One of the best parts about being a lighting & home goods manufacturer is the unique opportunity we have to design, develop, and bring to life our own exclusive product assortment. It takes commitment, hard work, and (above all) a genuine passion for what we do to create modern heirlooms the old-fashioned way, and we couldn't be more proud of what our team is able to achieve together.
We’ve always believed in seeking products with soul, and today we wanted to share the story behind one of our beloved collections — the Stillwater Floral Quilt. To celebrate Stillwater and its recently launched new colors, we asked our Product Team to give us a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how this cozy classic came to be.
Tell us about Stillwater! How did the original concept come about?
We knew we wanted to design a floral quilt that filled a gap in our existing bedding collection. After assessing our assortment, we decided we wanted to diverge from our existing geometric designs and add a fun, bold floral-inspired pattern.
Could you walk us through the thought behind the name?
We referenced a book on early 1900s Oklahoma Quilts for initial inspiration, and found ourselves drawn to a quilt made in the small town of Stillwater.
The name caught our eye because it reminded us of our quilt pattern, which has a mirrored floral motif — like rows of flowers in the reflection of a quiet pond. Stillwater sounded soothing, and we hoped this quilt would offer familiarity, charm, and comfort.
"The mirrored floral motif is reminiscent of flowers in the reflection of a quiet pond."
How long did it take to develop?
In total, it took us around a year to design and develop. The initial design is always a mad dash, but it took us several months to fine tune. Once we had a concept to send to our partners in Portugal, we asked them to test different construction methods for us to review. After we landed on the construction, we narrowed it down to the colors we wanted to sample.
"The original Auburn palette for the Stillwater Floral Quilt was inspired by a shirt one of the designers wore during color exploration."
Tell us more about the color combos. What inspired the palette?
Trying to embody a certain feeling and mood through color is an exciting challenge! It is extra tricky to elicit the emotion you want in a single color since different hues resonate with people in unique ways. We landed on two to three colors per quilt to help communicate what we wanted: warmth, familiarity, and folk-inspired modesty.
Our original quilt was auburn and ecru. We thought it layered well with rich, warm tones. For our Holiday Collection, we had the opportunity to expand on the colorways, which was exciting. We went with green and blue for the Juniper quilt and festive, brighter tones for the Red quilt.
"By paying homage to American heirloom quilts, we aimed to communicate warmth, familiarity and a folk-inspired modesty through the design."
What are some of the key details that set Stillwater apart?
Without getting too nerdy about textile history and construction — we want to point out that Stillwater isn't technically a traditional quilt with two layers of cotton stitched together with fill in between.
Incredibly, it's all woven together in a jacquard matelassé construction, which means that the loom that created the quilt creates custom, interwoven layers, resulting in a super complex, double woven blanket. It's the kind of stuff we dream about as makers.
"During the early stages of development, we tested many different colors and weaving techniques. It took over a dozen iterations to perfect the Stillwater's cozy texture."
If you look closely, you'll see two yarn weights on the front side of the quilt. As a custom matelassé weave, those yarns are visible in some spaces and hidden (woven inside) in other places. The patterning of thick yarns interlocked together results in a layered or "puffed" appearance similar to a quilted piece. This uniquely textured weave helps create a cozy, perfectly weighted blanket since the thicker yarns pass through the entire length of the quilt.
"Matelassé gets its name from the French word matlasser, meaning 'to quilt'. With each wash, the quilting becomes softer and will continue to improve with age and use."
Funny enough, we matched the original earthy Auburn color to a shirt that one of our Product Designer’s was wearing during color exploration, which is a perfect example of how much of a role the surrounding environment plays in the process + inspiration.
Last but not least, what's your favorite part of the design?
Stillwater feels unique to Schoolhouse, and unique to our Product Design Team. Despite not being a traditional quilt, it pays tribute to the quilts that were hand sewn and passed down as heirlooms for most of our country's history.