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How to draw SEMINOLE PATCHWORK

Zentangle pattern: Seminole Patchwork. Image © Linda Farmer and TanglePatterns.com. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. The unauthorized pinning, reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal.Seminole Patchwork is a bold tangle pattern by Suzanne McNeill from her Zentangle 6 book that features Zentangle-inspired stencils and cards.

When I first saw this pattern, I was intrigued by its name because the Seminole Indians are very much a part of Florida and its history. Not to mention the “Noles” are Florida State’s football team, currently ranked #2 in the nation.

I thought Seminole Patchwork might be a quilting pattern but I’m not a quilter so I wrote to Suzanne to ask her about it. In the meantime did a little online research.

The Collier Country Museums (Naples, FL) website has this to say about Seminole Patchwork:

“To make patchwork, different colored cloth is first torn into strips and then sewn together to make long bands of geometric patterns and designs. These strips are then joined horizontally to other bands of colored cloth to assemble the body of the garment. The most complicated designs need to be cut and re-sewn many times.

According to one local story, Seminole Indians who guided the advance clearing crews during the Tamiami Trail‘s construction often collected the surveyors’ colored cloth streamers at the end of the day to use in making patchwork clothing.

Patchwork is still a source of cultural pride and identity to the Seminole, and a product of great commercial value. Designs are never written down and new patterns are still being created.”

To learn more about the Seminole Indians, their culture and their museum, visit www.seminoletribe.com.

Suzanne graciously replied with a detailed note about her inspiration for Seminole Patchwork.

I have long been fascinated by the intricate Seminole patchwork done with tiny squares and triangles of colorful fabric. This signature, distinctive patchwork clothing is created by the Seminole and Miccosukee Tribes of Florida. I tried doing the patchwork myself and really appreciate the talent of the Seminole. Then I was inspired to develop a pattern for Zentangle®. It is an easy and effective pattern that can be used in almost any section.

While visiting Florida, I was thrilled to visit the Seminole Okalee Village and Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum which is amazingly informative. Both give a good feel for the life and history of the Seminole people. I walked the complete boardwalk loop in the forest to learn of all the trees and grasses used for medicinal purposes. I also went on the Billie Swamp Safari which provided a glimpse of how today’s Seminole live. Their artwork is both beautiful and steeped in tradition. I liked learning of the story and resilience of the Seminole, which is poignant and shared with majestic dignity. If you have a chance to visit these places, take the opportunity.

You can see how Suzanne has interpreted the Seminole’s strips of fabric into her Seminole Patchwork tangle. She illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Seminole Patchwork here on her blog. UPDATE: Early in the Summer of 2014 Suzanne McNeill’s blog was removed and all the posts and images were lost. The site is being reconstructed as much as possible but the links will no longer be the same. Many of her patterns on TanglePatterns can quite easily be figured out. For those that might be a little more difficult, Suzanne has graciously given me permission to post her copyright-protected images on TanglePatterns for your convenience.

How to draw SEMINOLE PATCHWORK

Please feel free to refer to the step outs to recreate this tangle in your Zentangles and ZIAs, or link back to this page. However the artist and TanglePatterns.com reserve all rights to these images and they should not be pinned, reproduced or republished. Thank you for respecting these rights.

To give you an idea of how brilliant and colorful Seminole Patchwork is, I put together a slideshow of books from Amazon. Beautiful fabric art!

If you take a look inside Dorothy Hanisko’s book, Simply Seminole, she explains that strips of a variety of patterns and colors are cut and then sewn back together to create a “strip set”. This is then sliced into straight or angled segments, which are reassembled edge-to-edge into intricate patterns and stitched back together again. It’s easy to see how intricate and infinite the design possibilities are with the traditional Seminole strip piecing method. And I hope you found all of this as interesting as I did!

Check out the tag suzannem for more of Suzanne’s patterns on TanglePatterns.com.

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