Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Quaintly contemporary

You would have thought that after spending TWO whole weeks in New York City this past June, I would have had plenty of architectural inspiration
.... and you are right!

But that did not make this challenge any easier!!!!

I hemmed and hawed for weeks until I just started sewing....

Inspired by all the contemporary (modern), glass buildings.....

glass glass my inspiration....

 I began sewing with black Kona cotton and pewter silk dupioni (my first time using the dupioni)....

a building

but when my building was pieced (and I did not take a photo of it! ACK), 
I wasn't sure what to do next.... it looked too simple

So I went back to all my photos (I took 401!) of  NYC 
...okay, all my photos of the buildings of NYC (surely there were only about 100!)
and I kept coming back to this wonderful quaint (charmingly old-fashioned) building
that I spotted in Soho while waiting for PurlSoho to open
(note to other shoppers: they don't open until NOON!)....

my inspiration...

 The details and the texture make me swoon!

It gave me an idea.... 
so I posterized the photo onto tracing paper so it would be thin to sew on (yes, sew on!)

building printed on tracing paper

and then temporarily adhered it to a similarly sized piece of Golden Thread tracing paper and sewed some of the details of the building onto the golden paper...

stitching the building onto golden paper (underneath)

et voila!!!
stitched golden paper

What next, you ask?! 

  I ran out and bought a pounce pad and some pounce (white) powder
and pounced the design onto the back of the quilt...

I am pouncing!!!

which then looked like this... (or as we say in France, comme ca!)

pounced design on the quilt back

I then quilted from the back using a gray variegated thread in the bobbin and 
a little simple
a little subtle
quaintly contemporary!!
Tangled Textiles, challenge 7: Quaintly contemporary
(I have discovered that it is very difficult to snap a good photograph of a square quilt!)

with a close up....

Tangled Textiles, challenge 7: Quaintly Contemporary
old and new!


  1. What a wonderful way to turn "simple" and "quaint" to STUNNING. I enjoyed your description of the process that took you from start to finish. How was it working with the dupioni? I've often wanted to try, but I'm afraid that it unravels too much. And oh my you actually got your pounce pad to work!

  2. love the juxtaposition of the older, more ornate architecture with the decidedly modern interpretation - great job! I love working with dupioni, must do it more often - it adds such a wonderful sheen and texture to a project.

  3. I like the melding of the contemporary with the historic. A very effective use of quilting. I did a double take when I realized how you had achieved the effect of the old juxtaposed on the new.

  4. This is fabulous Lisa! Love how you incorporated the old and the new and... stitching from the back? I would never have thought of that! It’s an intriguing quilt! Thanks for sharing the steps.

  5. Yes, this is really great. The old building is so beautiful, but then the new ones are so streamlined. I like the way you used a different technique for each, like two pieces in one.

  6. What an incredible mix of the old and modern! I'd not heard of a pound pad before, love how you used it here. What a great effect of the stitching over the black and white, yes 'quaintly contemporary'!

  7. Lisa, I really had to look closely to see what you've done. I love wonky piecing, but I love the idea of a second layer of meaning through the quilting.

  8. If I want to buy your quilts, where I can find them? I like this modern abstract black and white. Please write me to