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Counterpane quilts: L.A. artist goes improvisational

Los Angeles artist Pauline Boyd creates her Counterpane quilts by hand in her Silver Lake studio
The quilts of Los Angeles artist Pauline Boyd stand out not only for their surprising mix of materials -- remnants of Moroccan silk tunics and African wax prints, Balinese sarongs and Mexican embroidered cotton dresses -- but also for their unconventional, freehand style.

"It really is an improvisational thing," she said of the way she assembles her handcrafted quilts using textiles that traditional quilters might find maddening. Boyd said she has long quilted in her spare time, exploring color and form on the bare floors (significant because many quilters like to compose on sheets of flannel hung on the wall).

She began selling her Counterpane quilts online in January, and the business has been gaining momentum ever since. She was a vendor at the Unique L.A. craft fair in February, and was featured in a gallery show last month in Echo Park. She recently shipped quilts to the boutique Beautiful Dreamers in Brooklyn. 

The quilts range from $300 to $1,000 depending on size. For now, Boyd is sewing everything herself by hand or machine. "It's a very homemade operation," she said of her Silver Lake studio.

You can see a selection of Counterpane quilts at Yogala, 1840 Echo Park Ave. Boyd's quilts also will be on view from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Echo Park Art Walk, along Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Boulevard. (We're sorry to say the quilt pictured at the top of the post, the Benedict Line, already has been sold. The piece, made of cotton, hemp and wool crepe with Vietnamese silk sashing, was $300.)

Los Angeles artist Pauline Boyd creates her Counterpane quilts by hand in her Silver Lake studio
The Quilted Lao Blanket is $300. The vintage blanket top was hand-pieced by Boyd in northern Laos. The red border is machine-woven cotton and polyester; the inner section is hand-woven cotton. Boyd also screen-prints her tags.

Los Angeles artist Pauline Boyd creates her Counterpane quilts by hand in her Silver Lake studio
The White Desert Quilt is $650. It's made of cotton, hemp and silk sourced in the United States, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Pauline boyd quilt
Moon Room, That First Summer, is $985. Made with cotton, linen, hemp and silk, with monk robes and gold organza detailing.


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-- Lisa Boone

Photo credit: Kate Steffens

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