"Reflection Refraction" 19" x 23.5", made for Project Quilting,
Season 3, Challenge 1: Architectural Elements, Jan. 2012
Quick recap of the challenge: "Architectural Elements" 1. Your inspiration will come from architecture.
The last few years we’ve spent some time traveling and I noticed that I was drawn to interesting architecture. So much that I took several photos of buildings because I thought they’d make interested quilt ideas. So when I saw that the first challenge for this season’s Project Quilting was Architectural Elements, I immediately started looking through the photos I took. We’ve recently been to Atlanta, Knoxville, Louisville, San Francisco, Portland, and places in between.
The building I decided to use for this project is in the Financial District in San Francisco. The building is highlighted by a red box and you can see some of the reflections in the window.
This photo is a close up taken from another angle. I was really interested in how the windows of the building reflected images from the building across the street and it appears that the even-numbered floors are reflection from one angle while the odd-numbered floors are reflecting a different image.
Since the photo is fairly abstract, I wasn’t trying to recreate in exactly. For one thing, there’s not a lot of color in it. And there aren’t any reflections on the far right side. I wanted this quilt to be more symmetrical so I decided to include the reflections on that side also.
To give you an idea of the scale of this quilt, each window is 2.25” high. I decided to create the larger, lighter shapes in the windows by cutting out light-colored fabric and fusing them to the background but I didn’t want to have to do that with the smaller reflections. Instead I looked through my batik fabrics to see if I could find one with a pattern similar to the one in the photo. I found one that I thought was a good fit and it’s green with some blue in it. I also found some other batiks that complimented the green one.
The windows aren’t exactly straight and I wasn’t sure I could piece the subtle angles so I got a piece of fabric and set the batik fabrics on top of it, fusing and stitching to hold them in place. Black bias tape fabric was used to cover the seams.
At first I thought I wanted to do the whitish columns in a light color but once I started to work with the fabric, it didn’t look right to me. I wanted fabric that would be strong enough to support the design element but not stand out too much. I literally took out every piece of batik fabric to see if it would work and nothing really did. Then I remembered that I had some hand-dyed fabric and found the green piece which did work with the other fabrics.
I pieced the two borders then started quilting. The quilting isn't really visible on the front but it can be seen on the back. I added some black cording on both sides of the green columns then for the binding I used a strip-facing technique.
More about Reflection / Refraction
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Click on the photos to see them larger.
To see the other entries visit the Architectural Elements page.