The Story of a Knit Inspired by a Quilt

Note from Sandi: I was talking about quilts as inspiration for knitting yesterday, and wow! Sounds like a lot of you out there are quilt-lovers, too. Did you know that Interweave's Fall Piecework Magazine has a special section of quilts, including a knitted pillowcase inspired by a quilt? Yup. So I asked Jeane Hutchins, the editor of Piecework, to tell us a bit about how that pillowcase came about, and also a bit about the quilt issue in general. Heeeeeeerre's Jeane!

Putting an issue of a magazine together is much like working a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes, the pieces fall into place easily; other times you have to sort through the box of unused pieces a hundred times to find the one piece that you need. The knitted pillow cover from the September/October issue of PieceWork was one of those serendipitous times when the one illusive piece was found easily. Here’s the story:

About a year ago, I came across a photograph of the finest example of a whitework quilt that I have ever seen. The quilt, made circa 1800 and probably French in origin, is believed to have been a wedding quilt. For weeks, I showed everyone who came into my office the photograph of this quilt—even if they weren’t interested! Then, I showed it to Amanda Berka, who at the time was the assistant editor of one of PieceWork’s sister magazines, Spin-Off. Eureka—Amanda thought the quilt was spectacular, too! She liked it so much that it led to her inspiration for the pillow cover featured in the September/October issue of PieceWork available here.

Amanda thought the Vase of Flowers pattern from the quilt offered many possibilities. The flower motif seemed like a great way to explore lace, and the honeycomb block was a way to work with knit-and-purl texture. She decided to make a pillow cover with each side representing a technique and fabric all its own—the flower motif on the front; the honeycomb pattern on the back.

Voilà—puzzle well on its way to being completed!
Where do you find your knitting inspiration? Have you ever fallen so in love with something, such as a whitework quilt, that it served as inspiration for your knitting? See Amanda’s pillow cover and the quilt that inspired it, which is now in the collection of the International Quilt Study Group in Lincoln, Nebraska, in the latest issue of PieceWork magazine. The pillow cover and its inspiration anchor a special section in this issue devoted to quilts.

Jeane Hutchins
Editor, PieceWork

Want even more knitting and knitting information? Interweave Knits' sister publication, Piecework, features knitting patterns, knitting history, and eclectic knitting techniques from all over the world. Subscribe today!

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily. As you read this, Bertha-the-mannequin, Nicholas-the-husband, Buddy-the-dog, Dusty-and-Zoe-the-cats and myself are caravaning our way north to Canada. (Yes, of COURSE Bertha is coming with us!) The Camisa, worked in String of Pearls yarn from Muench (prettypretty not to mention sparklysparkly!) may or may not be done by the time I get there. (Canada countdown? 5 days till we get there!)

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