I love the Internet for so many reasons, not least of which is stumbling across the cross-fertilization of quilting designs among so many different cultures. I wrote a bit about design inspirations from Uzbekistan in August 2010.
I have recently found some more that remind me so much of various elements in some American applique quilts from the 1800 that were inspired by the people we once called the "Pennsylvania Dutch," only they were actually of German ancestry, not Dutch. Or were some perhaps Hungarian or Czech? Or maybe their ancestors had traded with those from Central Asia centuries ago so that designs became co-mingled?
Embroidered Suzani textiles are still very common in Central Asia today and have highly influenced textiles throughout Eastern Europe for centuries.The modern Uzbek population alone represents varying degrees of diversity derived from the high traffic invasion routes through Central Asia. Once populated by Iranian tribes and other Indo-European people, Central Asia experienced numerous invasions emanating out of Turks and Mongols that would drastically affect the region. It stands to reason that due to ancient trade routes and migration that Western Europe would become aware of Indo-European designs very early on.
A recent auction brought more of these beautiful textiles to the publics attention. Click here to see these beauties.
Here is a link to additional information about suzani with more photos.
More gorgeous embroidered textiles from Central Asia that could inspire you to create your own applique designs! These are contemporarily made! Just click here to visit their website to learn more.
I'm also going to try to find examples in early American quilts of some of the elements you see in some of the other Uzbek textiles above. When I do, I'lll drop them in for comparison.
Karen in the Islands
PS: See Black Background Applique, another element of Central Asian influence, by clicking here.