Monday, October 22, 2012

Seminole Patchwork

For ones of you who do not live in Florida, the Seminole Indians inhabited the state many many years ago but now live on reservations in the southern part of the state in an area called the Everglades. They also have reservations around Pensacola in the panhandle of Florida. Many years ago, the Indians were given treadle sewing machines and remnants from fabric bolts that were donated to them from clothing manufacturers in the U.S. They were very creative, and started sewing the remnants into strips in beautiful patterns that they named from nature, such as fire, lightening, turtles, man on horseback, etc. I have given some of the more prevalent patterns for you to see. The patchwork is always done on the sewing machine and is relatively easy to duplicate. There are many books written about this, but you'll enjoy seeing a skirt that I made before I was known as a "quilter." I just loved to sew, and this idea intrigued me to no end.! I made many items using the patchwork patterns. The more intricate patterns were made by the Indians for their own clothing. They did not share the patterns with anyone. The items that they made to sell back in the 20's and 30's, were made using the more simple patterns. I am showing you a beautiful piece of the early Seminole that a friend of mine bought many years ago when she lived in Miami. This piece has one of those more difficult patterns, and thus, makes it more valuable. I'm sure you can pick out which patterns are difficult to duplicate!