Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Quilt Inspiration in New York City, Part 1

As a longtime resident of the nearby great state of New Jersey, I'm in a particular position when it comes to New York City. Many of us commute there daily (even as far as I live, about an hour from an entrance to the island by car). Most of us visit there at some point in our lives. Some of us don't go at all. After all, Philadelphia is also quite close (1.5 hours south of me), so there are other big city options.

 Random window passed in midtown Manhattan - I want to make a clamshell quilt and quilt it RIGHT NOW!

But NYC is unique, as you might already know. It's the most populous city in the United States (by a LOT - Wikipedia says it's around 8.5 million people, and the next biggest city is Los Angeles, with 3.9 million). The amount of sights to see, museums to visit, theater to watch, and streets to walk seem truly endless. Because there's more to NYC than Manhattan.

Anyway, I've found myself uniquely situated this year, with several opportunities to visit for several different reasons (one being Quilters Take Manhattan in September and the opening of a special exhibition in October - I will have more information on that soon). This weekend, my brother and I brought my dad to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and The Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust (where I interned in college). As you might expect, I saw some quilty inspiration throughout the trip.


Left: hexagon chalk drawings I stumbled upon in Aug. 2016 in Battery Park, NYC; more drawings in the same place, just one year later. Think it's the same artist? I see all kinds of inspiration for quilt blocks, hexagons, and quilting motifs! This totally made my day!

I had never before seen the Oculus completed (new World Trade Center train/metro station) near the new One World Trade Center building. We hopped off the subway and this perspective took my breath away. So many curves and lines to consider.

Inside the station, I spotted this gigantic wall (which reminded me of quilting, yet again). Beautiful.

Finally, inside the 9/11 Memorial Museum, I stumbled upon a small collection of art relating to the events of 9/11/01. This section, over 850 paintings by Manju Shandler, stopped me in my tracks (see more below). This was one of two walls. Not only was I impressed by the details but the effect of color gradation and the curvature of the walls. It really made for a unique, solemn viewing experience.

I shared some more pictures on my Instagram page, including a memorial quilt at the museum. There was just so much to see and process.

And here are the smiling faces (brother, dad, and me) that persevered through a heavy, emotional day. Despite the subject matter, it was important for us to take this day in NYC together. 

I also visited the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art recently); more quilty inspiration soon! You might also be wondering where all the sewing and quilting posts went. I've been working hard behind the scenes on special projects and my book! I'll be back to blogging about them shortly. :)


  1. Even the motifs inside the clamshells in the window are perfect quilting inspiration... it does sound like an emotionally heavy day but still full of beauty. <3

    1. I agree! That clamshell window is stunning. How awesome would it be to do a clamshell quilt in solids and quilt it like that?!

  2. What fabulous inspiration pics from NYC! So many quilting possibilities! Thanks for sharing as it's been several years since I've returned to my home state of NY.

  3. Thanks for sharing the quilting-related highlights of your trip. It's going to be hard to forget that amazing window with the clamshell trees. It's hanging out on the backburner of my mind, wanting to be created in fabric!

  4. I love the quilt inspiration you found. That clamshell! I want to find just the right fabric and fussy cut it till it's swiss cheese. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Lots of inspiration. Well you found your clamshell designs. Time to get quilting.

  6. What struck me about that window photo was the Art-Deco-style building. I've been collecting black and white prints for a quilt and now I'm thinking about Art Deco shapes in black and white with white borders around them. Hmmm . . . .

  7. Love the photos. Very nice inspiration photos and a lovely trip. I'm totally intrigued by the heavies in a similar place!

  8. The chalk drawings are so fun and that clamshell window is amazing! Thanks for sharing your quilty inspiration finds :)


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