Its interesting that I am writing this post while I'm in New York, but
the inspiration for this quilt came from my previous visit in 2014 (OMG was it that long ago?). Saul and I made a driving tour of New England that included visits to family in Brooklyn and Ithaca, a drive up the Hudson River valley to the Finger Lakes district and then through the southern part of the state back to Brooklyn.
As I was pondering which of the many interesting sites should be my inspiration, I of course thought about the New York City sky line, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the hustle of Manhattan, and architectural points of interest. But the thing that struck me most of all were the various water courses and how they reflected the sky and surrounding buildings and foliage.The water ways that caught my attention were the East River - its color reflecting the grey of the clouds overhead and the buildings surrounding it.
Next stop was wine tasting at one (or 2) of the many wineries along the banks of the Finger Lakes - Cayuga Lake to be specific. The lake was a beautiful blue and the sweet wine slushie I had was refreshing.
Niagara Falls was the highlight of a different trip back in 1996 and in fact I'll be going again tomorrow. The mist got everything damp - a nice cool down during the hot weather.
So here were my five water ways. I like to design in odd numbers of motifs - surely I heard that in an art design class at one time. Now, how to represent them? French Braids. A technique I hadn't used before, French Braids would be great to represent the dynamic, ever - changing water ways.
I just happened to have a batik jelly roll in the muddy browns and green colors of the Hudson. A couple off trips to quilt shops added some grey, blue, and sea foam colored jelly rolls and some yardage that I wanted for the constant squares down the middle of the braid.
I started work on this quilt while visiting my Mom near Phoenix Arizona. Although not my standard work area, it served me well for the week that I was there. I'm not sure how Mom felt about the mess though.
Here is pic of the almost-finished quilt top. Water ways are from left to right - Erie Canal, East River, Niagara Falls, Hudson River, and Finger Lakes. This was a lot of fun to do - picking out colors, deciding how wide to make the braid sections, and how to bring the sections together.
The pattern (when finished) will be available to download or by mail from my Etsy Shop
Get Curious about New York! It's a great place!