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These Maine-Made Wares Are a Chip Off the Old Quilt Block

From cards to coasters, each piece is inspired by classic patchworks.

By Sarah Stebbins
Photos by Tara Rice
From our March 2024 issue

1. Wooden Quilt

A little over a year ago, Maine College of Art & Design student Olivia Van Oot had the idea to translate the pieced quilts she’d been making with friends into wood. Today, her wood-veneer works encompass framed quilt blocks one can hang on a wall and patchwork panels inset on furniture. Some pieces even incorporate crisp “folds” that contrast with the rumpled softness of fabric quilts. $500. 12-by-12 inches. Olivia Van Oot.

2. Coasters

Five years ago, New Harbor’s Betsy Leighton fell hard for famed English quilter Lucy Boston’s kaleidoscopic Patchwork of the Crosses pattern. She made hundreds
of variations on the motif, appliquéd her favorites onto pillow covers, then printed them on notecards and coasters. Now, the designs decorate merino-wool blankets too. $25 for eight coasters. Bowerbird Studio.

3. Card

As a French expat, Belfast’s Isabelle Gelot finds the folky geometrics in vintage American quilts intriguingly exotic. Her “quilted” stationery series, drawn from her gouache illustrations, updates traditional patterns and assembles their shapes in fresh designs, like a rainbow. Bold primary colors unify the quartet on each card. $5 each. Isatopia.

4. Wallpaper

In 2007, York’s Sara Fitzgerald O’Brien created her own wedding invitations with watercolor illustrations and then wound up launching a business. Now, her whimsical coastal, floral, and nostalgic imagery enlivens stationery, art prints, apparel, gift wrap, and home goods such as wallpaper. A modern riff on the quilts people have hung on walls forever, O’Brien’s Ohio Star– and Bear’s Paw–patterned papers visually blanket a room in coziness. $390 for two 24-by-30-inch rolls. Sara Fitz.

5. Tray

Leafing through a thrift-store quilting book, Round Pond glass artist Liz Martone was struck by the similarities between piecing together fabric and making mosaic patterns. The lightbulb moment spawned a series of patchwork skateboard decks, as well as inlaid vintage trays, like this one featuring a square-in-a-square motif in a spectrum of shimmery greens. $150. EFM Studio. Available through The Good Supply.

April 2024, Down East Magazine

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