Winter Walk

Winter Walk

FreeSpirit Fabrics 2017

stack of winter walk fabrics


Walks are essential to my creative process. In winter, I especially love walking in the woods, and fortunately a short distance from my shoreline Connecticut home I am transported to the hushed stillness of woodlands and fields blanketed by snow. Just as winter provides time for renewal of flora and fauna; the magic, restful beauty of the New England landscape in winter rejuvenates me.

No matter how hectic my life may be or how distracted I may feel, a winter walk calms me, and grounds me to the steadiness of nature. Here you can surrender to the expanse of nature — snow-covered fields, deep stands of trees, miles of stone walls — with a muted palette of soft taupe and bark grey, earthy deep browns and winter wheat, punctuated by a range of evergreens; the visual quiet broken by bright red berries or the flash of a cardinal, and patches of bright, blue winter sky. The cold, quiet solitude provides a path to the fertile ground of new ideas. My Winter Walk fabric collection celebrates the beauty of nature in repose, silently preparing for the imminent splashy showiness of spring.

winter walk swatches


I have always loved being outdoors, whatever the season, and I think that comes from my parents. They spent their honeymoon camping and fishing in the woods of Maine, and encouraged us kids to find the joy in each season — skiing in the winter, planting in the spring, picnics and swimming in the summer, raking mountains of leaves in the Fall.  

mom and dad old photos
family ski trip


As I think back now, I believe my parents were also inspired by nature to create. My dad was an enthusiastic photographer; we have many wonderful photos of all the beauty that caught his eye.  (That is, in addition to my mother.) He was also an avid fixer-upper. I remember him always tinkering around the house, fixing and creating things. I love this lamp that he made from the bounty of the woods!


My mother was a creative powerhouse, teaching me to sew, and making all our clothes. She loved being outdoors and taking on new challenges. By example, she encouraged and inspired all of us kids to forge our own paths. I miss my parents (especially in these uncertain times) but it’s comforting to know they are here — in my memories and in my work, in my love of nature, and in my determination to enjoy all that life has to offer.

So how does all this translate into a fabric collection? In the case of Winter Walk, a painting by my sister of the woods in Princeton MA inspired, while leaves and other bits and pieces completed a representation of the palette.

painting of the woods in winter


I designed two patterns to feature Winter Walk. One is Big Tree, shown below, which makes use of pre-cut jelly rolls. I love how bold the shape is, and the layering of texture and color are reminiscent of the rings of a tree. Here you can see the finished quilt, and my pattern development sketches:

Big Tree quilt and sketches


I also designed In the Pines (below), named after an old Appalachian folk tune, which was available as a free pattern download on FreeSpirit’s website.

In the Pines quilt

One of my favorite quilters, Blair Stocker, also made a quilt pattern using Winter Walk, called Stepping Stones. I absolutely love how her Winter Walk pattern looks like a PLAID! Brilliant! One of the things I love most about Blair’s work is how she creates a storyboard of images around the quilt.

Stepping Stones quilt


I wrote the foreword for her beautiful and inspiring new book, Wise Craft Quilts, be sure to look for it, and check out her website.

Winter Walk is out of print but you may be lucky and find some on secondary retailer sites. It included ten mix-and-match designs with a range of scale and texture, and three classic colorways (Bark, Stream, Evergreen). Though inspired by a walk in the winter woods, this versatile collection enhances all seasons!

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment

Fabric Archives

Five + Ten

Five + Ten

for Windham Fabrics, circa 2021

Read more
Katie Jump Rope

Katie Jump Rope

for FreeSpirit Fabrics, circa 2007, and 2015

Read more