Counterpane Quilts

by Amy Azzarito

So many of the home owners that we feature in our sneak peeks have amazing quilts that they use as bedcovers or casually sling over a sofa. I’ve toyed with the idea of trying to make one on my own – maybe with a group of friends. But since I’d be starting at square one (literally). It might be a little ambitious for my foray into sewing. Instead, I think I’m going to convince Grace to take an embroidery class with me at Pearl SoHo and leave the quilting to the experts.

I’ve totally fallen for these quilts created by Los Angeles artist Pauline Boyd of Counterpane. She works in a free-hand, mosaic style – improvising the composition as she works. Each piece starts as a favorite scrap that Pauline uses as the foundation for her composition. –Amy Azzarito

Ten years ago, Pauline was living in New York City and she took a trip to visit family friends in Arkansas. They were quilters and Pauline spent the trip, admiring their work, asking questions and thinking about making her own. The day after she returned home to New York, she bought a sewing machine. For the next eight years, she taught herself by making quilts out of everything she could get her hands on – curtains, pillowcases, and vintage skirts. She spent most of last year in Cambodia and Loas as a kind of studio year – working her refining her aesthetic and composition as well as hunting for textiles and scraps. Her quilts often contain fabrics from 8 or 9 countries as well as vintage fabrics sourced locally. Each piece is made traditionally either by hand or machine and all the bindings are hand stitched. And if I finally do decide to tackle quilting, this fall, Pauline is going to begin selling scraps from her collection of antique, vintage and unique textiles.

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  • These are just beautiful. I love a good quilt, but I can’t even imagine having the dedication and commitment it takes to make one myself.

  • Just do it Amy! I never in a million years thought I could make a quilt but then I saw an online exhibit of Amish quilts and had to try making one. It takes time and there is lots to learn but you can do amazing things, especially with gorgeous fabrics. I want to try a luxe pieced look like these with some books of upholstery samples I got for free – not as easy to work with as quilting cottons but as they say “the quilt police aren’t watching!”

  • I have quilted for over 30 years. I started out Sharon ruckerdoor with traditional pieced quilts but now I love art quilts as it is left to your imagination As to what the quilt will be. Hers are beautiful.

  • Just started collecting scraps of gorgeous fabrics on my travels – this is exactly what I plan on doing with them. I haven’t done a lick of sewing before either, though so I feel the same way you do. I am sure a class at Purl Soho would help – I am so jealous! I think I would be too distracted by the merchandise to concentrate. :)

  • OMG Amy I am SO glad you discovered and featured Pauline’s work… I’ve known her since we were teeny lil tots growing up in LA and she has the BEST STYLE ever! Ever. I do actually quilt but I plan to buy one of hers soon since mine look so, well, plain next to hers. :)

  • I’ve seen these quilts in person. Pauline Boyd had a gallery show recently here in LA, and they were unbelievably stunning hanging up against white walls, and would be even better on a bed or hanging over the side of a couch. GORGEOUS work, like soft, useable art. We should all buy one!

  • Pauline, you are a brilliant artist. Brilliant. As your godmama, I get to be proud of you, and – zounds! How proud I am. This is an amazing Way you have found to express your creativity. More coming in the mail. Thanks, Sis, for letting me in on this.

  • I’ve only been quilting for a few years, too. The best advice I can give you is to join a local quilt guild. My guild is absolutely wonder. The members are incredibly generous with their time, supplies, and most of all, their knowledge. And, if you can afford it, and your guild has quilting retreats, go, go, go to them.

  • I am a quilt maker and believe that multi-sourced & preworked fabrics add character to a quilt…