Cinque Terra Tiles • Improv Applique (Part 1)

Cinque Terra Tiles_Italy1

The kind folk at Paintbrush Studios asked me (some time ago) to give a demo at QuiltCon 2018.  I set to wondering what I could teach in a short amount of time (20-30 minutes) that would be interesting. Shortly after they asked me, I visited Cinque Terra, Italy, and stood on a plaza in Riomaggiore, overlooking the sea (above).

Cinque Terra Tiles_Italy2

We walked down the steps, and underneath the plaza was a passageway, the walls decorated with these tiles in all sizes. It was on the way to Via dell’amore (the Walk of Love).

Cinque Terra Tiles_Italy3

When I returned home and started looking at my photos, I thought about all those mini charm packs we pick up everywhere, and how they could become something along the lines of this impromptu artwork in Riomaggiore.  Cinque Terra Tiles1_1

So I got out my mini-charm pack from Paintbrush Studio Solids and started pairing up the colors, trying to make the duo sing together–have a little friction together–trying to get pairs that would play against each other.

Cinque Terra Tiles1_1a

I found a worksheet online that had a whole bunch of oddball shapes, and I began trying some.

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I sent away for more mini-charm packs.  Once I got started, I kept wanting to make more.

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And more.

Cinque Terra Tiles1_3Cinque Terra Tiles1_3aCinque Terra Tiles1_3b

I carried around a little baggie of paired squares, and did them while watching TV, getting my hair colored and while in Urgent Care one bad flu season.

Cinque Terra Tiles1_3cCinque Terra Tiles1_4Cinque Terra Tiles1_4aCinque Terra Tiles1_4b

I loved watching my collection grow.  I would do one shape for a while, then another.  I used up bits and pieces of squares.  I even tried some paper-piece-wrapped hexagons; I ended up not liking them so much because the charm of these squares was in their wobbliness, their wonkiness.

And then one day, I put them up on the wall with other, larger, squares–just like the Walk of Love passageway in Italy.  And wouldn’t you know it–it was really looking fun.Cinque Terra Tiles1_5

I wasn’t finished, but what I hoped would happen, did.  I took this photo and put it up on Instagram, using the SnapSeed app to expand the edges and add the text.

Next post: the finish and the details about my demos at QuiltCon.

17 thoughts on “Cinque Terra Tiles • Improv Applique (Part 1)

  1. I love reading about where you get your inspiration from Elizabeth! These really do sparkle! I bet the finished quilt looks a treat!!

  2. This turned out so great and the back story really completes the picture! Love how you’re always open to inspiration for quilts.

  3. Great idea and one that is easy to do. Will have to try this myself as I love handwork and am always looking for something different and easy to do. Thanks Elizabeth.

  4. Love what you did with your inspiration! I have seen that tile wall too, and took a pic, blew it up, and it hangs in my house!

  5. Love where this is going. You’ve done a wonderful job interpreting the inspiration and embracing the wobbliness. Hard for me to be wobbly . . . although I sometimes feel that way in my old age.

  6. What an exciting opportunity for you! And I love seeing how you were inspired. These appliqué tiles are perfect because they’re relatively simple, and so very portable. Your initial layout is looking great! I’m happy for you to be into such a worthwhile project – challenging yourself, educating others, and making a perfect memory of your trip. Just wonderful!

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