Building a Town with Fabric and Colors: How to become an Architect overnight!

Town Quilt color sketch, KGT, 2013

Town Quilt color sketch, KGT, 2013

I have been working on an art quilt idea and decided to show it to my Dad tonight. He is 88 years old as of June and one of my most helpful art critics. Dad has been a valuable critic for my cityscape paintings for the last several years. Today when I showed him my color sketch for a new quilt design, we entered into new territory, I think.

Color sketches for quilts are very rudimentary for me. I try to make plans for the basic shapes and colors and construction, which are 75 percent of the plan at best. But that plan is in my own mind, and will change when I begin to choose fabrics and sew. I think I need to show Dad my steps along the way for the making of this art quilt. It will help us both to see how it evolves!

Left, color drawing for quilt block. Right, same block sewn up in fabrics with roofs added digitally for color testing

Left, color drawing for “Town Block 1” quilt block. Right, same block sewn up in fabrics with roofs added digitally for color testing

Dad is an engineer. Once Dad understood the basic construction of “2 rectangles sewn together to make a unit” and then “sew another rectangle to make a new unit” and add to another unit, etc. he was understanding my rather poor attempts at explaining the quilt making process. I promised to show him my steps as photos here, which I hope will confirm what he understood.

The best explanation will be to show him the finished quilt. In fact, before I left him today, he gave me “an assignment.” To take this project to the next phase. I think he wants to see the real thing, in real fabric. I also had an interesting conversation with my brother Bob about the quiltmaking process. He was curious about what happens at he final stage of quilting the “quilt sandwich” together and what that long arm machine stitching creates on top of the pieced fabric construction you made.

Suddenly, there I was, describing to my interested brother how the long arm machine rolls up the pieced quilt top and layers of batting and backing fabric, and then starts making the stitches in a certain pattern, da ta, da ta, ca chunk, dat ta, da ta. da ta…. as the needle goes up and down…

By then, “bad brother” was totally making fun of my demonstrative hand motions that come with our Italian ancestry. Hey, Bro, get off my back, it’s your family too!  I will let you off  this time, since you take care of our sweet dad every day. But watch out! haha

Thanks for being so patient, Dad, with my meager attempts at explanation. Seems like it’s always better for me to paint the picture which is worth a thousand words. Thanks for putting up with your silly, goofy, but loving kids.


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2 Responses to “Building a Town with Fabric and Colors: How to become an Architect overnight!”

  1. dweinberg415 Says:

    I love the simplicity and cheerfulness in this quilt. It would make me feel good to look at it every day!


    • karen Says:

      Thanks for your nice comments on this quilt sketch! I am about half finished with the actual quilt now, and will post when it’s finished. I’m making changes along the way with the buildings and trees, and am finding it’s a fun project!


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