Sunday, December 21, 2008

Overhead and Underfoot

Converting Floor Mosaics to Quilts in Style

In Europe, there are floors in cathedrals that are mosaics. Also in Barcelona, in the Ensanche area, there are patterns dating from 1859, in private homes and public buildings both. The geometric shapes feature diamonds, triangles squares and rectangles.

In Islamic art there are no representations of the figure, so many decorative areas in homes and religious buildings have geometric repetitive designs.

Many of these styles of ceramic tiling have been converted to patterns for use in quilts.

Hand dyed fabrics that resemble stones are sometimes used in these quilts, to make them look even more like mosaic tiles.

Many European travelers take photos of these floors to be able to convert them using graph paper, to create a new pattern for use to replicate these traditional stone tile designs in fabric.

I like to make my hand dyed fabrics look like marbled stones, but haven't made a quilt using them in this style. I think it would be neat to do, though.

Islamic patterns, tiles and brickwork and roman mosaics have inspired many beautiful quilt patterns.

Christine Porter is a quilt maker who has interpreted victorian tiles found in England into quilt designs. Her book 'Viva Venezia' shows quilt patterns inspired by floor tile designs from Venice, made using marbled batik fabrics to resemble the marble tiles in the original floor pattern.

This is a pattern from St. Andrew's Cathedral in Inverness, Scotland, pinwheels with an intricate cream pattern, corner tiles on the edge in blue and terracotta.

Byzantine churches also had mosaic floors that would be useful designs for fiber art projects, like this one from the Capella Palatina in Palermo, Sicily.
I'm working on some ornaments that are based on quilt patterns. When I get some finished I'll post some photos here.


EmandaJ said...

Hello Lynn,

I can hardly wait for your quilt patterned inspired piece!! I noticed in your studio photos you have a poster of a Baltimore Album quilt -- they are such masterpieces. Are you also a quilter? Lynn you have such hidden depths.


LLYYNN said...

That poster is from the Shelburne Museum collection of Baltimore quilts, when they came to the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas when I lived there in 1988. I love those quilt styles but I don't enjoy applique. My favorite is paper piecing, or foundation quilts.

I haven't made a bed quilt so far, but I've made table runners, bags and things for use in the house with pieced designs.

And a couple of vests, that I mainly wear at the holidays, that were pieced from all kinds of shiny and sparkly fabrics.

Yes, I dabble in many things, so I guess I'm a master of none, as they say.

EmandaJ said...

No, my dear, you are a true "Renaissance Woman"! A master of all -- with many, MANY interests. I take Renaissance Woman as an inspiration because I too have many interests and talents.

I enjoy applique but have never done a bed quilt either. I've just posted a small quilt I made inspired by a romaneque sculpture. It's machine appliqued.

LLYYNN said...

That's a really swift quilt based on something from architecture and history, love that about it. You are a multi-talented lady, thanks for sharing!