Sarah Fielke is a designer from Australia who has produced fabric patterns and quilt designs for many years. She is a terrific quilter and her latest book, Old Quilts, New Life , is a great example of her talent.
The idea behind the book is simple. Sarah reinterprets nine antique quilts from the collection at the American Folk Museum, producing two designs for each quilt. The first is an interpretation of the original, not a direct reproduction. The second is a new design that is inspired by an element of the original quilt.
It’s an ambitious idea, and Sarah nails it. The nine original quilts have a range of styles, from the familiar log cabin design to Amish patterns and from calm floral designs to vibrant patchwork pieces. The amount of work contained in the whole book is quite remarkable – the Flash design has over 1500 pieces alone – but the projects have enough variety in skill that there’s something for everyone.
After perusing the book I’m left with a few thoughts. First off, Sarah is a phenomenal quilter and designer. Her interpretations honour and elevate the originals, while the new designs extrapolate ideas from those originals and spin them into something new and interesting.
The other thought is that the original quilts are really underrated in the broader scheme of things. Given the age of some of the pieces, dating back to the 1800s, the designs are really lovely, and the modern interpretations that Sarah makes only reinforce how complex and considered these antique pieces are.
In one book, with eighteen designs, Sarah Fielke honours the past and invites you to celebrate the future with new designs that continue this long tradition of handicrafts. It’s a wonderful exercise in textile archaeology and is must have for anyone who enjoys quilting.
Old Quilts New Life by Sarah Fielke is published by Cico Books and is available from all good retailers. Why not get yours via our Amazon store? Just click on the image below and get shopping!
Jamie Chalmers, aka Mr X Stitch, aka the Kingpin of Contemporary Embroidery is the founder of the Mr X Stitch site, the world’s longest running embroidery blog, the curator of PUSH Stitchery and the author of the Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch. He is also the founder of XStitch, the game-changing cross stitch design magazine which launched in Summer 2017.