Saturday, May 15, 2021

Are you Buying this Stairway to Heavenly Apartment Pods?

I’m overhauling and expanding my cityscape quilt booklet, and exploring new ideas. Warning: The Internet catacombs of interesting architectural ideas for quilters is freaking infinite. 

The photo below, I would argue, represents rainbow stairs leading to a modern, Brutalist, warm, diversity-welcoming, almost heavenly apartment building made up of hexagonal pods.

 It's mostly my fantasy, but partly influenced by the mind-boggling Guangzou Circle Building in China, designed by Italian architect Joseph di Pasquale. I figured if di Pasquale could make a coin-like circle stand on its edge to serve as a useful building, I could do the same with a coin-like hexagon. The overall hexagon shape is made up of smaller hexagons and half-hexagons - I think the lower, colorful halves look like balconies, and I can imagine putting plants peeping out from their top edge (as in this hypothetical 3-second  drawing). 

I haven’t yet stitched the stairs in position, and probably won’t until I know what will go under the building. In the meantime, I get to play with the components, giving me way too many options! 

- When I turn the building upside down, it takes on an almost heart shape. Perhaps the Hallmark Channel should film movies here. I like the way the colorful hexagon halves become window shades.

- If I place the stairs off-center on the hexagon unit, below, it looks like an artistic apartment building with hexagon "blocks" piled  haphazardly - a formation which could continue to grow asymmetrically, like a coral reef.

- With the apartment unit sideways, below, the hexagons halves become two sides of a pleat that sticks out. (The blue is the cement, the colors are the drapes?)

All of the above also look a bit like trees to me, with the stairs as the trunk.  

But when I flip the stairs upside down, I got a high fiber ice cream cone! 

Just what I wanted! Your thoughts on what these things might be are also welcomed!

How did I make the components? The stairs took me a solid week of wrestling and gnashing my teeth over the rules of perspective, to figure out a non-tedious semi-improvisational approach, which I am trying to codify for my revised book. As for the hexagons, oy, I actually basted each half-hexagon and hexagon piece around freezer paper, and then did traditional y-seam piecing. I don't recommend it; it wasn’t fun; you can’t see the flaws but they are there. If and when I do this again, I am going to do it with English Paper Piecing, much the same way I made my masked hexagon quilt, by sewing two different color rectangles first the traditional way, and then basting that unit around a cardstock hexagon, and sewing hexagons together by hand or with a machine zig zag. 

Stay tuned, more experimental buildings are coming!


  1. I keep seeing the light mottled blue as sky (and clouds) reflected in a mirrored surface. So that side is always facing up, toward the sky, in my mind. Instead of pods, could it be depicting a capsule hotel in Japan? Or is that what you meant by pods?

    1. I wasn't thinking of capsule hotels, though that might work too. I was thinking of blocky modern artsy apartment buildings that look like some kind of blocks piled on each other. Your interpretation is much more poetic! I was thinking of something Like this, which we saw at the 1967 World's Fair in Quebec:

  2. I like the ice cream cone best of all: it looks tasty too!

  3. I read your blog post twice, pondered, then scrolled on down to the previous post. Here are my thoughts: your hexagons and stairs resemble the mandala of the virus and the stairs resemble some of the syringe trials. Maybe what you have is a syringe invading a virus. I just don't see the building, but don't mind me. I love reading your process and I have ultimate faith that you are creating something wonderful. Don't stop!

    1. Jane, your interpretation makes this thing much more significant, thank you always, I like the way you think!


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