|The finished piece measures about 63" x 70"|
We began with her list of two dozen meaningful landmarks. Over the months, I worked my way down that list, brainstorming ways to render them.
Starting on the lower right, there's the Art Institute with its guardian lions (My daughter, who is wonderful at drawing, sketched the lions for me, and I interpreted them in raw-edge applique). I added banners advertising Chagall and Picasso exhibits. The building's not pink in real life; with accurate colors, the buildings would run together, and the quilt would be mostly neutrals (Which would be nice in a different way)!
|Photo by Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23086033|
I made the sign by drawing it in CorelDraw, my computer graphics program. It takes time to find fonts resembling those on the real sign. My finished drawing:
I printed the image backwards, onto the non-glue side of an 8.5" x 11" piece of Decor-Bond fusible interfacing. Decor Bond is stiff enough to go through my printer safely (usually). Once printed, I fused the interfacing to the back of red fabric. From the back, I stitched around and inside each letter. The white or yellow bobbin thread shows on front.
Above Wrigley Field is Water Tower Place, a stone castle plus sleek skyscraper containing a mall (neither is really orange). While making this quilt, I listened to Michelle Obama's memoirs, and I was tickled when she mentioned that she frequented this mall in high school!
To the left of Water Tower place is the tall criss-cross Hancock Tower. (In real life, it's all black.)
Then comes the glassy, curved Lake Point Tower; it's not really purple but it is dark and reflective. The building's curve is done with bargello piecing. There's a sailboat next to it; the "L" (elevated) train is below, and a Wendella tour boat is under the train's bridge.
In the upper right corner is the historic Chicago Theatre. I machine-embroidered the marque the same way as the Wrigley sign, from the back. Next is the historic Grant Park band shell, no longer standing. I appliqued a fabric orchestra onto it. Above it, the pixellated form represents the Cloud Gate sculpture - the reflective sculpture that Chicagoans call "The Bean."
Underneath is the former Marshall Fields department store (today Macy's), with its iconic clock...
Below, the monumental Picasso sculpture on Daley Plaza (left), and on the far right, the Crain Communications building (formerly known as Smurfit-Stone), with a distinctive slanted roof.
The center of the quilt has the Wrigley Building. In real life, this white building has hundreds of identical little windows - no fun to piece. But it is a LOT of fun to shop for prints that do the job! I picked a white with tiny pink diamonds.
PS Look what I just found! Photographer shows Chicago's architectural "quilts" https://petapixel.com/2017/05/29/photographer-captures-chicagos-skyline-urban-quilt/