Friday, August 1, 2014

Steps - Ta Da!

Steps

Let me introduce you to Steps. She is a 12" mini quilt made from prints from the new Cotton + Steel Basic prints with one of the Mustang prints in the centre and on the back. Steps is my quilt for this round of the Four in Art challenge group I am in. The theme this round was urban contrasts.

Steps

As usual, I dread this challenge. Don't get me wrong, it has the best people in it, and they make fantastic quilts. But a good part of me rebels against having to make "another mini quilt" (and yes, the challenge expanded the size options but not by that much, not enough to make a quilt that can be cuddled in by any size person), to a set theme, and have it done on a set day. In the end, however, I think that understanding all those reactions has been the biggest thing I have learned from this group.

Steps

So, a reasonable person might be wondering, how is this pretty courthouse steps block in any way related to the theme urban contrasts? I had no idea about this theme. I love cities, the bigger the better. The fabric of the city, to me, is all about its contrasts. The contrasts make the city, are the city, are not contrasts but are the city.

Steps

I made a block that is a set of contrasts, like the fabric of the city. It feels modern and bright, with dense matchstick quilting, in that modern industrial style I love. Yet, log cabin blocks are as old as quilting. Then again, the courthouse steps block is a variation on a log cabin block, so another contrast. There is that funky print in the centre, a modern throw back to the traditional red hearth in a log cabin quilt.

Steps

In the city, I work in court houses, yet I make quilts. Modern, professional, cutting edge work, yet a very traditional hobby. But then I make modern industrial style quilts, often improv and different. Steps, however is a very traditional block and I even measured and trimmed each log. Somehow, she still looks cutting edge. Contrasts everywhere.

The log colours and quilting were chosen, by the way, to represent day and night. In the city the night sky is not that dark, and filled with lights and reflections, the city is busy, and a bit dangerous, where you need to be more aware, at night. Yet in the daytime, the sky is lovely, the buildings look new and shiny, there is a lot going on but you can let your guard down a bit, just a bit more relaxed. Well, you can decide if this little quilt captures any of that for you.

Steps

The back. This print just reminds me of pyrex dishes. I am using my grandmother's and my mother's pyrex dishes. Many bloggers collect them as special vintage dishes. For me they are just familiar, and I love them. Retro, vintage, ordinary, useful - more contrasts. Oh, and the red binding, is just because, yet another contrast.

Steps

And Steps, well that is what I am taking in this quilting journey, in all my journeys, just taking steps. I hope you like Steps. You can check out the quilts of my friends in the Four in Art group by following the links below.


17 comments:

  1. Very pretty! My son just leaned over my shoulder to look and said "Wow, that is awesome!"
    R x

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  2. Terrific! It's always fun to see what influences will show up in your quilting, and in your interpretation of the Four-in-Art Themes. I love the opening thoughts that contrast just WAS the city, something with is obvious, but that I'd never thought about until you wrote it down. And then to take fabric from the newest kids on the block (pun) and use it in one of the oldest blocks in the quilting tradition was a nice commentary on another contrast. And then, yes--no dark night skies in our city ever, unless there's a power failure. You have many astute observations on the nature of *city* and have woven then into your small quilt. Thanks for being a part of us -- we'll miss you!

    Elizabeth

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  3. This is a beautiful mini! I hope that you use this mini.

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  4. Leanne: Your reflections on your quilting steps ....what is modern what is traditional are very thought provoking and inspiring. I'm glad I found your blog as it's helping me on my journey.

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  5. Wow! What a fantastic interpretation of this theme! And your explanation makes perfect sense! I love "Steps!"

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  6. I always love how you describe your quilts, Leanne. Sometimes, I think that I just try to hard. But you, just stay true to yourself....Love IT!

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  7. Personally I love it and all the contrasts...

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  8. "The contrasts make the city, are the city, are not contrasts but are the city." <---smacking my forehead moment. You're so clever. I love all the layers of contrasts in this quilt. But most of all? I love it because it's just plain pretty.

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  9. You made me think, too. Yes, contrast is the workings of a city. I think you did a splendid job of showing this in your quilt. I do see the night and day in the courthouse steps block. Your choice of fabrics is great. I have learned a little more about you while reading this post and am sorry to have you move on. I wish you all the best in your quilting adventures.

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  10. the courthouse steps is one of my favourite blocks, very nice and especially like the turquoise fabric

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  11. I think it was a great choice for the challenge and it turned out great.

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  12. It was so interesting to read about this quilt--I really enjoyed it.

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  13. Oh Leanne, we are going to miss you next year. You have brought up a very interesting and insightful view of urban contrast and put it not only into your mini but into words as well. I loved reading your thoughts as much as seeing your mini.

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  14. I SO love it when you talk me through your quilts. When you explain it everything makes such perfect sense. I loved it with your cycles quilts and previous Four in Art Quilts and this is no different. Everything you say is spot on about the contrasts and your little quilt has captured all of that in ways I might not have immediately seen for myself ('cos I'm slow on the uptake artistically). Well done again, and please keep talking about your quilts in these ways that I love so much. It's very unique to your blog, certainly among those that I read, and I always feel you stretch my quilty imagination just a little further with each one.

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  15. I like this little quilt! I think sometimes the stories/explanations are what really make the quilts come alive, and that is the case with this one. It is really pretty to look at, but the story behind it really makes it all come together.

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  16. Great Quilt and quilting, lovely fabrics and I love the story behind it and the details in your post!!! Great work, again, and happy quilting.

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  17. I love the courthouse steps block and it is perfect for you being an attorney (I made a courthouse quilt for my attorney husband once). Your post perfectly describes the contrasts which we sometimes overlook. I love the cotton and steel fabrics and your use of the red print for the center. The reference to the steps in our quilting journey is so true. Thanks for sharing Leanne!

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