Posted By Margaret on February 23, 2014
Have you been watching the 2014 Winter Olympics over the past few weeks? I haven’t been watching a lot but every time I do I see quilts, or shall I say “quilt-inspired” jackets. Not just the uniforms worn by the Russian teams and volunteers, but also the backdrops in the competitions. And I’ve been reading a lot about the quilt-inspired designs of the 2014 Sochi games in various places from newspapers to quilting blogs. From a press release of the Russian designers at Bosco: The colorful Russian patchwork quilt design was developed with a goal to represent a diverse range of emotions and feelings. They had a wealth of choices to represent Russia’s rich diversity, but in the end they settled on something familiar, warm and welcoming: the patchwork quilt. In the concept design, every patch was infused with the history and personality of traditional crafts from each of Russia’s 89 regions: in a single tapestry they combined Uftyuzhskaya painting and Vologda lace, Gzhel and Zhostovo painting, Kubachi patterns and the flowers of Pavlo Posad shawls, Mezenskaya painting and Khokhloma, Yakutsk patterns, fabrics of Ivanovo and other distinctive Russian patterns. That is how they arrived at a modern, distinctive and unmistakeably Russian Look of the Games. A couple of weeks ago I read an article in the NY Times about the designer of these jackets. Click here to read the article.
And it’s not just the Russian uniforms and logos. The U.S. Snowboarding jackets were designed by a Vermont-based snowboarding outfitters Burton to resemble patchwork of denim, kahki and the US flag to go with their corduroy pants. Ralph Lauren designed the Opening Ceremony U.S. patchwork sweaters that all of the US team athletes wore. They remind me more of an ugly Christmas sweater or the popular USA patriotic clothing of the 1970′s which I remember wearing in high school. But let’s not forget Norway’s Curling team and their load leisure suits also designed by Ralph Lauren. The chevron pattern reflects a design currently popular in modern quilt designs and fabrics. They also sort of resemble a rail fence quilt. Although the teams coach said he wouldn’t be caught wearing one of these suits, the Norway curling team didn’t seem to mind. They got a reputation of wearing load pants in the 2010 Olympics which resulted in a Facebook page dedicated to Team Norway’s pants. You can see it here: The Norwegian Curling Team’s Pants .
Quite a variety of quilt-inspired designs. Not everyone has had favorable comments to make about these designs, but as a quilter, I couldn’t help but like them all.