Decorate With Quilts

Modern quilting creates fresh looks with fabric.

Photo styling by Shannon Quimby

“There’s something deeply replenishing about walking into a home and seeing a quilt,” says Portland author Susan Beal, whose new book of beginner quilt and sewing projects features photography captured in a Rummer-designed home in Beaverton.

Try these ideas from Beal to bring color and texture to any room:

Artful throw
“In the Victorian era, wealthy people had a parlor. One of the things that became popular was a crazy quilt or a log cabin quilt. Velvet and silk indicated that the woman of the house was affluent and had the time and skills to make this piece. Today, you can throw a modern or traditional quilt over a couch and it becomes the focal point of the room.”

Splashy hanging
“If you’ve found a quilt that you absolutely love, bring it into the paint store, hold it against some paint swatches, and see what the relationship is. If you can find a great color that picks up one of the colors in the composition, it can frame it beautifully. It doesn’t need to be an exact match, but it should harmonize.”

Punchy pillow
“Pillows are like their own little art pieces and are a perfect way to learn and do it yourself without a giant investment of time or money. Short-term changes like switching out a pillow cover can have a really high impact and can be switched out easily.”

Folded feature
“A quilt can really pop, or it can be folded and have a much smaller presence. Fold it into a stack or lay atop a quilt ladder, so it reads like colorful book spines.”


sew + quilt: techniques + projects for hand-stitching + patchwork by Susan Beal, Taunton Press, January 2019