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Taxis and Taxis and Taxis, Oh My!


My version of Elizabeth Hartman's "Patchwork City"


When I began planning my version of Elizabeth Hartman's "Patchwork City," I thought about the cities in which I've lived and worked: Chicago and Manhattan, NY. One image was dominant. Taxis. My quilt had to have taxis. But where to find taxi fabric. I didn't want yellow cabs, just black and white ones. I finally decided I had to make my fabric. The beauty of this was that I could make taxis of various sizes to fit each block. And I decided there must be at least one taxi in every block.


Clockwise from top left, "Patchwork City" blocks: Museum, Drawbridge, Rose Garden and Clock Tower



When I first saw Elizabeth Hartman's "Patchwork City" book (C&T Publishing, 2014), I had to have it. I fell in love with the energy of the blocks. Next came my fascination with her use of three sizes of blocks that can be organized in a variety of grids. (More on my love all things grid in a future blog post.)


Most exciting about this book is that it doesn't say make this quilt this way. It says, here's 25 patterns for each of three size blocks. Make as many of these 75 blocks as you want then put them together as you want.


Elizabeth Hartman offers six settings for these blocks. I made her "Metro Area" setting, which uses all 75 blocks. Since I will be teaching this quilt, I wanted to have made all the blocks so I can lead students in making any that they choose. Her other five settings use fewer blocks. Three use only blocks of one size. Rarely have a seen a book that is such an interesting mix of clear instructions for how to make blocks yet leaves so much room for personal choices to create quilts unique to each maker.


It was fun putting finishing touches on this quilt, which is loaded with memories of my 16 years working and living in Uptown Manhattan and six years working in the Chicago Loop, as snow was falling outside my Rocky Mountain home/quilt studio. We got at least three feet plus deeper drifts. After more than two days of continuous snow falling, I've been dug out by a neighbor who plows our driveway and a very snow-competent county road crew.


I will teach "Patchwork City" from 1-4 p.m. Saturdays, June 5, 12, 19 and 26, and July 10 for Holly's Quilt Cabin in Centennial, Colorado. It will be via Zoom so wherever you are, you can enroll. I'll post the shop sign-up link soon.


Snow at my home in rural Gilpin County,

Colorado, Sunday, March 15, 2021



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