Tuesday, November 10, 2015

High Line in New York City

"High Line in New York City," 30" x 29", made by Pam Geisel, 2015

The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long linear urban park built in Manhattan on an elevated section of the New York Central Railroad that is no longer used for trains. I wanted to create a piece that explored the contrast between the concrete world and the grassland world and how they can coexist.

Photo by Lara Donnelly

I've never been to the High Line, but have heard wonderful things about it and want to visit it soon. So I contacted my friend Lara Donnelly, who had recently moved to New York City, if she would be able to take some photos for me. She sent me several, and I chose this one because the park designers left a section of the actual railroad tracks to honor the previous life of this park.


I made this quilt with the same methods I used when making the Dayton Landmark quilts. First I used the computer to trace the outlines of the buildings, windows, railing, and train tracks. I printed that out (tiled onto letter-sized paper that I had to tape back together) and placed it under a thin layer of fusible innerfacing with the sticky side up. You can see the outlines for the windows in the photo above.

I used commercial cotton and batik fabrics, placing blue pieces for the sky and gray pieces for the concrete with two pieces of black for the train tracks.


Here I am working on the building in the upper left. I had printed out additional prints of my layout but didn't tape them together and just used the parts as I needed them. I have the tracing on my light box so I can place the windows in the correct place. The windows have additional fusible webbing on the back and once they are placed they get fused with the iron.


During the work-in-progress stage the studio can get a little messy. For this project I kept the laptop near by so I could check my colors when auditioning fabric. The two baskets at the top of the photo, behind the quilt in progress has just some of the fabric that I either used or considered using. The ironing board was moved close to the work table so I could easily fuse the pieces one they were placed.


My other work area is out in the hallway. I have a board that goes over my washer and dryer which I used as a cutting area, with a smaller ironing board and my light box. Here I'm working on the middle building.


The whole quilt is machine quilted with a blue-gray thread, free-motion with overlapping squares. I moved from the sky into the buildings to catch the edges of the fabric that make up the windows.


I couched some black yarn to echo the rail lines then did the same quilting in the concrete area and with the wall and railing.


I did the same sort of quilting in the bushes but used a triangle shape instead of squares. I couched some funky green yarn along the top of the railing and in the bushes. Once it was all finished I trimmed it and added a knife-edge binding (facing).

You can click on any of the photos to see them larger.

3 comments:

Kathy Kinsella said...

Great art quilt of New York. I loved reading about your inspiration and techniques!

Zenia Rene said...

Truly a work of art. It was nice tripping through your process. Is this a personal quilt?

Terry Aske Art Quilts said...

This is wonderful - I love the way you made the sky! Very interesting reading your technique with the fusible interfacing - I'll have to try that.