Definition of Seminole Patchwork :: This needle-art originated from the Seminole patchwork used for clothing by these southeastern Native Americans. In the late 1800s it was a long trip from the Everglades to trade for cotton cloth so women began sewing strips made from the fabric left on the end of the bolts to make what was know as “strip clothing”. The sewing machine became available to these women around the end of the 19th century making it possible to use much smaller strips. Seminole designs grew to become even more elaborate and complex. Seminole patchwork was usually used for traditional dress including the women’s long full skirts and big patchwork shirts worn by the men. Even today these garments are worn for special occasions. These beautiful Seminole patchwork patterns eventually become popular in quilt making as well.
You might be able to picture Seminole Patchwork in your mind from the above definition — but, that small paragraph cannot define or describe all the intricate patterns and the attention to detail in each example of this needle work. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to see a showing of Seminole Patchwork; and, can honestly say I was totally ‘blow away’. At first glance, you think all those patterns are printed on the fabric — that is until you get closer and then you realize that each design is made up of tiny bits of colorful cloth. This needle work should be experienced up close to be appreciated for what it truly is — art, created with needle, thread and fabric into a thing of beauty. Amazing