Four in Art Reveal

Urban Structures Reveal

Today is the reveal of the Four in Art Urban Structures theme for this quarter. I am happy with the results of my piece. I did more than a month's worth of thinking, sketching and pondering as to how I would depict Structure under our theme of Urban. I had so many ideas; some of which I will use in later projects. What I did execute was the use of words used in the building trade to create the piece. There are a number of words on the quilt, in fact, every part of the building contains printed words. From a distance the quilt looks like a building. But it is interactive, as the viewer will approach the quilt to examine it and begin to "read" it.

In an AQS class taught by Bill Kerr this past August, he told us that if one were to use fabric with words printed on it, there should be a number of word prints throughout the quilt. Otherwise, people would focus on the few words on the quilt and lose the ability to view the entire quilt. 

I wanted to use my computer printer to print on treated fabric for this project. I had so many thoughts on what to print, but the final idea came from my memories of building a treehouse with my dad as a youngster. He believed that even I, a girl, should learn to use tools. Then my husband and I built our own house during our first year of marriage with the help of his father and some friends. It was a wonderful experience. 

I have built many things using mostly wood; but, to build the home we lived in for 5 years was a great accomplishment. I have always viewed with awe, the buildings that people have constructed. From that of early man, the longhouse, wigwam, sod house, lean-to, or log cabin, to such great structures as the Eiffel Tower, the castles of Europe, the Empire State Building, Taipei 101, and the Tashmahal Hall, to name but a few. So with that I decided that I would print words on the printer fabric and construct a building--the shape of which one might see in an urban setting. I titled it, "Building Structures in Urbanania."

I did not put a binding on this project. Instead, I quilted the 3 layers, then trimmed to 12-1/2" square. Using a technique I saw Ricky Tims demonstrate, I covered the front with a solid black fabric, right sides together, and sewed around the entire perimeter. 

I cut a hole in the solid black piece that covered the quilt front and trimmed off the corner tips. This allowed me to turn the solid black piece to the back and the corners did not bunch.

I sewed the raw edge under by hand as if appliqueing. Ricky Tims makes wonky shapes on his quilt backs using this method, but the circular shape suited me just fine.

I attached a printed label, this time including the Four in Art logo.

Have you been able to try a new concept on a quilt project, or make a small project using some new idea? What was it? Leave me a message telling about it. 

Take time to visit the other Four in Art projects revealed today.  Here is the list:

Amanda @What the Bobbin
Anne @Spring Leaf Studios
Rachel@Life of Riley

Carla @Lollyquiltz
Elizabeth @Occasional Piece-Quilt
Betty @Flickr Site
Leanne @She Can Quilt 


  1. Very, very interesting post and process. I like the Ricky Tims' raw edge "no binding" technique and the fact that you printed your own fabric. Beautiful!

  2. Wow! This blows me away! I LOVE your interpretation and your ideas behind what you did in creating your Urban/Structure quilt. I love the words printed on there denoting the various parts of the structure, in essence breaking down the larger into the smaller, and it all made me think about how we view these building around us. We use the parts of a structure more than the whole, always (i.e. a door, a window) and your art piece makes me think about this in a new way.

    The whole binding/turning technique is new to me, and I think I'd like to try that some time. I'm assuming you clipped off the corners to reduce bulk before you turned? and that's what makes it so smooth looking. I wonder if Tims afterwards attached a separate sleeve on his quilts when he does this. Very cool to learn this.

    A hugely successful foray into the land of Urban/Structure! You should be very happy with the final result. Excellent!


  3. Your quilt is lovely. I love the words and how you created building blocks from them. I also love your story about building your own tree house and then real house, homes are probably the most important urban structures of all.

  4. Such a great concept for building your quilt. The words really make you stop and consider all the parts of a structure and what it takes to build something. We so often just see the whole and rarely think of the individual parts. Your story of building your own house ties in so well too. It's so fun to see how very different everyone's quilts are.

  5. As a fellow homebuilder, I truly appreciate your "pieces parts of a structure" art quilt - great job! My husband, brother-in-law and I built our home in 1994-95, a true labor of love (I was the stone mason). And during that time, I became more familiar with building terminology than I ever thought possible (and it sticks with you, right?!).

    You did a great job with the word printing and I just love how you backed this piece - must try that! Great planning and execution.

  6. I am so impressed with your quilt and the fact that you printed all of the fabric with the thoughtful words to make it. It's the perfect representation of our theme!! Great job.

  7. Wow. I love the texty goodness of this quilt. What a fantastic way to incorporate the words in sections of a building they pertain to. It's like an interactive blueprint. I also must give that binding technique a go sometime. Very nice!

  8. This quilt is positively brilliant. I love that you built a structure with fabric and with words. Shhh, don't tell, but I think it's my favorite from this round. It just really strikes home with me, great job!