Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quilt designs are everywhere

Several years ago, one of the ladies in one of my quilt guilds in MI went to Italy.  While in Venice, she took pics of floors in some of the churches.  I think she said this one was in St. Mark's, but I've slept since then, so I'm not really sure.  She had duplicates of the pictures, and when she saw how intriguing this one was to me, she gave me the picture.  I took it home and puzzled over how to draft something like this.  Eventually, a friend who knows drafting lent me a hand, and the outer portion became templates.  A LOT of templates.  For the center, I did something a bit different than the floor center.  Then I thought about it some more, and realized that 1/4 of it would make a really stunning fan design.  I went through the fabric stash and made fabric choices to complement the design.  I don't think you can see it in the picture of the quilt below, but I chose a black to white ombre stripe, using it so that it appeared to shade under the colored fabric and show the light in the middle.  The top was hand-pieced, and the pieces were each individually marked with pencil sewing lines and cut out with scissors.  The ombre stripe was fussy-cut.  By the time I had all the pieces cut, that chunk of fabric looked like Swiss cheese, LOL.  I used the fabrics in the fans for the little squares through the center.  I hand-quilted the quilt, too.  I used a thin cotton batting, and achieved my personal best hand quilting in the black background--14 stitches per inch.  I started out using a #12 quilting needle, but they bend so easily that I was going through a lot of them.  I found I could still get that 14 stitches per inch using a #10, and the needles didn't bend nearly as easily.  The quilt photo was taken during the quilting process.  I had started trying to quilt it using an old-fashioned quilting frame, but our cats used it as a hammock, so I had to give that up.  I named this quilt Venetian Attic Window Fans, since the individual 3-piece blocks of the fans look like distorted Attic Window blocks.

If you look around the edges of the round motif in the floor photo, you can see several other good quilt block designs, too.  Look around as you travel through your own town.  How many potential quilting designs can you see in architectural details?  Even man hole covers sometimes have neat designs on them.  Decorative motifs are seen on old buildings, old metal fences and gates, decorative tin ceilings in old stores, they're everywhere!


  1. So far beyond me, but, a pretty quilt. How's the knee?

  2. About the same. I now have an appointment to see an orthopedic surgeon (the one who is the best knee guy in our area), but it's not until Dec. 20th. I'm hoping they will have a cancellation before then. I'm working out how to do more stuff for myself without risking another fall. :)

  3. Pat it's beyond me too but stunning!! I went nuts in Chicago taking pictures of texture and pattern in their architecture everywhere up and down the Magnificent Mile. I should scan those photos and share them.

    Would you consider talking us through drafting for dummies (or linking us to a resource or book)?

    I pray for your healing and for Bill's; does he have chemo again today?

  4. Thanks, Mary, I'll recommend some books that I've found helpful. I'll make sure they're available.

    Bill has been switched to Mondays for chemo, and will have the 6th treatment next Monday. Then we wait 3 months, and have him re-checked to see if he will need another 3 treatments.

    Do keep the prayers coming, please?