Sunday, October 4, 2009

DCQ Introduces Sunflowers Pattern By Sonja & Melinda


Good Morning!

Visitors to the Hill City Outdoor Quilt Show a few weeks ago were welcomed by Sonja Taylor, Melinda Snell, and their exquisite artistry. The talented duo collaborated on this unique project, and everything came together perfectly in time to introduce their work at the show. sunflowerposter

Sonja Taylor, a South Dakota watercolor artist, created the original painting of "Sunflowers Pattern" as promotional art for the event. Her painting was featured on the poster for the quilt show, and the Prairie Berry winery created a limited label wine, with an image of the painting on the label.

Sonja then collaborated with her friend Melinda Snell, an accomplished quilter. Melinda designed the quilt pattern using a combination of quilting techniques. The patchwork blocks are simple paper piecing. Fusible applique and threadwork result in graceful sunflowers. Finally, trapunto adds definition to the tone-on-tone sunflowers at the top of the stunning wall quilt.

The quilt finishes at 36" x 56", a perfect size for a wall or balcony.

To re-create the feeling of a watercolor painting, Melinda chose to make “Sunflower Patterns” with Hoffman 1895 batiks.

And that's where Dakota Cabin Quilts enters the story. Melinda knew that we stock the complete selection of the Hoffman 1895 hand-painted batiks, and needed to see the entire palette so she could choose her fabrics. Early one morning, she showed up at our shop, sketches in hand, and carefully chose the fabrics she needed to complete her masterpiece.

Our first look at the final result was at the Hill City Quilt show, September 13, 2009. Although it was a chilly, drizzling day, the warm & welcoming duo, with their harmonious projects proudly on display, greeted visitors in style. It was very interesting to see their artistry side by size, and notice the similarities and variances. I was particularly impressed by the way Sonja's painting captured the glow of warm sunshine, and how Melinda's fabrics achieved the same effect. Also, the natural marbling of the hand-painted batik fabrics in the quilt mirrors the brush strokes seen in Sonya's painting.

Melinda had carefully prepared a pattern for her quilt, and they sold dozens of copies to quilters who attended the show that day. But, they approached us to help them with their endeavor, as they knew that our website could reach quilters worldwide. We enthusiastically agreed.

On Friday, Sonja & Melinda traveled to our shop, and we set the wheels in motion for our partnership. Wesley quickly sent images of their work to our friends at Hoffman fabrics, and within minutes they replied that they would like to exhibit Melinda's quilt in the Hoffman booth at International Quilt Market next week in Houston!
We'll also be offering patterns for sale on our website, and quilt kits are now available.

Whew! We haven't had this much excitement in quite some time... Not to mention that Sonja & Melinda are already planning some accessory items (possibly note cards, bookmarks, or stationary), and their creative minds are already anticipating another painting & quilt for the spring. Accordingly, Sonya and Melinda have a copyright for their images, although they generously allowed us to post them in this newsletter, on our website, & in our blog.

Click here to view the Hoffman 1895 batik category.


Click here to purchase the pattern, or a quilt kit prepared by DCQ according to Melinda's specifications.
Retailers are welcome to contact us at to place orders for the "Sunflower Pattern." Or, if you happen to be a lucky enough to attend Quilt Market, be sure to see the quilt in all it's glory in the Hoffman booth.