Liberty Garden by Jan Patek
This month's Past Perfect star is Jan Patek.
Jan lives way out west in western Missouri near Kansas City on a small farm where the major livestock is a bulldog or two. She and husband Pep recently celebrated their 48th anniversary.
Eagles & Roses
It would be hard to overstate Jan's influence on a certain style combining muted color, geometric prints, plaids, flannels, innovative sets, stylized florals and stars, stars, stars.
Jan does many things. She interprets traditional design (above, one of my favorites) and she creates new takes that owe something to tradition but are distinctively hers.
The earliest book (1989) I could find with Jan's designs.
Country Days published by Gerry's Red Wagon Quilts but
Jan says she was working with Red Wagon in the early 1980s
She's always been a collaborator, working over the past 35 years with designers like Gerry Kimmel-Carr and Sue Spargo and particularly her design partner in fabric and quilts Linda Brannock.
Jan & Jenny's Garden
a recent collaboration with Jenny Doan
and her long-time machine quilter Lori Kukuk
Linda Brannock (1938-2015)
Linda is sorely missed. Jan recalled working with her in a recent blog post:
"We both loved the way antique quilts look but you can't really use them so we started overdyeing new fabric to make it look old."
(I remember doing this too---the new prints in the 1980s were so alarmingly white in figure and ground.)
Coming Home Again, 1985
"I bought that red striped fabric at one of Linda's garage sales, removed the color and then overdyed it - the blue plaid in the border came from one of Brians' - my son's - madras shorts."---Jan
(Rit sold a lot of Color Remover in Kansas City in the 1980s and '90s.)
It wasn't only Jan's muted colors that were distinctive it was the use of woven and printed stripes and plaids, something quite novel in an era of calico quilts.
Standard style about 1980.
The new look came to be known as Primitive. Kansas City was the center.
United Notions, seeking new directions for their fabric line Moda, found just what they were looking for in Jan and Linda. Jan has been designing fabric for Moda---about 2 collections a year---for over 20 years.
Jan's collections are now classic Moda style,
classic Primitive coloring. One emphasis
is reproductions of large-scale cretonnes from the
end of the 19th century.
Above the large scale print from Sycamore;
Below from Coral Bells
Coxcombs & Pomegranates by Jan
It's not just fabric that makes a Jan Patek quilt. She is a great draftsperson. She can draw anything and she often stylizes traditional images to make them her own. Like stars...
Design for Harvest Home
Garden Kisses & Hugs
She often sets her samplers off the grid, another hallmark
of Primitive style.
And even when she keeps close to tradition
her own design sense shows.
Tulips & Leaves & Stars & Bees
A rather recent design
A rather recent design
Is that white!?!
She keeps up with the times.
Many thanks to an amazingly productive, innovative designer for lots of inspiration.
Here's her blog: