Each month, I enjoy introducing new shops and makers to the Pattern Drop community.  If my Instagram feed is an indication, there are a lot of quilters and makers who also love the outdoors. Emily Merrell is one of those–she sells really fantastic National Parks scratch off posters in her shop, Modern Native.  You can connect with her via her Instagram, too!

I asked Emily a few questions about how moving to Montana has influenced her, about her shop, and a bit about the story behind her shop name. Enjoy!

And through the month of March, you can use the coupon PATTERNDROP15 for 15% off the National Parks poster.

Emily, a recent transplant to Montana, runs Modern Native, with her sister Allison. I love what Emily says about Modern Native, “Born from hours of phone conversations, Modern Native is a collaboration between two sisters– Allison & Emily. With Allison living on the shores of Huntington Beach, CA and Emily living beneath the mountain peaks of Whitefish, MT, we were able to combine the best of both worlds in the creation of ||Modern Native||.”

Modern Native created an awesome National Parks scratch off poster–it is exclusive to their shop, and if you love National Parks, or need a little incentive to start visiting them, I think you will love the poster.

This National Park poster features each of the 59 US National Parks, and is meant to act both as wall art and a travel checklist. It displays one beautiful, high-quality photo of each park covered by silver scratch-off material. The parks are arranged in order of the date they were made National Parks;`their order is signified by a number that “peaks through” the silver foil to the picture below, giving you a sneak peak.

When you visit a park, use a coin to easily scratch off the foil to reveal a picture and slogan for that park (marking it off your list)! The bottom right corner features a quote from John Muir, known as the “Father of the National Parks”.

This is the perfect way to both display the parks you’ve visited and keep track of the ones you still need to see! It is great inspiration for your future adventures and keeps the memories alive on your past adventures. Whether you have the goal of visiting each of the national parks or just want to see as many as you can, this poster is a fun addition to any wall. Know some fellow nature or outdoors lovers? This is the perfect unique and affordable gift.


How did moving to Montana affect you and your love of nature/the outdoors? Or did it?
If anything, it’s just re-ignited my excitement for the outdoors. Growing up, we did quite a bit outdoors as a family– camping, fishing with my dad, going to the beach in Northern California, hiking, etc. I think I really started getting into it in college though, where I majored in Recreation Management, emphasizing in Outdoor Recreation.

Moving to Montana has been a dream! We lived in Ohio for 4 years and were craving more of the outdoors, so we were looking for somewhere that offered a lot in that area. Never have I fallen in love with a place so quickly! We are just outside Glacier National Park and are at the foot of a ski resort, so there are endless opportunities to get outside year-round. This area is BEAUTIFUL and is covered in wildflowers in the summer, so I hope to include some of them in my work this next year.

Where did the name Modern Native come from?
The ‘Native’ part of the name comes from our Native American descent. My great-grandmother is full-blodded Shoshone and my great-grandfather is half Maidu, making me and my sisters almost 1/4 Native American. We have always loved learning about this side of our family and all really enjoy the outdoors. I decided to combine my love of nature with a more modern style of home decor and jewelry to create this brand.

I’m probably a little biased now, but my favorite NP is Glacier. During the summer it stays light out until about 10:30 PM, so we got the chance to explore the park a lot last year. I think Acadia National Park comes in as a close second though!

-Emily Merrell

What is your favorite place to camp/visit? What is your favorite National Park?
My favorite place to camp is Bodega Bay, CA. Its a beautiful beach area north of San Francisco and I grew up camping there with my family every year, so it’s filled with lots of memories. Part of the movie The Goonies was filmed there, for those who have seen it!


Photo courtesy of  Modern Native

What are your favorite things to make/stock in your shop? 
I think, hands down, my favorite thing to make is the framed butterflies! They are so much fun. Just learning about all of the different kinds of butterflies, seeing the wild patterns on them, etc is really interesting to me. The actual pinning process is extremely fragile and definitely took me a while to get good at. Now I am pretty quick at it and really enjoy it.

It’s really fun picking out the different species I want, figuring out which to frame together, and then seeing it all come together. The whole process takes about 3-6 days but its worth it! We work with a woodworker out of Indiana to get our frames hand-made, as we wanted a very specific double-glass design, and have absolutely loved how they have turned out. I think our framed butterflies are what I take the most personal pride in!


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