Julie Floersch: Not Your Mother’s Jeans

There’s a sense of both old and new in the denim quilts of Julie Floersch. The artist blends her Midwest upbringing with a background in fashion design to create beautiful modern designs with an air of heritage and Americana.

I first learned about the this unique quilter when clothing retailer Madewell commissioned her to create these denim patchwork curtains for their fitting rooms.  I was immediately struck by the unique sculptural quality she’d created with the fabric.

I was surprised to learn that this was not Floersch’s first experience working with a clothing retailer.  After college she worked as a fashion designer for Ralph Lauren, which is where she was inspired to begin working with denim, a fabric she describes as both “beautiful and timeless”. (The image above is a patchwork tipi created for Madewell.)

Like generations of American quilters, she recycles used clothing for raw material. The geometry is familiar, too, although Floersch’s tessellations have a level of intricacy and texture not found in traditional quilt blocks.

The artist describes her complex pattern making process in this interview with jan & aya:

 “I start off with a general image or feeling in my head that I want to put on paper and set very narrow guidelines for myself. Then I start making the block pattern. This usually takes about a month because I draft everything on paper. It means a lot of trips to Staples oversized copy machines – printing out the blocks, taping them together, making revisions, and doing it all over again until it’s perfect.”

Even the texture created by the seams and raw edges on the “wrong side” of the quilts is stunning.

All images courtesy of www.juliefloersch.com

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