I suppose this is the fabric that started it all for me, and for many others I’m sure.
I stumbled on this map print from the original Paris Flea Market collection by 3 Sisters for Moda back in, what, 2004 or 2005 when I was working on some pillow shams for a dear friend who shares my love for the City of Light. Since they were only pillow shams, and since I was ordering online, I think I only got 1/4 or 1/2 yard of this print in two colorways.
The fabric soon sold out all over the place, just when I realized I wanted more of it just to have. I was excited — yes, it’s true, I was excited — when Moda reprinted the collection last year, and made sure to buy a couple of yards this time around. Just to have.
This time of year, as my Facebook newsfeed starts to fill up with photos of friends’ summer travels, map fabric and quilts capture my imagination. Maybe it speaks to the wanderlust I’ve pushed to the side in favor of my current home life. There will come a day when I’ll again be able to explore the streets of a foreign city just for the sake of exploring, “unfettered and alive.”* Until then, I can explore fabrics and appreciate quilts made by others to help satisfy my love for traveling.
This map of Paris from Dear Stella’s J’Adore Stella collection takes a more whimsical view of getting around the city.
I like the minimalist approach in this Barcelona City Map print by Zen Chic for Moda. It comes in a few different colorways and would make a great blender.
This more representational Stockholm Streetscape map fabric is a heavier home-dec weight, but perhaps I’d try to sneak it into a quilt here or there.
The Los Angeles print from Jay McCarroll’s Center City collection for FreeSpirit Fabrics reminds me of the Thomas Guides that were in every Angeleno’s car until GPS and smartphone apps became ubiquitous. Even so, I want to stitch a grid on it and assign each axis a number and letter for my own Thomas Guide-inspired quilt.
As for quilts, I was not the only QN staff member who thought Portlandia by Mary Kay Price was deserving of the Quilters Newsletter Editors’ Choice ribbon at the Denver National Quilt Festival, so I’m glad we all agreed on it.
Haptic Lab in Brooklyn can put your bed on the map — er, I mean, put a map on your bed, either with one of their hand-quilted whole cloth map quilts or DIY kits depicting many different cities.
So if, like me, you’re planning your summer staycation, why not ‘hit the road’ by incorporating some map fabric or quilting motifs into your next project? In the meantime, we’ll be here all summer posting on our website, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.
*Thanks to Joni Mitchell for her ode to the joys of travel.