4 Fresh Ways to Decorate With Quilts
Yarmouth’s Dash Masland wants you to bring quilts out of the bedroom and into your décor.
ABOVE Dash Masland leans against the Mackworth quilt “mural” in her Yarmouth dining room.
TEXT BY MICHAELA CAVALLARO
PHOTOGRAPHED BY DANIELLE SYKES
Quilters face a perennial problem: what to do with their creations when they run out of beds. When quilting runs in the family, the challenge is even more acute. That was the case for Yarmouth’s Dash Masland, whose beds are warmed with her mother and mother-in-law’s handiwork. Taught to quilt as a child by her grandmother, Masland picked it up again in 2017, and founded her contemporary quilt-and-pattern company, now called Smith’s General, the following year. “To incorporate my work into our home, I had to find different avenues,” she says.
Today, her Mackworth quilt — an abstract representation of the Falmouth island’s stone pier set against a vast field of white — is the mural-like focal point in the dining room of her 1910 Colonial Revival. On the opposite wall, linen curtains inspired by ancient Korean patchworks, known as pojagi, conjure panes of stained glass. And in the living room, pillows with quilted covers — a gray-and-white pair resembling waning gibbous and waning crescent moons and a trio sporting mustard-yellow triangles on a snowy backdrop — adorn the sofa. Whether created from scratch or by repurposing vintage or antique quilts, patchwork décor offers rich textures and intriguing, tessellated patterns other textiles can’t match, Masland says. And thanks to the medium’s traditional roots, even modern interpretations blend seamlessly with a range of styles.
ABOVE Linen curtains inspired by ancient Korean patchworks hang in the dining room; a quilted tote brightens the entry.
When Masland started quilting again, she was also looking for a new career. She and her husband had recently sold their stake in Oxbow Brewing Co., which they’d co-founded with a friend. (Trained as a marine biologist, Masland previously worked at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, in Boothbay.) Though she was done with the craft-brewing life, she had become hooked on entrepreneurship. And she had an idea for a quilt pattern — an abstract rendering of seagulls flying in V formation — that she couldn’t get out of her head. Before long, she had created the pattern for Flight Effect and put it up for sale online and at Alewives Fabrics, in Newcastle.
Working first from her home studio and then from Smith’s General, a retail shop she opened on Main Street in Yarmouth, Masland began selling more patterns, as well as quilts, in her signature minimalist style. Although the pandemic forced her to shutter the store and bring the business back home, she’s grateful for the time she’s gained to design and sew new pieces. Among her latest creations: quilted-canvas tote bags that incorporate fabric remnants from her 2021 collection. Currently, one of the carryalls, emblazoned with inky Sawtooth Stars on a blush-pink background, hangs on a shelf in her entry, showcasing one more way to use a quilt that doesn’t involve a bed.
ABOVE A mix of pillows with quilted covers punches up the living-room sofa.