Saturday, November 1, 2014

Milwaukee Lights : Four-in-Art Reveal

 Milwaukee Lights
My interpretation of the Milwaukee Skyline at night, reflected in Lake Michigan.

This reveal is a bit of a bonus round for our group.  We are Four-in-art because we started with four people, but then because we did four art quilts per theme.  In an effort to align our Theme year with the calendar year, we have added a bonus quilt. Urban: Lights.

When I was working on my last Urban Quilt, Contrasts, I thought that the stitching across the buildings rather looked like lights, before I used sharpie to color over them all.  So I took that idea and carried it to this quilt.
 And of course if you have lights at night, they are going to reflect.
I tried to capture that effect with thread.  The thread I used is Invisafil and is a very fine polyester.  I actually threaded two different colored strands through my machine at the same time.  It did work, but I don't think you can tell there are two colors, and getting the tension right was impossible. I don't really feel like I captured the reflections in the water like I would have liked, but I also wasn't willing to either start over or unpick.  Sometimes done, OK, and good enough are are the way to go.
A shot of the back.  Nope, I don't even have a label on it yet.

Speaking of bonuses: I have a bonus quilt.  My first cutting of the skyline was backwards.  Oops.
So to test out some of my ideas, I used this skyline to make a Sunrise version of the Milwaukee skyline.  Now it is obviously not correct - but it let me work out some ideas.
 I'm not going to do a construction post, as it is made pretty much the same as the last one, Contrasts, so you can read about that *here*.

Please go check out the other participants in this round of Four-in-Art quilts.  You'll notice the list is smaller than usual.  We are going through some changes and will return next year with a new theme and a changed up membership.  Stick around!

Anne Diester at

Amanda Kattner blogs at

Betty Ayers has a  Flickr site at 

Elizabeth Eastmond blogs at

Nancy Myers blogs at

Simone Bradford blogs at


Betty said...

Rachel, this is so perfect! I love that your contrast reveal becomes "step 1" in this series within a series and that Lights becomes step 2. Your quilting really makes it and I'm in awe of your patience there. Great job!

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

What a great idea to use the thread for the lights. The reflections are wonderful even if the second color doesn't show. I would never have thought to try two threads. And using marker is good too. I did the same on mine. Just so you know I did this last challenge quilt too. You can see it here.

OPQuilt said...

Wow!! I love your interpretation of the water and the lights and the skyline, and love how you did it up in the different threads. And good for you--you pushed yourself to try something new (I'm impressed). And guess what? The back of that quilt is also gorgeous and an art piece in its own right. Bravo to you!

(And you did Halloween, too--now go take a nap)


AmandaK@whatthebobbin said...

Love the bonus quilt :) Those stitches look exactly like lights on the building. The quilting of the sky is gorgeous too. Love this illuminating mini!

Nancy said...

What a great idea to use the marker and color over a few of the yellow threads to indicate the lights are off. But the thread stitching of the lights really looks like lights. And the reflections in the water a wonderful. You did a lovely job interpreting the challenge.
The sunrise is a great idea (making lemonade from a "lemon"). Yeah!

Anita said...

This quilt is very cool and the reflections on the water made of thread are awesome!