Guild Lectures :: Okan Arts

presentations for guilds


The Power of Love quilt by Patricia BelyeaWhen a Quilt is More Than a Quilt

In 2013, Patricia Belyea was commissioned to make two quilts that included the clothes of loved ones. As she created these custom projects, Patricia learned how stitching memories and love into quilts completely transformed their meaning and power.

Patricia describes the journey of creating each quilt—that included such diverse fabrics as a towel, an embroidered blouse, a polo shirt, hospital scrubs and more—from both a design and production perspective. (Her first commission, made with the clothing of 18 family members, won first prize at La Conner’s 2013 Quilt Fest in the Original Design, Non-Representational Wall Quilt category.)

Patricia also discusses how she secured the commissions, got started with the clients, and managed the communication and delivery. Plus she shares some advice on things to avoid with these highly personal assignments.


Enter The Alluring World of Japanese Yukata Quilts

Join Patricia Belyea as she tells stories about visiting Japan for the International Great Quilt Show and meeting Amy Katoh of Blue & White in Tokyo, plus other textile treats.

As a passionate importer of vintage Japanese yukata cottons, Patricia explains the elaborate process of hand-dyeing the high-quality cottons and describes yukatas’ role in Japanese society. She shows samples of the different patterns and repeat styles. From classic indigo and white to vivid color combinations, Patricia presents a wild range of the wonderful fabrics.

Most quilters interested in Japanese fabrics use kimono silks in their projects. Patricia displays her quilts made with yukata cottons and talks about how those fabrics inspired each quilt composition.


Embracing the Creative Needle

As a Canadian teen, Patricia Belyea made clothes for herself and others. For university, she headed to MacDonald College to study Clothing Design. Five weeks later she quit and never sewed for almost thirty years.

In 2007 Patricia rediscovered something she was missing—her passion for sewing. With a professional career in corporate design, she’s incorporated non-stop creativity into her original artisan quilts.

Patricia shares stories of meeting her mentor, making quilts out of found treasures, buying fabrics from Japan, and becoming a full-time studio quilter.


A certified Bronze Toastmaster, Patricia has presented to professional groups and lectured at universities across the country. She is the author of a graphic design book and an ’06  graduate of Puget Sound’s Leadership Tomorrow.

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