For the past several months I have been fascinated with making map quilts. The first one I made was Holyoke, 1938. (This quilt is going to to the International Quilt Festival in Houston in October and I'm thrilled!)
Holyoke, MA was one of the first planned industrial cities in the United States. When I saw a map of the graphic street lines next to the winding Connecticut River, it drew me right in. My house is on this map, represented by the blue star near the upper right corner.
After quilting the Holyoke map, I became interested in making a map of the town I live in - which is just over the river from Holyoke - South Hadley, MA. Here detail shot my quilt South Hadley 1957. For those people who know the area, the yellow/orange streets are Rte 202 and the rotary. You can see how the road crosses the river, as well as see a bit of the dam and Veterans Bridge.
Each of these maps has been an experiment. I am trying different appliqué and quilting techniques with each quilt. Some quilts are more successful than others, but each one has been immensely instructive.
South Hadley 1865 is a wholecloth quilt. It is all thread on a white background. This is where I learned that South Hadley is shaped like a Windex bottle. Even though I love hiking in the Holyoke Range, that blank empty space at the north part of town is graphically boring. I do love this map though because it shows places I did not know about like Great Swamp.
South Hadley 1952 is a cropped version of town (notice there isn't a Holyoke Range, or even much of the river.) This, too, is a wholecloth - all of the work is done with thread on my longarm.
These South Hadley quilts, and several others, are on display in the Selectboard Room of South Hadley Town Hall, 116 Main Street. They will be on display through the end of December. The room is open to the public during business hours.
Please join me for an artist reception on August 11, from 6:15-7:00pm.