A Painting Inspires an Art Quilt Cityscape

9 Patch Scrappy Village is finished. November 2014, Karen Gillis Taylor

9 Patch Scrappy Village is finished. November 2014, Karen Gillis Taylor. 58″ x 61″. Click all photos for larger view.

Have you ever wondered if you will make it to the finish line in a race? I gave myself a month to create this city quilt, and I needed every bit of that time. Reason? Mainly, it is BIG, as my own art quilts go, anyway. That’s a real grand piano in the photo, if it helps provide some scale.

October Night City 2013, KGT, 8" x 12", acrylic

October Night City 2013, KGT, 8″ x 10″, acrylic

This is the small painting that inspired the art quilt. One of 2 choices, I put the question to some Facebook friends as to which painting might make a good quilt, and this won the opinion poll. Fun to see the choices and reasons people offered. Thanks, friends!

I made many changes but basically, the design was enlarged by multiplying by 8 to get me in the ball park for size. Oh, how I love math. Lotsa math.

New 9 Patch Village quilt- a selection of some fabrics among many

New 9 Patch Village quilt- a selection of some fabrics among many

Choosing fabric is exciting, colors exhilarating. But with a project this size, a person gets overwhelmed easily, so I found myself sorting and cleaning every night to keep the fabrics from getting out of hand.

2 9-Patch blocks inhabit this part of the quilt.

2 9-Patch blocks inhabit this part of the quilt.

I was following a theme incorporating traditional 9-patch blocks into my otherwise contemporary quilt. A 9-patch unit can look like a tic-tac-toe game of 3 x 3 squares, but it can also be 9 rectangles of varying shapes and sizes. Can you spot the 2 9-patch blocks here?

After I pieced the entire top, I began fusing the remaining tree, cloud and window shapes for the details and accent colors. See the garden detail below.

Garden detail

Garden detail

Another 9-patch unit is in this section in the lower right area.

Another 9-patch unit is in this section in the lower right area.

I took some photos before I finished my quilting. I made the top in 2 large sections, quilted each section and then sewed them together with an invisible seam to the back. It’s a “quilt-as-you-go” method. Final touches and quilting came at the end.

A large section of the quilt top before finishing.

A large section of the quilt top before finishing.

At last it was time to finish the edges of the quilt with a striped binding. My husband finally saw me surface from the sewing room to hand-sew the binding during the football game beside him on the sofa. Whew! What a project!

Binding my quilt created with raw-edge fused applique

Binding my quilt created with raw-edge fused applique

Sadly, I didn’t finish this quilt in time to enter it into an exhibit competition. Missed the deadline by a week. I realized I wasn’t going to finish in time toward the end, but also knew I had invested too much effort to sacrifice adding my finishing details the way I’d hoped. C’est la vie! That’s life in a month of give and take. Job done, happy me.

I listened to 4 books on CD, nicked my fingers twice with a rotary cutter and scissors, and just missed melting my little area rug when I forgot to put a towel under a part of the quilt top I was fusing. (“What’s that smell?”) It was all worth it. Time to go back to painting now. Your comments are truly appreciated!

A few more detail photos...

A few more detail photos…

town-detail-sky

Church-corner-detail

 

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23 Responses to “A Painting Inspires an Art Quilt Cityscape”

  1. Nancy Says:

    The quilt is so beautiful! I love how the paler blues exude light. The Nine Patch blocks are a clever incorporation and a reference to traditional patchwork in this art quilt.

    Like

    • karen Says:

      Thanks for your comments, Nancy. I was challenged to find the right pale blue fabrics, for some reason. Don’t have a lot of light fabric colors in my stash, and I was trying to make this a scrappy quilt. It’s always a quest to find the hues and fabric patterns we need for the job at hand, right?

      Like

  2. Caroline Jobe Says:

    gorgeous, i really enjoyed your process too. thanx

    Like

  3. Marla Stefanelli Says:

    Very nice Karen! And I’m surprised at how quick you are. It looks like you had a lot of fun making it.

    Like

  4. beatrice Says:

    Absolutley gorgeous!

    Like

  5. beatrice Says:

    I meant absolutely!

    Like

  6. kevanjatt Says:

    Beautiful!

    Like

  7. Kathy Says:

    I always love your command of light, whether in paint or fabric. LOVE this quilt!

    Like

  8. Deb Says:

    It’s amazing how you can make a quilt using mostly cool colors but it just glows and looks warm and inviting. It’s gorgeous, but then all of your work is.

    Like

  9. Sumara Says:

    Fantastic, wonderful, congratulations, this unique !Sumara

    Like

  10. Sarah Schultz Says:

    Karen, this quilt is beautiful and you managed to get the light in the windows. I quilted years ago( in the dark ages.) I appreciate the talent you have, in painting and sewing. Your choice of colors,patterns, and design in general are breathtaking !!!.
    Hope you enjoyed the books on tape while working.
    Sarah

    Like

    • karen Says:

      Thanks Sarah. I enjoy toggling between the 2 crafts, I feel I am still learning from both. I appreciate your comments! Keeps me sharing, too. Take care.

      Like

  11. Alice Baird Says:

    This is an absolutely gorgeous quilt! Congratulations! You mentioned fusing but also piecing. Are most of the buildings fused on or are many or all of them pieced into the background.

    Like

    • Karen Says:

      Hi Alice, almost all the buildings are pieced, even the triangular roof tops. A few of the shapes were fused, mostly the trees and curving shapes. Thanks for your comments! It was a big project for me, but I was glad to finish it. Thanks! -Karen

      Like

  12. April Says:

    My goodness – I saw your quilt on pinterest and I am in awe of your creation. I wish I too had the vision to see and create. I am happy to use patterns, but even when looking at illustrations in a book or someone’s adaptation of a design – I am … well there aren’t words to say – thanks for sharing with so many pictures. I have enjoyed looking at every one!

    Like

    • Karen Says:

      Thanks so much for your comments, April! I hope to inspire people in their own creative journeys, that is my hope. We all have to go at our own pace. We are all different and yet we share a love of things like quilt making and painting, cooking, dreaming, etc. Keep in touch! -Karen

      Like

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