julie paschkis: folksy storyteller :: Okan Arts
julie paschkis: folksy storyteller

julie paschkis: folksy storyteller

By Patricia Belyea

SEATTLE WA  Arriving at Julie Paschkis’ home at the north end of Seattle, a charming gate covered with grape vines greeted me. Everywhere snippets of art played in the sunshine.
Julie Paschkis’ Home in Seattle

Julie, author/illustrator as well as textile designer/quilter, met me in the garden. Entering through the dining room, Julie and I paused in the kitchen for tea, almonds and local strawberries.
Julie Paschkis’ Home in Seattle

There I learned that Julie, at 16, finished her last year of high school studying folk arts and crafts in Norway. After two years at Cornell University, Julie transferred to the School for American Craftsmen at RIT where she focused on textiles and earned a BFA. Although her naive artwork didn’t fit in at school, a wise professor told Julie that her personal style would be her strength.

Once on the West Coast, Julie gained a teaching certificate from UW and a way to make a wage. Julie worked a short time as an art teacher until she received her first children’s book contract. From that point on, Julie made her livelihood with her artistic talents.

All around was evidence of Julie’s love of creating—hand-painting on a cabinet, a piano and a floor—to name a few of the highly original items filling every room.
Julie Paschkis’ Home in Seattle

On the way to Julia’s upstairs studio in the trees, we walked through the living room and bedroom. A quilt by Sarah Mary Taylor covered the bed with vivid background squares of pink and orange.
Julie Paschkis’ Home in Seattle

On the second floor, light flooded the studio where Julie paints. She only uses a computer to digitally deliver her scanned artwork.Julie Paschkis’s Studio in SeattleIn the last two decades, Julie has written and/or illustrated over 30 children’s books. Her book, Yellow Elephant, inspired Julie’s first fabric collection produced by In The Beginning Fabrics in 2009.Books by Julie PaschkisWith seven fabric collections to date, each features a whimsically illustrated panel complemented by fabrics with all-over patterns.

Julie also produces greeting cards for Trader Joe’s, Artists To Watch and other greeting card companies.
Greeting cards by Julie PaschkisJust three years ago, Julie took a beginning quilt-making class. This spring she mounted a one-woman quilt show at the Bitters Co. barn in La Conner, Washington. True to form, her quilts tell stories in a folksy graphic style.
Quilts by Julie Paschkis

Mr. Big, 11′ x 18′ and made of wool blankets, stole the show as it cascaded down the side of the classic Skagit barn.
Mr Big quilt by Julie PaschkisJulie’s husband, Northwest artist Joe Max Emminger, returned home just before my visit was over. Joe paints in a small studio in the backyard and a 1000 sf studio at Magnuson Park.
Joe Max Emminger Mooska, a book by Julie Paschkis

During my short immersion in Julie’s colorful world, she mentioned that painting makes her happiest.

To share some of Julie’s joy, I’m giving away one signed copy of her book: Mooshka, A Quilt Story. To participate in the giveaway, leave a comment below about Julie’s artwork before midnight PST on July 15, 2015.

This giveaway in closed. The winner is Nadine N. of Manteca CA.

To visit Julie’s website +click here

To buy an archival print of Julie’s paintings +click here

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79 comments to “julie paschkis: folksy storyteller”

  1. folksmith says:

    OMG, i love her art work. Mr. Big is…BIG! love it

  2. Rachel F. says:

    Julie Paschkis brings such light, color, joy, creativity and love to everything she touches. What an impressive artist!

  3. Kae Eagling says:

    Wow, lucky you to get to do the interview with Julie. And thank you for sharing it with us. Julie and her art are amazing. This newsletter make me feel happy!

  4. Diane Johnson says:

    On no less than 10 wonderful trips to Alaska I fell in love with the local folk art as represented by Julie in her work.
    She inspires me to give it a try!

  5. Kathy Chandonais says:

    I would love a copy of Mooshka!!!!

  6. Linda Andrews says:

    I was loving and buying Julie Paschkis’ fabrics even before I saw her show at her Bainbridge Island Museum of Art show. What a joy and an eye opener!

  7. Carolyn says:

    What a fascinating house! I see different things every time I look at the pictures.

  8. Amy Milne says:

    Wow!! I love Julie’s work and I enjoyed thiis virtual tour through her home and studio. Thank you- i plan to share on the Quilt Alliance Facebook page.

  9. Lenore Loftus says:

    How delightful. !!!

  10. Linda Webster says:

    Thanks for introducing Julie. I love her designs and her quilts are amazing!

  11. Cherie says:

    Wow! What a house! It would be so fun to see it personally. When you mentioned Trader Joe’s cards, that’s when I realized that I have seen her artwork before. Very nice!

  12. K Templeton says:

    Julie’s work brightens everything it touches. We are lucky to know her and lucky to have her work.

  13. I love this artist’s work! Thanks so much for sharing! Now I can hardly wait to read her blog and see more pictures of her lovely, whimsical, original work. And I would love to have a signed copy of her book!

