When a person begins to research quilt patterns to any extent, it can be confusing, for you discover early on that many patterns have a number of different names. Much of the research I’ve done for my work-in-progress (WIP) story quilt began with lists of quilt names that seemed to me to symbolize respective chapters of my life. “Sunshine and Shadow” resonated immediately with me for one particular chapter, and may do so for most of us as we journey through our decades. I learned “Sunshine and Shadow” was a traditional 19th century Amish and Mennonite pattern. First I went to the online Metropolitan Museum and found what they call “the split-bars pattern,” shown here:
Very quickly I discovered the most popular Amish design of “Sunshine and Shadow” was much different: an abundantly colorful pattern I’d used decades ago to make a quilt for my son when he went to college. That pattern, named “Around the World” I’d found in a quilt magazine. My son and I had designed the color pattern ourselves and, in my recent research, I found this quilt with the identical color scheme we’d chosen.
Yet, because neither of the above linked patterns reflected the visual I was looking for, I continued my search, looking at literally hundreds of pattern variations quilters have created through the decades. At last, my eyes found one very unique pattern that resonated in an “Aha” moment.
The photo you see at the top of this post is the almost-assembled lower half of the square, the “Shadow” part. I hope to complete the “Sunshine” part this weekend and post the completed square early next week.
If you are a quilter, Happy Quilting!