Sunday, January 11, 2015

Seminole Patchwork - Simple yet Ingenious

Mention patchwork and most people think of the early pioneers of America.  But patchwork patterns were also explored by Native Americans.   For example, the Seminole and Miccosukee Native American people in the Florida region.

It is not known exactly when this style of patchwork came into use by the Seminole and Miccosukee people.  Some facts are clear though.   Seminole patchwork was a machine technique from its birth, being created on hand-cranked sewing machines obtained from traders as early as the 1880's.  The fabric for the patchwork was also obtained from traders.

In the 1920's and for the following two decades, Seminole patchwork exploded in creativity, resulting in a wonderful array of variations. It was mainly used to decorate clothing.

Seminole patchwork is an ingenious method.  Simple yet with unlimited possible variations.

Here is the basic principle of Seminole Patchwork.  Strips of fabric are sewn together.  The strips are cut into pieces and then sewn together in an offset position.  The long, raw edges of the band thus created are covered with thin fabric strips.  These bands of patchwork can then be used to decorate any item one chooses.  

Imagine the ways to use this patchwork technique.  On clothing, pillows, quilts, potholders, tote bags etc. etc.

Quilters love to explore new piecing techniques.  Seminole patchwork is a great one to consider trying your hand at.

A thorough reference guide to Seminole patchwork available here:

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