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The Story of a Knit Inspired by a Quilt

Aug 27, 2008

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. Quilt inspired pillow

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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Sorcik55 wrote
on Aug 28, 2008 6:10 PM

I have always liked Piecework - I've been a subscriber from the very beginning. However, I was very disappointed in the last issue. I am a dedicated knitter, but I somehow expected that there would be at least a couple of quilting projects in a magazine issue highlighting quilting. I was amazed to find that all of the projects in this issue are knitted!! What's up with that? Do you need more people to design/submit projects for the magazine? or is Piecework changing from a magazine dedicated to needlearts to one dedicated to knitting history?


Betty BJ wrote
on Aug 28, 2008 5:41 PM

Update:  Thanks to Kat, I received the FABULOUS Felty Download - and it *IS* Fabulous !!!

I love felting - for those who haven't tried it - watch out because it's addicting - but in this world of knitting and yarn... well, what isn't addicting  :D  Felting is FUN & Easy  :D

And, I expect to be addicted to Handweaving in the very near future  :)


Thank you !!! Thank you !!! Thank you !!!

I knew I could count on Knitting Daily :)

I always look forward to the Knitting Daily articles :)

Thank you, and

Take care,

Betty BJ

RuthB@2 wrote
on Aug 28, 2008 1:04 PM

In 2003 an afghan I designed and knitted was shown in the November issue of *Country Living* magazine in an article on knitting, not about me or my work, especially.  I called it the "Fruitbasket Afghan" and it reminded me of white, trapunto-quilted coverlets.  This discussion in KD, together with the link to Spin*Off's Amanda (my afghan was made of hand-spun yarn), and Piecework's attention to quilt-inspired knitting (I subscribe to both Spin*Off and Piecework) are enough to make me write--but to whom???  Which magazine?  I have now redesigned the afghan and written a 17-page instruction booklet, which is a well-kept secret, since I haven't promoted it for sale yet.  I got lots of requests for the pattern when the photo was in *Country Living*, but I had to re-knit (and redesign) the afghan in order to do instructions, not to mention spin all that yarn, so it took awhile. It's nice when so many pieces come together (as Jeane mentioned for Piecework).

Kat Wrote:

Hi RuthB

As you know, while we don't own Country Living, you can submit to our magazines. Make sure you give them the background story, too:

Spin•Off Submissions

Piecework Submissions

Interweave Knits Submissions

Good Luck :)

RobinH wrote
on Aug 28, 2008 12:08 PM

I had heard about the Log Cabin Baby Blanket pattern in Mason Dixon Knitting, and thought it sounded intriguing.  My mom is a quilter and I've done a few quilts myself, so I was familiar with the pattern.  I decided to incorporate a patterned stitch and make the familiar symmetrical kind of block I knew from quilting.  Picture is here:

Betty BJ wrote
on Aug 28, 2008 12:03 PM


This may not be the forum for this, but can't find help any other way.

I enjoy receving Knitting Daily - very diverse subjects and very interesting.  So, I don't mind the advertisements that come along with it - and even purchased some magazines specifically from the Knitting Daily advertisement.  One of those subscriptions was "Handwoven Magazine" - BUT I did NOT get the free felt download... So, I immediately e-mailed  "Handwoven Magazine" (Immediately after I paid and realized no freebie - minutes after paying on that day)... <> and got an automated reply that I would hear back within 2 business days (well, this is specifically what they sent me on Aug 22nd "Thank you for contacting Handwoven Magazine.  

We have received your correspondence and will respond within 2 business days.  

Customer Service
Handwoven Magazine"

Well, it's August 28th, and I've not heard anything, and did not receive the free felting download.

Why am I writing this here?

Because I cannot find any other means to get this addressed - and, well, I *did* order it as a direct result of my interest being peeked by the Knitting Daily promotion...

So, PLEASE send me my free felting download -I've already ordered and paid for my "Handwoven Magazine" subscription.

Thank you,

Betty BJ

Kat Replies:
Betty: I have sent you an email Email. I am sorry about the inconvenience. You're gonna love Handwoven :)


jeanc@55 wrote
on Aug 28, 2008 12:43 AM

I've often looked at the patchwork patterns and thought, I can knit that.  Now my sister tells me that she would like to make a quilt inspired my one of my knitted afghans!  

I'm having a little change from knitted afghans at present and knitting some toys instead which I hope to donate to the Childrens Hospital auxillary shop.  Jean

RobynM wrote
on Aug 27, 2008 7:29 PM

I'm in a bit of a dilemma here in the lower mainland of BC, in that NObody seems to stock Piecework magazine these days!  Not Chapters, not Michaels, and not even my favourite needlework store!  They told me they've been having problems for some time now and could only surmise that it's no longer being delivered to Canada (??)  I realize I could solve my problem easily by subscribing, but I don't want to be locked into a subscription as I prefer the freedom to pick and choose each issue of the various magazines out there.  Can you help solve the mystery of why Piecework doesn't seem to be available anywhere in this area?  Many thanks.  Robyn M.  Surrey, BC

JaynaM wrote
on Aug 27, 2008 7:00 PM

Knitting Inspiration:  Recently I knitted a purse for part of an exhibition of purses at the Midwest Fiber & Folk Fair in Crystal Lake, IL.  My purse was inspired by an old crocheted purse pattern, provided by the fair chairperson, as a jumping-off point; inspired then by a knitted wedding dress by Linda Daniels and Jill Montgomery (see Interweave Knits Summer 2003).  My purse, entitled Bridal Dollar Dance, was knitted from vintage rayon seam binding that looked like ribbon yarn, and was embellished with clear beads and ceramic buttons.  The project was great fun and I'm looking forward to next year's challenge project.

Knittinmama wrote
on Aug 27, 2008 5:27 PM

Whitework also inspired me to knit a piece for a friendship quilt being made for my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary.  My mother has been a quilter for many years and I a knitter.  I used cotton crochet thread and size "0" needles to create the square added to the quilt.