueleiado rose soueleiado border demery scarf demery border
Lily is modeling a Soueleiado scarf.
lily in scarf
I love head scarves, neck scarves, stripes, patterns and paisleys. So you can imagine how happy I was when Linda Teufel asked me to design scarves for her company, Dragon Threads.  My first scarf for Dragon Threads is coming out at the end of this month and it is called Summer Birds. First I painted the basic building blocks for the scarf and border.scarf painting bird border BL copy
Then I used Photoshop to repeat those elements. I was slow and clumsy – I am much more comfortable with a brush than with a mouse.
brown mouse
But after many mismatches and clicks I was able to make the scarf repeat. First I doubled the image (flipping them) and then doubled the doubles.
Paschkis bird scarf bird borderL copy 2
At last it was a complete scarf!
Paschkis summerbird scarf
Modelled here by Linda Teufel’s beautiful friend Shelby.
You can order the scarf here at Julie Paprika. It is a limited edition printing and the scarf is $48. Please buy one because I want to keep designing them! Thanks.
scarf label

p.s. Butterflies used to be called Summer Birds. I learned this from Margarita Engle in her book about Maria Merian.


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

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






Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, my family spent part of each summer at a little cabin called the izbushka. The cabin was part of Russian Village, (also known as Churaevka)  a small community of Russian expatriates in Connecticut.rojankovsky goldilocksThis illustration by Feodor Rojankovsky (from Goldilocks) gives the feel of the izbushka. Rojankovsky was also a visitor to the village, although I never met him.

Maybe because of those early experiences at Churaevka I have always loved Russian illustration, light and dark.

Yuri Vasnetsov

Yuri Vasnetsov

Vasilisa by Ivan Bilibin

Vasilisa by Ivan Bilibin

Last year I designed a new line of fabric for In the Beginning called Kalinka; the fabric is out now. Kalinka is the name of a Russian song and it means little snowfall.  I’ve also read that it refers to a sour red berry. The fabric is for winter so it includes snowflakes, a lot of white (and red berries) . Here is the main panel:itb kalinka panelIn the designs I referred back to Russian folk tales like the Firebird and Kolobok, the story of a small bun that doesn’t want to be eaten. This ceramic fox and bun posed for me.kolobokPaschkis kalinka foxI also looked at the leaves and berries in Russian lacquer ware for inspiration.Russian lacquerwareThis is my painting for an all-over fabric design, which I called Kalinka Meadow.Paschkis kalinka meadowHere’s how it looks as fabric with a cranberry colored background:itb kalinka meadowOf course Kalinka needed a Matrushka. Here is my painting, and the resulting fabric with additional border stripes :

Paschkis matrushka bluePaschkis matrushkaIn Kalinka I barely dipped my toe into the rich river of Russian stories and imagery. I want to go back and paint more.

rojankovsky goodbye


p.s. If you would like to buy this fabric, you can go to Gathering Fabric, Pacific Fabric, your local shop or buy it on line at Hancock’s of Paducah.





Paper Dolls

What to wear? That is the question asked and answered by this paper doll (made by my niece Zoe Paschkis, many years ago.)

zoe paschkis paper doll

zoe paschkis paper dollsRecently I came across an article about Paper Dolls by Francine Kirsch that I had clipped from the magazine Folk Art in 2007. She talked in the article about some paper dolls that were made professionally to show certain styles of clothes, and she also showed these lovely handmade ones.paper dollsI like the way that every outfit has to confirm to the posture of the model.paper dolls with hipsI like the materials used to make the dresses:paper dollspaper dollsAs in almost everything, sometimes what is revealed is not what is intended to be revealed. In this paper doll family from 1907 the creator reveals racism: the black doll is made to be somewhere between a child and an adult in size.1907 paper dollsSome paper outfits are nearly abstract, like these from the blog Accidental Mysteries.FolkArtPaperDollDressCollection_153 FolkArtPaperDollDressCollection_130Here is a mermaid by Deborah Mersky.mersky paper mermaidLately I have been making big paper dolls. Here I am with a new friend, made with no tape, glue or staples.J. Paschkis and  friend One of my goals is to use all of the paper in different parts of the doll. Here are the pieces of a doll called Paper Howdy, cut from one sheet of paper.

Paschkis howdy pieces

Here is what remained from that 12″ x 18″ sheet of paper.

paper scraps

And here is the assembled Paper Howdy.Paschkis paper howdyI hope this post will inspire you to make some paper dolls of your own.






Stripes Please

Stripes are simple and satisfying. They speak for themselves, so there are very few words in this post.

Such as…
Russian machine woven stripes from the 19th century:

russian stripes
Uzbek stripes:uzbek stripes

Indigo stripes:


Guatemalan stripes:guatemalan stripes

Hudson Bay stripes:hudson bay blanketCharacters in my paintings often wear striped clothing:

Paschkis reading

They are in good company.
Matisse:matisse painting

Cassatt:mary cassatt

Kuniyaki:kuniyaki sumo


It is as satisfying to wear stripes in life as in art.



Babe Ruth (photo by Nickolas Muray):

Babe Ruth

Jean Paul Gaultier:


and finally a prisoner in the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women, St. Gabriel photographed by Deborah Luster in 1988:

I wish I knew her name.