Venice’s mosaics

June 11, 2009

Last Fall the patchwork group I belong to presented a Quilt Exhibition in a little town of Switzerland. Its main theme was the “Mosaics of San Marco’s Cathedral in Venice”  (Italy).  One of our members had  received a great photography book  about those ancient and superb mosaics. Each of us was free to use one of the photos and interpret it in her own way with the materials of her choice. Quite a challenge ! We all loved it, the choice was not easy but after a few weeks each friend in the group had decided on a particular picture for her mosaic quilt.

Those are the fabrics I started cutting to sew my own mosaic : pink, black, white and beige shades, all in cotton.

mosaique Venise, cuttingI began in sewing black and white strips together, then in cutting those horizontally before adding them around a square of cotton (light pink or beige).

At the back of the picture you can see the copy of the photography I chose for “my” own mosaic in Venice.

Each square (including the checked borders)  measures 12×12 cm, each black/white square 1x1cm. Really tiny.

Quite a job but the result was well worth it!

mosaic 1Then I started a nice part of the making of the quilt : assembling squares together. The plain and coloured ones. As I sewed on I realized I had not enough white and beige materials, the sort that looked old, more like a stone that would have been walked on for centuries… I introduced here and there a square in a light brown tone which looked pretty much like the picture of the mosaic I was trying to reproduce on fabrics. And it worked quite well ! The more varied, the better.

Months and many stitches later,  my own interpretation of a mosaic of  the San Marco’s Cathedral in Venezia was ready for the exhibition. I hand quilted the mosaic with a curved pattern so as to balance the many straight lines of the  squares. Here is a detail of it. It’s probably one of my favourite quilts. The theme inspired me very much. I have visited Venice several times, always with the same pleasure and admiration. So much beauty !  If possible at all, travelling there in the less “touristic” season is an advantage. I loved this unique atmosphere  one feels when walking in the back lanes and discovering this fascinating city by boat along the narrow canals of the Doges’ City. And what to say about the Gran Canale,  its palaces,  historical monuments and piazettas (squares) arched bridges and the flotilla of gondola boats that undulate on the Canale… A unique city.

mosaique Venise 1The finished quilt is 1m x 75 cm. It is lined with two borders of light pink and dark red shades. And I simply love it 🙂 To look at and to touch it.

Venitian mosaic