Tuesday, December 18, 2012


72” x 35”
This is my quilt, Suburbs.  I made the quilt top up in 2010, along with a number of other quilt tops in a series using this motif.  The original intent of this quilt was to explore the individuality of housing units along with the similarity of structure which makes a community.  It is connected with the theme of the series, which is exploring human development and the balance of green space.  I had intentionally mowed down all the trees.  The black color represents the death of nature.  Each house was quilted with a different motif, and different color scheme to represent the individual within the community.  The eery part of this is the 'when' of the equation.  I started working on this one, and then the communities around me caught on fire.  Bastrop and Steiner Ranch (east and west of Austin) had giant fires, lots of homes were lost.  I thought about rebuilding the communities on the black soil and knew the timing was definitely connected to this project.  
I love the simplicity of this quilt.  It didn't start out this simple though, just a big stack of squares, and no idea of what to do with them.  This is one of many original arrangements.  It's nice, but I am really glad that I didn't stop here.  I love the way the squares make gentle curves, like the rolling hills.
 After quilting the squares, I started on the background.  I wanted it to be subtle and not compete with the houses, so I opted for 1/4" lines following the general shape of the hills.  It was not easy.  I was stitching with black thread on black fabric.  It is really hard to see! So, I marked the lines with tape.  It is so easy to use, and you can put it on after you already have the quilt basted.  There are no marks to wash out.  It will apply easily into curves, and you can reuse it a few times before it loses it stickiness! 
 After all the black quilting was done, I went back in and did some extensive hand quilting with different colored embroidery floss.  It looks so incredible now, but doesn't show up that well in the photos.  Which might be why it has been rejected by multiple and various venues....or there could be other reasons I suppose....?
You might recognize these last two photos.  I have already posted about the quilting lines and threads (Superior Threads) in an earlier post, focusing mainly on the quilting motifs.  It is here if you would like to revisit it!  Thanks for stopping by!


Susie Monday said...

This is such a wonderful quilt Kathy. I hope to see it in person someday.

Kathy York said...

Thanks Susie! Yeah there is one other person besides me who likes it!!