Thursday, May 1, 2014

Landmarks - Ta Da!

Landmarks

Landmarks is a 12" square mini quilt. I participate in the Four in Art group and this quarter our theme was urban landmarks. I kept thinking, I use landmarks to find my way to a place, another landmark. You know, X marks the spot.

Then I was reading about Thomas Knauer's wonderful quilt, You Are Here (from his book Modern Quilt Perspectives, which I highly recommend) and it is also about being at a spot, being grounded and uses the X motif. I was very much inspired by his quilt and concept, in fact so much so that I almost did not go with the idea at all because I wanted to do my "own" thing.

Landmarks

As usual, I found myself putting this project off. I did not want to make an impression of an actual landmark. I wanted to do something improv. In the end, I returned to the Xs.

Landmarks

You can see that some of the improv Xs are small, they finish at 1".

Landmarks in progress

I started a couple of nights ago, making tiny one inch Xs. I just grabbed scraps from my nearest pile with some of the Paris map fabric I still have. (People have asked me about this fabric, it is out of print as far as I know. It is a 3 Sister's design.)

Landmarks in progress

My friends on Instagram loved them, and my fancy nails (the polish is here at Soak). But I realized to make a 12" square I would need 12 x 12 or 144 tiny Xs. There just was not time. I really need to get to work sooner on these challenges. So I made bigger Xs and finished her last night.

Landmarks

I played around with placing my blocks. This arrangement felt right - an urban environment with plenty of landmarks, big and small, mushed together, with more at the centre, less at the edges. I wondered if this quilt should be called "lost", or "where am I" or "where are you". But the fabrics are too bright and happy for an angsty quilt, I will make that one another time.

Landmarks - back

In keeping with the urban theme, I used a Carolyn Friedlander topographical print to back and bind her. The quilting is minimal, random lines, a walk through the city landmarks. I used a single fold binding, which I much prefer for small quilts.

Landmarks

I see this quilt as more of an ariel view, so I am not sure which side is up. I like this orientation as well as the one at the beginning of the post.

I have to say that I love the feel of the cheerful scrappy improv Xs in this quilt. Now I want a bigger one - I think this would be a fun lap size quilt, maybe even king size, we shall see. Despite all my ambivalence to this project, the challenge and the push to just get it done has, again, been very good for me creatively.

The other members of the Four in Art group are posting their quilts inspired by the theme urban landmarks today too. They are a talented bunch, do go and have a look:

Amanda  at whatthebobbin.com
Betty at a Flickr site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/toot2
Elizabeth at opquilt.com
Rachel at rachel-thelifeofriley.blogspot.com

Best,


Leanne

34 comments:

Charlotte said...

it's really beautiful, Leanne. I love the different sizes of the Xs

Betty said...

Well, you nailed it again! Yes, I see this as a bigger quilt and just love this small size. It's the abstract that I keep aiming for and you've done it so well. Love not only the front and all the wonderful pieces, but the back is one of my favorites! Great job, Leanne.

familyfaithfoodfabric said...

Wow! How inspiring... I've been so determined to learn the basics this year I kinda forgot that I got my start in quilting by totally improvising. This makes me want to grab my scraps and go at it! Great job!

Anne said...

It's great Leanne! Love all the variety of fabrics and wonky X's. I think it's better with the different sized X's than if they had all been small. It's a good concept to. Always interesting to see how we all interpret the topic. The concept would really make a nice larger sized modern quilt. I'd say last minute worked to your advantage but I sure know what you mean about putting these small challenges off to the last minute.

Rachel said...

144 tiny X's sure would be cute, but I think the various sizes are much more effective. I think this one fits right in with the theme very well. I've been considering picking up that Thomas Knauer book. I appreciate his perspectives on the quilty world.

Carla said...

Oh, yes!!!! Love your idea as well as the quilt! Thanks for sharing your thinking process as you created it...so interesting!

cakath said...

Loved reading about your process (and your fingernails!) I think this little gal is perfect.

OPQuilt said...

