"Under the Boardwalk" is a quilt that I had looked forward to making
Under the Boardwalk
"Under the Boardwalk" is a quilt that I had looked forward to making for years. I have frequently used elements of
architecture as inspiration for my work. Images of the beautiful but damaged floors of St Mark's Basilica, Venice
hang on my kitchen wall. The quilt had designed itself in my mind's eye years before.
I was able to study the floors themselves while visiting Venice in November 2002. St Mark's portico was
submerged under 15" of water. I returned as often as I could during the visit and marvelled at, and mourned for
Paolo Uccello's starred dodecahedron that has survived since 1425 but is now in grave danger of disintegration
under flood water.
Originally I had intended to use compasses and ruler to generate the patterns. The “Technical Help” was
convinced that a more accurate version could be generated by computer. I was very grateful to benefit from his
expertise. I derived great satisfaction in honouring a 15C artist, using an 18C technique aided by 21C technology.
Using a Quilt design
program, Quilt Pro, the tile
patterns were converted into
line drawings. This was not
as easy as it may seem
because some of the patterns
were far more complicated
than the program was
designed to handle
Not having a large format printer
available, a full size version was
created by printing an image
captured from Quilt Pro with Poster
Printery which prints multiple A4
sheets that can be trimmed and
The full size prints were then cut,
shuffled and pasted together to
create the final design.
Using the original images, the
process was repeated on the
computer using Photoshop to create
a digital version of the design.
All the silks were mounted onto
‘Vilene Silkysoft’ to resist
fraying. The individual patches
were created by tacking the
appropriate fabric over the
paper and then they were joined
together. Once construction
started the only place that the
labeling on the papers was
visible was from the back so all
the plans were based on the
reverse of the quilt.
In Quilt Pro, the
filled in with
fabric images to
Quilt Pro gave an estimate of the
amount of each fabric needed for
each of the patterns. Armed with this
and the design it was time to visit Mr.
Sharma’s stall in Nottingham market
to buy the silk.
The construction of the quilt was
undertaken by subdividing it into
smaller subsections. A plan was
produced for each section with all
the patches individually labelled.
Numerous sheets were
printed with subsets of the
patches that would fit on
A4. All the patches were
numbered as per the plan
sheet. These sheets were
then cut up to provide the
Seven months later
completion. The papers
remained in place until the
very end because it provided
protection against all the
handling required. Once
completed the tacking and
papers could be removed and
the fabric carefully pressed.
The whole top was ironed
onto ‘Fusible Fleece’.
Quilting would have
detracted from the design.
It was tied from the back
into the intersections of
the seams so that nothing
would show from the front.
The last task was to
use a computerised
sewing machine to
embroidered label for