Recreate the Colorful History of El Camino Real

Fabrics and BOM by Nancy Rink

You'll want to clear some time on your creative calendars for this dazzling BOM by Nancy Rink! With it, she recreates the vivid combination of Native American, Mexican and Spanish cultures in California, specifically drawing inspiration from tilework of the King's Highway (El Camino Real) and from the architecture of the region. Program begins January 2014!

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The Story of El Camino Real

In 1769 two expeditions set out from Baja California, one by land and the other by sea: their destination, the harbor at San Diego discovered a 167 years earlier by the Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizcaino. In the intervening century and a half several plans to secure the coast of Alta California failed to receive funding, until encroachments by Great Britain and Russia in the 18th century, forced Spain to act. Geopolitical considerations were not the only concern. The hope of bringing Christianity to the native peoples of the region played an equally important role. The Church was responsible for Christianizing native peoples and creating a tractable population of obedient citizens. For the humble Franciscan friars, who were to build and staff the missions, the charge was a sacred enterprise and an opportunity, in the words of its chief missionary, Junipero Serra, to bring "a harvest of souls ... into the bosom of our Holy Mother, the Church."

Over the next forty years the humble Franciscans and their allies transformed Alta California, establishing twenty-one missions, scores of pueblos, and several presidios along the El Camino Real (King's Highway). The missions have endured over the centuries lending their architectural aesthetic to a "California Style" that is both eclectic and strikingly unique. This mixture of old world and new world, of Spanish/Mexican and Native American culture has been the inspiration for the fabric and quilts in Nancy and Oliver Rink's new book, El Camino Real: Quilts Inspired by Early California. (KC Star Books, Spring 2014)