Sydney Albertini is an amazingly talented quilt maker, ceramist, painter and fiber artist. She is also friend of our store and each time we see her walk in the door we are so excited to see what she has to show us!

Her whimsical quilts like the one above are always incredibly delightful and surprising!  The way she puts together seemingly unrelated fabrics and colors to create a stunning whole is such an inspiration.

The most unique and amazing element in Sydney’s work is her use of color. Her unexpected color combinations simply glow. These beautiful plates just look so luminous don’t they? (FYI- Her ceramic line is available for sale at Barney’s New York.)

This radiant and playful sense of color comes through in all of her work, whether it be a large quilt, a set of plates, or a painting.

Sydney herself says this about the subject of color:

“Color is the intricate basis of all my work. It goes hand in hand with the act of creation no matter the medium. When I look around me all I see is very precise infinite color.

I am always surprised by the strength in contrast big and small playing each color in a new way. I am constantly looking at colors in every aspect of life and making notes, conscious notes, of what I am seduced by or what feelings and emotions they bring on, which I would call my never ending color education which I rely on when I am working. 

Of course to use colors in an absolute free way is to have no fear. You have to really look at color, at its first impression and underlying subtleties, to make the right choices on how to use them. In my work I like to offset classical colors or combinations, creating surprises and drawing people in by the immediate seductive power of color.”

We love this idea of being fearless with color so we asked Sydney to share a textile project with Purl Bee readers. The Flower Sash project she decided on is classic Sydney: unique color combinations put together in a free, fun way to make something so unexpected and beautiful!

These flower sashes are simple and totally addictive to make. They are a great way to get your feet wet at becoming more comfortable with your use of color. The point of these is to pick out your own unique palette. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous. You will probably be surprised by how out-there you can get and still end up with something lovely. If you’d like to give it a try just keep on reading!

Thank you to Sydney so much for sharing her inspiring work and this charming project with us!

PS. If you happen to live in the New York / Long Island area Sydney is having an art show of recent work from July 27th to the 29th in East Hampton NY at Asgawagh Hall. More info can be found here.


To make one approximately 40-inch long sash with two flowers:

Special tools:


All cutting is done with the pinking shears.

For the braided sash cut:

  • A 2-inch X 44-inch strip from Fabric A
  • A 2-inch X 30-inch strip from Fabric B 
  • A 2-inch X 30-inch strip from Fabric C

For the large flower cut the following from whichever fabric you like:

  • A 3-inch X 17 1/2-inch piece for the outer layer of the flower
  • A  2-inch X 15-inch piece for the middle layer
  • A 1 1/2-inch by 13 1/2-inch piece for the innermost layer

For the smaller flower cut the following from whichever fabric you like:

  • A  2-inch X 15-inch piece for the outer layer
  • A 1 1/2-inch by 13 1/2-inch piece for the inner layer



Iron the short ends of one of the long strips you cut of the braided sash 1/4-inch to the wrong side.

Then fold the long sides in 3/4-inch wrong sides together so that one side is on top of the other and none of the wrong side of the fabric is showing.

Using the contrasting thread zig zag stitch down the middle of the strip closing it and sewing down the fold in the process. One pinked edge will still be visible on the back side of the strip.

Repeat this for the other two long braid strips.

Lay the longest braid strip right side up and flat. Sew the shorter two braid strips it 10-inches from one of it’s ends. Sew the three strips together thoroughly and don’t be afraid to show off the contrasting thread!

Loosely braid the three strips together until the two shorter strips end.

Sew the ends of the shorter strips to the longer strip in the same manner.

Making the Flowers

Gather one of the long sides of the outer large flower piece together as shown above.

Keep gathering it along this side until you have a circular flower shape gathered in the middle.

Sew the gathered middle together to keep this shape in place.

Repeat this process with the middle layer piece and then sew that layer to the first.

And do the same with the innermost layer, sewing it the other two layers.

Sew one of the felt balls to the middle of the flower.

Trim each of the layers with the pinking shears until the flower looks like you want it to.

Repeat this process for the second smaller flower, which has only two layers.

Finishing the Sash

Sew the flowers on about 5-inches from the start of the braid (or wherever you like, really!)

Now you can wear it as a necklace, belt, or headband and you can get started on the next one!