Monday, June 20, 2011

Tie quilts and Peppermint Pinwheels

Now producing sophisticated,  modern designs, Stacey Sharman started sewing at age 8 on a treadle foot-operated sewing machine.  She opened her Peppermint Pinwheels quilt business in Berkeley, California in 2009.  She refers to herself as a "textile junkie", and she often mixes vintage and new materials.  Today, you can see that Stacey has ventured into the world of silk necktie quilts with really spectacular results.

Carnival quilt, 58 x 58", by Stacey Sharman, at Peppermint Pinwheels

In an interview at the Fat Quarterly Blog Stacey says, "You can’t go wrong with colors and fabrics you love. Value really is one of the most important aspects of having an interesting quilt, so pair the fabrics you adore with fabrics of a different value (light, medium, dark) and don’t be afraid to throw in a touch of something wild." In this case, one of the "wildest" and most interesting aspects is the choice of ruby red to accent the circular design, which highlights the precise border of geometric diamonds.

This "Carnival" quilt, made from tie silks and silk dupioni, was based on a pattern by Norah McMeeking from Bella Bella Quilts. Norah's book,  Bella Bella Quilts: Stunning Designs From Italian Mosaics, is an example of how tile patterns from floors and walls of past epochs can be incorporated into modern quilt making.  Stacey has taken these classic designs to a new level.

Silk Orange Peel quilt, 63 x 63", by Stacey Sharman, at  Peppermint Pinwheels

These silks, which reflect the light so well, were either samples or remnants - approximately 4.5 x 12"- from a factory that makes neckties. Stacey has blended the muted, yet eye-catching colors into a sparkling rainbow palette. Her "Silk Orange Peel" was based on the contemporary "Indian Orange Peel" pattern by Karen K. Stone. Stacey notes that "All foundation-pieced is the only way to go with silk quilting."  The results are gorgeous, as you can see here ! 

Stacey Sharman has interesting and useful quilting information at her blog, On the Design Wall, along with works in progress . We think you'll love Stacey's photos of her original, modern quilts on her Flickr page and the Peppermint Pinwheels store website.

Additional resources:  Images are shown with the generous permission of the artist. In addition, please see more information about Stacey Sharman and lovely photos in an interview at the Try Handmade blog.


  1. Thank you for featuring my silk quilts! I've been having a great time with this series, seeing how others dealt with transforming tie silks into quilts.


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