We’ve got 2014 Olympic Winter Games fever at my house, and have been tuning in nightly to watch skiing, snowboarding, figure skating, and more. In addition to the high-caliber athletes and competitions, what has amazed me is seeing the influence of quilting and sewing stitches land on the slopes of Sochi.
|The U.S. snowboarding team jackets.
Saturday night, I watched the men’s slopestyle snowboarding event. There’s something so fascinating about watching Olympic athletes compete, knowing they’ve been training for years. Their medal hopes are pinned to just a few runs down the mountain, and at the Olympics, there are no do-overs.
When an American rider started his run through the rails and jumps, I was astonished to catch my first glimpse of the U.S. snowboard team jacket. Was that a patchwork design I was seeing?
It was. The U.S. snowboarders are outfitted in Burton jackets with a patchwork screen-printed design. It all started with a quilt Burton found at an antiques show, according a press release. Burton designers deconstructed the quilt, and a Vermont quilt maker put the patchwork squares back together for printing on the jacket. Completed, the jacket appears as if the patchwork was hand-sewn.
As a quilter, I loved seeing sewing stitches show up in such an unexpected place. It affirms the handmade revolution in fashion is going strong. It certainly is at the Winter Olympic Games, where the handmade look also took center stage during the opening ceremonies where the American athletes donned Ralph Lauren cardigan sweaters.
I have to share one last observation. During the slopestyle finals, a woman working at the top of the course was knitting as she stood near the athletes, instructing them when to start their runs.
Quilting and knitting were the last things I expected to make a strong showing at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. I love every instance of it.
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Did you notice the patchwork design on the snowboarders’ jackets? Or the sweaters the Americans wore to the opening ceremonies? What did you think of them? I can’t wait to hear.