By Patricia Belyea
SEATTLE WA I love how Heather Jones extracted a fab quilt design from the parking lot of a local big box store—a place she’d visited many times before. One day, blam, she recognized the power and simplicity of the painted grid and made her gorgeous Mason Quilts (above).
In her new book, Quilt Local, Heather puts a focus on the inconspicuous, the unconsidered and the overlooked. She finds beauty in a small architecture detail or an abandoned building—to spark original quilt designs.
To participate in the Blog Tour that’s heralding Heather’s book launch, my assignment is to open my eyes to local inspiration.
I’m contributing a quilt project that’s influenced by my fantasy hometown of Kyoto. Oh, and my muse is neither low-profile nor ordinary. And my approach is improv, not planned. (I never did follow directions well!)
The subject of my quilt—the towering torii gate—marks the transition from the profane to the sacred at the entrance to Shinto shrines throughout Japan. You can take a small ferry out to Miyajima Island to see the most famous of torii gates “floating” in Hiroshima Bay—unless, like me, you visit at low tide.
Just as visually stunning are the thousands of torii gates that wind up a mountain south of Kyoto at Fushimi Inari Shrine.
For the blue fabrics in my quilt, I dyed vintage yukata cottons in a vat of natural indigo—with the help of Kathy Hattori of Botanical Colors. Then I “made” fabric by randomly sewing together chunks of the blue cottons.
Three hues of orange were spontaneously pieced into 16 blocks and then sewn together for the center of the quilt top. Longer strips of the patched-together fabric formed a matching border.
Although I went further afield than my own backyard to glean inspiration for my quilt—I share Heather’s commitment to originality. And her passion for interpreting the world through fabric and stitch.
October Giveaway: To win Heather’s book +click here
To visit Heather’s website +click here
To buy Heather’s book on Amazon +click here