Native American Designs

Native American Designs

The Native American culture can proudly boast of a rich and diverse history of artwork like the Navajo rugs and blankets. Other masterpieces of the Plain Indians include finger-woven tapestries, the Chilkat blankets of the Tlingit tribe, Seminole sashes and patchwork. Although much of the Native American work of art has traveled from Europe through soldiers and missionaries, the talented Indian women with the help of their fine skills, developed their own individual quilting style by incorporating original Native American designs and patterns unique to their culture.

The Native American designs which are usually found on Indian pottery, rugs, basketry, blankets, and sand paintings are also commonly used as motifs in quilting patterns. Pima basket motifs, drum designs, feathers, medicine wheels, unique Native American designs of abstract art, flowers and animals make the perfect patterns for quilts. With little creativity and imagination, the Indian women soon discovered ways to adapt their own Native American designs into intricate quilt patterns.

One such instance is the Morning Star that they incorporated as a Native American design in the late 1800s. Venus or the Morning Star which is considered sacred throughout the Native American culture was commonly painted on buffalo hides and other beaded artifacts. Morning star quilts are made by skillfully stitching together small diamonds to form a huge star with eight arms in the middle of the quilt. Very often, appliqués of floral motifs are also added in between the points of the stars.

Besides the Morning Star, other favorite Native American designs and quilting patterns that are very popular amongst the tribes of the Plains Indians are the Seminole patchwork and Hopi quilts. Before the evolution of Seminole quilting, Seminole patchwork was initially used for clothing by south eastern Native Americans. But with time, Seminole patch work which was originally used for stitching traditional dresses became increasingly incorporated into Native American designs for quilt making as well.

Nowadays, beautiful appliqué pieces of Native American designs are also available that can be easily sewn together to make your very own star quilt. You can drive your imagination beyond limits and experiment. Try novel ideas and create wall hangings, shawls and curtains using various Native American designs and quilt patterns. There is a variety of Native American designs and patterns that can be used to adorn your quilt tops ranging from the Prairie Star, Dawn Star, Mitakuye Oyasin Star, Whirlwind Star, to the Seven Point Star. Other fine examples of Native American designs used for quilting include the Lakota Turtle Island star, Lakota Eagle Star, Lakota Wicahpi Owinga, Wambli Gleska and Lakota Sioux Eagle.