Unboxed - Flowers For Freya
Unboxed - Flowers For Freya
Beauty and creativity are always important, but never more so than in challenging times.
In the feed sack era, when women cared for their homes and cooked for their families without modern appliances, they still made room for beauty. Jam jars filled with flowers adorned windowsills, potholders were embellished with embroidery, and even scrap quilts were sewn with an eye toward artistry. Making everyday life beautiful uplifted spirits in the toughest of times.
When I was planning Flowers for Freya I didn’t know it would arrive in shops in such a challenging moment. But just as in days gone by, beauty and creativity can help us to get through these days.
My fabric lines are based on feed sacks. I like to air them out on the clothesline, where the sun and fresh air helps eliminate the musty “old fabric” smells and where I can enjoy them flapping in the breeze. About ten years ago, when I fell in love with the story of feed sacks and the resilient women who used them, I couldn't image how they would change my life.
I did what I always do when I’m interested in a topic—I research and write about it. The result is my book Feed Sacks: The Colourful History of a Frugal Fabric, recently re-published by Martingale/That Patchwork Place.
I also travel the country (and the world) sharing the story of feed sacks. I adore when people come up to me after my talks and share their own feed sack stories. People remember them with such fondness. Here’s a dress that a woman brought to a talk to share with me—her mother made it for her when she was a baby and she is now in her 70s. Love that rick-rack!
While Flowers for Freya is based on feed sack designs, it also reflects my love of gardening. Spending time in the fresh air, letting my mind drift as I pull weeds, and watching the flowers change with the seasons rejuvenates me. These fabrics remind me of those times, even when (like right now) the snow blows in. Maybe even especially right now!
The quilt patterns that my design partner Pam Ehrhardt and I created for this line reflect my love of those summery moments, too. Our company is Clark Street Quilts, and here are the three new patterns:
Sunspot may be my favorite. It provides a burst of light, no matter the season, and employs the Mini 2:1 BlocLoc Half-Rectangle Ruler to make quick work of the spikey petals. (Have you tried BlocLoc rulers? They make quilts fast and easy to put together because finished blocks are all the same size.)
Sunspot is CSQ110. It is made with 1 Jelly Roll, background fabric and two accent fabrics for the cornerstones and binding. It finishes at 69" x 69".
This next pattern reminds me of the flags and garlands that flutter overhead at a summer Street Fair (hence the name). The sounds of a local band warming up, the delicious smells of food being cooked on a grill, and the people-watching at street fairs makes me long for summer!
Street Fair is CSQ109. Made with 1 Layer Cake and background, it finishes at 72" x 72".
And Summer Lightning brings to mind sitting on the screened porch during a summer storm and the thrill of those big cracks of lightning that illuminate the sky. (If you made Backyard Breeze from my Flour Garden line you already know how great the Large 2:1 BlocLoc Half Rectangle rulers are—this pattern uses them, too.)
Summer Lightning is CSQ111. It finishes at 64" x 80", and uses 1 Layer Cake and background fabric.
Finally, Flowers for Freya is named for my granddaughter, who will be three this month. Last year I taught her that flowers smell good and how to sniff them. I haven’t seen her since March 2 but sometimes on our Zoom calls she’ll notice I have a vase of flowers and ask me to sniff them and she’ll do the same for me. I can’t wait until we can sniff flowers together again! And I’ll definitely be making a quilt for Freya with these namesake fabrics.
I hope you’ll look for me on Instagram at @seamswrite (get it? I write about sewing) and share what you make with Flowers for Freya. I’d love to see and share it! You can also find a bit more about me and what I’m up to on my website www.linzeekullmccray.com
In case you’re wondering, this line goes wonderfully well with my previous Flour Garden line. And finally, here are the coordinating Bella Solids for Flowers for Freya:
From left to right:
- Citrine - 9900 211
- Admiral Blue - 9900 48
- Aqua - 9900 34
- Off-White - 9900 200
- Gray - 9900 83
- Caribbean - 9900 86
Be sure to ask about the Flowers For Freya and patterns at your favorite quilt shop.