Brilliant execution of our theme, Leanne! I love the idea of X marks the spot, and it reminded me of hotel desks giving us directions when we are traveling. They get out their pen and write Xs all over our maps, with lines connecting them. Sometimes we have to plead with them to stop, for it often can obscure the very place we're trying to get to. But we all do this mentally, identifying a place, marking in our minds (or on our phones) and heading toward it.

The layout does really convey that idea of closer clusters--a denser urban environment--and more widely spaced landmarks as we head out of the cities. I really do like the different scale of the Xs--I think a whole quilt might be too claustrophobic, without anywhere for the mind, or eye, to wander and explore.

Another fabulous quilt, and a great interpretation of our challenge. Bravo!

Archie the wonder dog said...

I love it! The mix of sizes is really effective - genius!

Cille said...

Wow... Tiny, tiny blocks. It looks great.

Sarah @ FairyFace Designs said...

I've looked at this mini a few times and it keeps drawing me back. It's very interesting -I use that word carefully! - it draws the eye in and makes you think, if that makes sense. Really great job.

elle said...

I like everything about this one, Leanne! :)

Flying Blind... said...

Really amazing little mini - bravo x

Camilla said...

I always enjoy seeing what you come up with for each theme for this great sounding group! Beautiful and a great way to explore creativity.

Live a Colorful Life said...

I love it, for so many reasons. Yes, it WOULD make a fabulous larger quilt. (I have some of that Paris map fabric--yay!). And I also agree that Thomas Knauer's book is very inspirational.

wobblybobbin said...

I love it! I've been thinking that I would like to delve deeper into quilting and I think that book will be the perfect place to start, thanks for the push :)
As for that adorable "x" block, is it in the book, or is there a tutorial for it somewhere?

Rene' said...

This quilt is lovely Leanne!! I love the various size X's (those tiny ones are fabulous) and their placement in the quilt. The minimal straight lines of quilting is perfect for your theme as is Carolyn's fabric.

Adrienne said...

Love this!

AmandaK@whatthebobbin said...

Love those tiny Xs. Love the background fabric choice. The quilting is perfect too. I like that you didn't something too literal, I always seem to. I get the feeling of a urban setting when the dense smaller Xs, nice touch. X certainly marks the spot. Nice work :)

Nancy said...

Absolutely grand! How clever. You covered the topic well. There are so many landmarks, it is not easy to pick one to work on. Fabric choices were great. And I think I will try the single binding with the smaller quilts, they don't get handled a great deal and it would be easier to work with. Thank you for the great photos in the post.

Jess @ Elven Garden Quilts said...

It is wonderful Leanne. I love the concept, and the design is so interesting. I agree this would be amazing on a larger scale.

Tamie said...

Really love your concept and how you pushed through. I often find myself committed to something and then paralyzed on moving forward. Love the topo fabric on the back.

margaret said...

hard to picture this being only 12" or have I misunderstood, it is very nice

Sarah said...

You are right that this isn't an angsty quilt. It's much more exciting than that. To me it's like " hey this place is amazing, look at all the things I've been to and seen". - a little like how my son was feeling last year on his first visit to London. Lots of exciting spots followed by even more amazing spots! Looks great Leanne!

Vera said...

So much to look at and explore. What a fun mini. Great fabric choice as well.

pennydog said...

Oh this is fantastic, I can't get over those tiny crosses! Very inspirational.

SarahZ said...

Love the sweet "scraps" of color...such a bright happy little thing :)

O'Quilts said...

Wonderful job!! you deserve that funky nail polish:) I love it all.

Leanne Parsons said...

I love the variation in the sizes. It's a lot more interesting than it would have been with only one size.

Donna said...

I really love this quilt and the theme. The x's, the colors, and low volume look perfect together! I'm inspired by quilts that have meaning so I ordered the Thomas Knauer book. Can't wait to get it in the mail.

Debbie said...

oh I love this little one! Having you share the process with us is so enjoyable - thanks for that. And I'm glad you didn't have time for all those little x's - I love the variety in size. That block is still 'on my list' as I sew through my scraps...

Catherine said...

Love this Leanne

myBearpaw said...

Beautiful and interesting Leanne! Those mini crosses are so appealing but I think the whole thing works better for you not having enough time and making bigger blocks. Love the whole concept too.

Katy Cameron said...

Love the X's marking the spots :o)