  14. Lisa F says:

    I love how happy her home looks.

  15. Nadine says:

    whoops, self corrected my address incorrectly–once again, awesome work, I love the energy of her work!

  16. Linda Fleming says:

    Oh, I just love all of her art work! There’s so much detail in it.

  17. Jessica says:

    I absolutely love all the forms…all the art. and the quilts. I’m so glad I found this page.

  18. Cathy Bonnell says:

    Thanks for letting me visit Julie & Joe’s home too–so charming & so joyful. Love all of her work & ideas.

  19. Mrs. Plum says:

    Thanks for sharing the most interesting work of this artist. I can some her children’s books in my granddaughter’s future.

  20. Julie, what’s not to love.

  21. diane tchakirides says:

    Julie’s work and life are so inspiring! She’s good at everything she puts her hands to.

  22. Mary Jo Baird says:

    What a creative home and studio! I would live to go exploring at Julie’s! Talk about inspiration!!!

  23. Janet says:

    What an inspirational artist…..thanks for introducing her….

  24. Aino anto says:

    Inspiring to see that personal style and vision so richly lived and shared.

  25. Lois St. Sure says:

    I love the creativity and the color. Wish I had a barn I could hang Mr. Big on.

    Lois St. Sure

  26. Carole Anderson says:

    I love folk art and would enjoy her book.

  27. love the house tour and Julie’s art and quilts. no need to put me in for the giveaway, just wanted to say thanks for this post – I enjoyed it.

  28. Karen M. says:

    I love Julie’s art – very happy, joyful, folksy art! Thanks for the giveaway.

  29. Becki morrison says:

    Her art just plain makes me feel all warm & fuzzy

  30. Karen M. says:

    Julie Paschkis is very talented. I love her folk art!

  31. Ellen says:

    I only just discovered Julie’s work yesterday! I purchased a fat quarter from a quilt shop in Annapolis, MD. It was so much more wonderful than the 5 inch square that caught my eye. I tracked her down by the last 4 letters of her last name and “In The Beginnings Fabrics” visible in the selvage. Thanks for sharing her story and her art. It should make everyone smile.

  32. Eileen Keane says:

    Wow! I’ve never seen Julie’s work before but it is wonderful! I’m going to look for her fabric in my LQS. Thank you for introducing us to her.

  33. Betty says:

    I love love the fabric Julie has designed, so original, love the folksy cats and animals, I want more, please!

  34. Teresa says:

    What an amazing artist. I love her work.

  35. april zemke says:

    I love her work and would enjoy seeing it in person. I have a collection of children’s books and need to include some of her books.

  36. Vickie Graveline says:

    She has very interesting fabric with lots of wonderful colors.

  37. carol sloan says:

    I love her folksy style! I am going straight away to her website to see her other works. Thank you for putting my name in the give-away!

  38. annette says:

    Love the folkieness of your quilting! And all those feline things I see all around, including the Mooshka book! Combines those things that turn me on – quilting and my four legged feline munchkins!

  39. Therese Douville says:

    I love Julie’s art work, mostly on fabrics. I work in a quilt shop and hear many people commenting favorably about Julie’s fabrics. I would love to win a copy of the book ” Mooshka” a quilt story.

  40. Harriette Tuttle says:

    All the colors and patterns give her work movement. It is exciting to look at Julie’s designs-to see what you can find. Chaotic and extremely fun, they make me happy. A fantastic technique for children’s books!

  41. Marken says:

    Oh WOW! I love folk art and am so happy you have introduced Julie to me. Her book would fit right in my children’s book collection.

  42. Bunny Hand says:

    I have materials for 2 quilts using Julie’s fabrics. I figured if I didn’t buy them when I saw them, they’d be gone! I was right…even then there were quite a few I wasn’t able to get.

  43. Deena Moody says:

    Julie, love your books, love your quilts, love your fabric; so whimsical. We need more artists like you! Deena

  44. Veronica says:

    Julie’s steadfastness to her personal style is inspiring! Thank you for the wonderful article.

  45. Paula says:

    I love how charming her artwork is…each piece just begs to tell a story.

  46. sue says:


  47. Huck says:

    I have loved Julie’s fabric collections with all of the animals, but Catkin is the favorite!

  48. diann mize says:

    Delightful tour of an interesting,creative home. Julie’s eye for color and whimsicality (is that a word??) is wonderful. Her work makes me smile! Thank you.

  49. Marilyn says:

    Julie Paschkis work is delightful. Her book “Where is Catkin” sits on our coffee table and is a favorite of our Granddaughters both when we read on Skype and when they visit. Lately the oldest is fascinated with a series of small dolls called “Mooshka dolls”. How surprised she would be to have Grandma read “Mooshka a Quilt Story” while she is cuddled up under one of Grandma’s quilts. I’m happy to know that Julie has written so many books. I’m going to for them at the local library.

  50. miranda says:

    What a fantastic creative and beautiful house, an artist through and through! Thank you for the giveaway, would love a copy of the book!

