Saturday, February 1, 2014

Window - A Four in Art mini quilt

Untitled

Here is Window. She is a 12" mini quilt that I made for the Four in Art challenge theme urban structures. I picked this theme and then was stumped as to what structure I wanted to be inspired by. In the end, she was inspired by the windows at the City Hall building in my city.

Window - back

The back of Window is more what I had first thought to make, but my vision of a skyline inspired quilt needed a bigger surface than 12" square. So I used this print instead for the back, to incorporate my favourite urban structures, which are the massive towers of the urban downtown.

Window

As I drove and walked about the city thinking about this theme, I looked at all kinds of urban structures, towers, houses, libraries, hospitals, walkways, bridges, the subway/LRT, even the electrical and waterworks. When I wondered about what was common to all of them, I realized it was the windows.

Window

No matter how utilitarian, our urban structures have windows. People use and operate the structures, and we like to see in and out of them. The structures might be made of concrete, brick, glass, steel, and they may stand for hundreds of years, but they are fundamentally for people.


Edmonton City Hall
This photo is by Marcia O'Connor from Flickr, click it to go to her photostream

Last week I was walking through City Hall (click here to view many pictures of this wonderful building, it has many beautiful structural features), which is a building I love. I especially love the windows, which are captured beautifully in the photo above that I borrowed from Flickr. When I sat down to make Window, I was inspired by those windows.

I see that my quilt reversed the slant of the windows, which is because I notice them more when I am inside the building looking out and I was working from memory not a photo when I made the quilt. This building has a pyramid and other beautiful outside structures that tend to capture more of my attention when I am outside.

Window

Of course I quilted her heavily with a bright yellow thread. I auditioned a number of bindings but decided to return to the sunny yellow. I used yellow in the windows because to me windows are all about the light. And I added a layer of Insulbrite so that Window can function as a trivet for my table as well.


The Four in Art group is comprised of eight talented quilters. Today they will all reveal their projects inspired by the theme urban structures - I hope you will visit them all:


Amanda who blogs at What the Bobbin
Anne who blogs at Spring Leaf Studios
Nancy who blogs at Patchwork Breeze
Carla who blogs at Lollyquiltz
Elizabeth who blogs at OP Quilt
Betty on Flickr 
Rachel who blogs at The Life of Riley
Leanne who blogs at she can quilt (that's me)

Best,

Leanne

36 comments:

OPQuilt said...

I'm smiling as I write this (in reaction to the sunny yellow of your windows?). No, more in admiration for the technique and design woven seamlessly in this depiction of an Urban/Structure. I agree that your City Hall windows are worthy of interpretation and I think yours is stellar on that score, switching out the concrete for wood-grained fabric, making these windows "every windows," if there is such a phrase.

Because you are right, in that buildings are for people, and that we are drawn to windows. We do always want to look out, to see beyond what contains us. Plus those slanted windows are just plain cool.

Another success!

Elizabeth
opquilt.com

Vera said...

I like the idea and the backside :-)

Jennie said...

This is a fabulous design and the prints you've used are perfect!

Anne said...

Love it! You are right on when you say it is the windows that make a structure because to imagine buildings without windows is terribly depressing. It's the glow of light from within that draws us in and the view they provide when inside that make a building inviting. The yellow is just right to evoke a feeling of warmth and welcome. Well done Leanne. I took a look at Edmonton City Hall. What a wonderful structure. I love how the windows are set on the angle. Not at all the expected view. And the pyramid is beautiful.

JaneB said...

You had me at yellow . . . my favorite combination right now is yellow and grey. Love this mini.

Marci Girl said...

Simply beautiful!

Katy Cameron said...

Great concept, and love your inspiration buildings! We don't really have anything that exciting here. Well, we have a couple of odd arenas, but they're just, well, odd!

elle said...

I must check this out next time I drive through. But you have captured the vision wonderfully. I'm looking at grids right now and this fits in great. Luv the yellow and grey! Stellar job!!!

Amy's Crafty Shenanigans said...

Another beautifully made and quilted project Leanne :)

Susan Evans said...

I like the back of the quilt. The quilting looks like rain against the buildings. Of course the front is fantastic,
but it is the unexpected that happens on the back that is so much fun!

Betty said...

Leanne, you've done it once again - captured our theme beautifully. I love your colors, your fabrics, and, always, your line stitching. I'm always amazed at the people who don't really "see" windows and those who don't require many in their homes. Maybe because I have such poor eyesight, I always have to have way more windows than anyone else and it's only as I've gotten older, that covering them (to conserve energy) is even remotely doable! I love, love your little quilt - you always raise the bar for me!

Flying Blind... said...

Awesome building and brilliant interpretation! I love how the quilting looks on the back as well as the front. You pulled it off again x

hungryhippie said...

I really like the grey and yellows together...just lovely!

heart of charnwood said...

What a fabulous interpretation of the building and the cool architecture! :o)

MariQuilts said...

Looks wonderful!!

Carla said...

I love how simply your entry depicts an underlying and thoughtful theme, Leanne! It's such a modern looking block too....maybe you should use it to make a larger quilt!!

Patchwork and Play said...

Another resounding success, Leanne! I agree with Carla, it would make a great feature in a larger quilt too!

Sarah said...

What an interesting building to take your inspiration from. Your little quilt is great.

Crafty Tokyo Mama said...

Very creative idea with beautiful results. Your colors and fabrics really bring the windows to life.

Lisa in Port Hope said...

Beautiful finish and what a fantastic concept to use as a jumping off point for your creative process. Now off to visit the rest!

AmandaK@whatthebobbin said...

The sunny yellow is the perfect choice for a window. I love the slant - no matter the direction. It's very dynamic. It is so great that you made this a functional piece of art by incorporating the Insulbrite - clever! What a shinning finish :)

nicole said...

Such a cool building! And your mini captures it perfectly, great job!
How skinny is your binding?! It's amazing!

dutchcomfort said...

It’s beautiful and I love the back as well!

Colleen Potter said...

So creative ! I'd love to learn how to design my own blocks/quilts. I haven't been piecing very long - could you recommend a book ?
I wanted to thank-you for sharing the info about Sparrow Studioz. I live in Saskatchewan but it's something I wanted to try and have booked a spot later this month.

Amy Friend said...

Very cool!

Di said...

I love seeing you stretch your creativity. This is a great mini.
Di x

jeifner said...

Love it and the matchstick quilting. You can't see it in the further out photos and it really pops in the close ups, so it's perfect :)

Nancy said...

Well executed, Leanne. I am glad I viewed the photos on the Flickr link you provided. I think you chose well in making Windows from the inside looking out. There were so many aspects of the building, which is stunning, that you could have chosen. But you are right, windows are common to our urban environs. The colors work so well together. And I must say, the wonderful photos of Edmonton have sparked my interest to visit there some day.

Debbie said...

I've been out of town for a bit, so am just catching up - I really love these little windows!! The perspective is awesome and of course your quilting makes it!

Kelly said...

I love that mini and am swooning at the matchstick quilting!

pennydog said...

I love everything about this!

ChristaQuilts said...

I just love what you guys did with this challenge! So cool!

Rachel said...

So perfect in its simplicity. I love how you pared down the look of an entire building into just one set of windows. And of course the fabric choices couldn't have been any more perfect. Sun streaming in and the wonderful wood grain of the setting. Kudos for making it double duty as a trivet!

Marg said...

A wonderful interpretation Leanne. Love it.

Archie the wonder dog said...

A resounding success and very 'you'!

Lori Landenburger said...

Love love love! And that background. Swoon! What a cool description of your thought process :)