Thursday, April 22, 2010

Priscilla Bianchi : Quilts of Guatemala

From her home in Guatemala, Central America, Priscilla Bianchi creates quilts, fabrics, and designs in a dazzling array of color. Priscilla is inspired by the vibrant "huipiles" or tunics, woven by the native Mayan women in patterns that are unique to each village.

Guatemalan Flora

Priscilla has recently designed a fabulous new fabric line and downloadable quilt pattern, Guatemalan Flora for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. You can see her love of bold, bright, strong prints which characterize much of her wonderful work.

1000 Rainbow Pyramids

1000 Rainbow Pyramids is a "charm quilt", a type of construction in which no two fabrics are similar throughout the entire quilt. This work utilizes 480 different fabric triangles. It leads the viewer's eye along a pathway of both contrasting values and warm and cool hues, in which the entire color spectrum is explored.

Natura Florida II

The Mayan people of Guatemala live in the highlands jungles, where vividly colored flowers and tropical plants have flourished since the beginning of time. This quilt showcases the lush magenta, fuchsia and lavender hues of exotic orchids and other captivating blossoms which have long inspired the lovely textile art of this region. Natura Florida II also celebrates the rich geometric patterns of the native villages, along with the traditional indigo blue and cochineal red fabric dyes used for centuries.

Mayan Kente

Phyllis says, "I've long been attracted to 'randas', the heavily embroidered decoration found on the front of native Mayan women's skirts. Its linear nature suggested 'weaving' to me. The continuous motion of weft over and under warp is the fundamental essence of textiles. As I worked the design, it reminded me of Kente cloth from Africa."

"Mayan Kente" is Phyllis' tribute to weavers around the world, whose skill with color and design creates a legacy of functional, beautiful clothing.

Priscilla Bianchi is an expert on combining radiant colors and patterns to create truly Latin American inspired quilts. Plenty of visual inspiration can be found in her fascinating book, Caliente Quilts, which is available on her website. Guatemalan fabrics, similar to the ones shown in the quilts above, can be purchased at her online store, here. Also, patterns and kits for some of Priscilla's art quilts can be purchased on the site.

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