Cinque Terra Tiles • Improv Applique (Part 1)

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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).

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.