Jazz, Light, Montreal, a Four-in-Art Quilt, November 2014


JazzLightMontreal_frontJazz, Light, Montreal
#5 in the Urban Series

When the challenge theme was announced, of Light, I started looking and noticing urban light–both that which sheds or projects the light, and that which receives the light.  Multi-hued lights intrigued me, as well as light fixtures (as you saw before).  I was also interested in reflections of city lights on windows and in rain puddles.  But in the end, I went with a memory–the graceful arching lights of Montreal, swirling over the Jazz Festival that was in its final days.

montreal-street-lightsMontreal City Lights

Yet the artistry in that photograph comes partly because of the different widths of the light poles, changing from thicker to more slender as they were sited in the field of view.


I fiddled and widgeted my stuff, moving and trying to get that look but with my bias tape, I could not really manipulate the widths easily, although I tried.  So mine resembles a spider the day AFTER Halloween, squished beyond recognition.  How appropriate that today’s reveal date is November 1st. Since this little foray into representation is not one of my favorite art quilts I’m not going to do a deconstruction post.  I tried out multiple brown fabrics and thought about trying to mimic the interesting placement of windows as shown in the photo above, but in the end, went with one that conveyed the pane-pierced facade.  Okay, maybe not so much, but I gave it a try.  I fused it on, satin-stitched around it.  Sewed down the light posts, then used a zig-zag stitch to quilt clouds into the sky.

In fact, the more I write about this, the more I realize that not every art quilt will challenge me to learn a new technique, which is what I want to do.  Sometimes you come to the project tired and worn out and your brain cells look more and more like the spotted building in my art quilt, or perhaps that splayed spider thingie and pulling out the stops means Getting It Done and Moving On.


I do like the back quite well.  No complaint about that Anna Maria Horner fabric from eons ago.  And ever since Betty started putting labels on hers, I’ve copied her example and now have a lovely collection of art quilts, properly provenanced.  The quilt is 12″ square, and I used a fancy little bit for the binding (hoping it would redeem the front?).


But the best thing is the memory of that horribly hot night, sitting on the steps listening to jazz, getting photo-bombed by a tourist behind me who turned out to be a quilter, and we spent a long time showing each other quilt photos from our phones.  I look somewhat different now, but it was a great night watching people bee-bop to the doo-wap (try and find them!), sitting under that graceful swirling street light.

JazzLightMontreal_bylightNormally we only have four challenges a year (hence, the name: Four-in-Art), but this year we decided to jive up to the calendar year, and so added in this last challenge, making it a #5.  In the next cycle we’ll be back to four, and we’re trying something different.  Our overall theme will be Literature, but each quilter will think up her own quarterly challenge, instead of having a group challenge.  We’ll still reveal on the first days of February, May, August and November.  We have also had some subtractions and additions in the last few weeks, so won’t have a full compliment of eight quilters until next February.


Come see what other quilters in our Four-in-Art Group have done!
Amanda at www.whatthebobbin.com
Betty at  Flickr//www.flickr.com/photos/toot2/with/12251011196
Nancy at patchworkbreeze.blogspot.com
Rachel at rachel-thelifeofriley.blogspot.com
Simone at  quiltalicious.blogspot.com
Anne at SpringLeaf Studio

and please head *here* to vote for Anne’s Cascade quilt, a finalist in the Craftsy Pattern Design Awards!!


Circles EPP Button

Coming in a couple of days. . .

Circles Block #6!


Thinking About Light


The next challenge reveal for our Four-in-Art Group is coming up on November 1st, and I’ve been thinking about the theme and how to interpret it.  The year-long theme is Urban, and this challenge is Light, Lighting, Lights.  Since we are city- or manmade-based this year, that lets out things like the Northern Lights, moon, sun or stars.

My Urban Lights

We actually have an art installation here in LA, in the museum of art, titled “Urban Lights,” and it is a series of vintage lampposts ranging from large to small and as early as the 1900s.  Scroll quickly through the following photos to see what a magnet this is for Los Angelenos (all taken from Instagram):





















And then I went browsing through some of our own photos, gathering scenes where I’d photographed light:


A rainy night in Bologna

Montreal Church Stained Glass

Stained glass in Montreal

Montreal Gov Bldg

A government building–I love the different tonalities of light here

Montreal Museum of Art

I photographed these glass panels a bunch of times, trying for the right exposure and balance
(Montreal Art Museum)

Montreal St Josephs


Notre Dame Montreal

Quebec City Doorway

Quebec City doorway

Shanghai FreewaysShanghai freeway intersection

Turrell Pink Light

And two light “paintings” by James Turrell.  The lower one is actually a doorway you step through into a light-filled room.

Turrell Room Light

I have a lot of thinking to do before I start on this new theme!