  51. Heather says:

    Love this, the colours, the style, everything!

  52. Sue H says:

    I love your fabrics and think you are amazingly talented. Thanks for sharing your story!

  53. Mary Kauffman says:

    I had not heard of Julie before she was mentioned on The Quilt Show and followed the link here. Her artwork is so colorful – I will keep my eye out for her fabric lines in the future.
    I would love to win this colorful book!
    Mary Kauffman

  54. Diana Cowan says:

    I have admired her work since I first saw her fabric panels of In the Beginning

  55. Judy Forkner says:

    I had never heard of Julie before. Thanks for introducing her to us! I’d love to win a copy of Mooshka. I love those folk art fabrics & quilts!

  56. Judith Zitter says:

    Nothing has made my heart beat faster in the past month. Whether or not I am fortunate enough to win a copy, I will be buying copies for my grandchildren. I am eagerly looking forward to seeing more exciting things things in folk art! Thanks you! Judith Zitter

  57. Bette says:

    I love Julie’s folkloric style. Some of her fabric is in my stash right now. This article inspires me to go “play” with it and see what happens.

  58. barbara says:

    So much inspiration! It makes me want to begin creating at once!

  59. Yvonne J says:

    This was very interesting! Thank you and thanks to Julie for letting us see into her artistic and welcoming home. I have been a fan of her designs for a long time. Beautiful!

  60. Mary H. Reed says:

    How Charming!! I would love to spend time with her. I’ll bet that happiness just oozes from her pores. The world needs more people like her, and less who just complain about the state of the human race.

  61. Corky says:

    I love Julie’s quirky style. The LaConner show was amazing. I live in Bellingham, so quite close. I would love to win a signed copy of her book!

  62. Julie Frederick says:

    It is such joy to witness this playful, colorful and imaginative artwork! It delights your senses and your soul!

  63. Myra Ramos says:

    I am enchanted by Julie’s fabrics and books. (And now her studio and quilts!) My granddaughter Simona’s bed sports a quilt I made from the Catkin collection (the book was part of that gift of course). And I’ve sent two “Julie” baby quilts to my family in the Czech Republic, as many of her fabrics feel very Eastern European to me.

    Mooshka looks like a super-treat. I so hope to win it.

  64. elizabeth baker says:

    I’ve admired her work for a long time. it sings to my heart and sharing her book would be a great thing to do with my students.

  65. Stephanie Stirling says:

    Beautiful artwork. I love her use of color.

  66. Beverly Kinney says:

    Julie’s artwork has to be captivating to children! The colors are so invigorating.

  67. I first became aquainted with Julie Paschikis’s work through a class Art for the Children’s Market, taught by dear Rollin, in 2007 or 2008. I have kept one of her postcards hanging in my studio since then, for inspiration.

  68. Lauren C says:

    I love Julie’s fabric and always try to buy some. Am even daring to cut it up and use it now!! My last quilt featured it and what a difference it made! Love her books and need to stash some away for future generations.

  69. Nan Beall-Fahlman says:

    What delightful images Julie conjures: warm and whimsical! Thanks for the viewing!

  70. shen russo says:

    Now I like my ITB fabrics from her even more. You can tell she quilts for fun, not for promoting her own fabric sales.

  71. Kathie L says:

    I love her bright colors and flowing lines. I love her quilts of couples.

  72. Margo Piikkila says:

    I think I may have some prints in my stash created by Julie! It is so interesting to know that real people are behind the fabrics I love so much. thanks for your interest in people and their talents Patricia. It is truly inspiring to read about others quilt stories and quilting lives.

    margo from victoria

  73. Liz Haven says:

    Julie has also designed many posters for events in the Seattle area. I have displayed then in my classroom for years and they are always favorites to visitors and students! Her style is very inviting!

  74. Karen says:

    I am quilting a wonderful panel that I believe Julie designed!!
    Just love it..when finished it will hang in my courtyard.

  75. Nan Jorgensen says:

    How wonderful to hear more about Julie and her evolution as an artist!! For those of us that share art with others (I am a volunteer docent at BAM), every insight adds to what we can pass on to those learning about art. It is also wonderful to hear how Julie also can use textiles to tell even more stories to share!! Thank you !

  76. Nancy McAfee says:

    Your thoughtful, colorful art is beautiful AND has books to go with it! I love to make quilts for babies entering the world from your fabrics and include the book! Looking for Catkin, or any of the other lovely animals is so much fun. I esp loved the mermaid line andd kept hoping for a book to go with it too?

    • Okan Arts says:

      Nancy, you’re going to love Julie’s newest fabric collection. I got a peek at it—very charming as you might expect.

  77. vera schmidt says:

    Would love to have this book in my collection, Thanks for giving us the opportunity to win it

  78. […] it, wanted to point all Julie Paschkis fans to the lovely post about her by Patricia Belyea at Okan Arts. What a treat to get a mini tour of Julie’s gorgeous Seattle home and learn a bit more about […]