The Endeavourers’ Reveal Day — Maps

Our online art quilt group, The Endeavourers, picked “maps” as this quarter’s theme. I love looking at maps and I had a lot of ideas for this one, but I finally settled on recreating this old map of London from 1572. Its details make me feel like I could jump in and start strolling the streets down to London Bridge.

London map from 1572.

I chose to focus on just a small part of it where I particularly liked the shapes.

The small section I used for inspiration.


1572 Map of London, recreated in 2023.

To make it, I made large panels of scraps, and cut the shapes out. For the city shapes, I put them on stabilizer and stitched various trims around the edges to outline, and then sewed them to a piece of old muslin. For the fields out in the country, I fused them down, and then stitched around them with a scribbly free-motion stitch.

Scraps for the rural areas.

Initially I thought I would then paint over everything with textile paint as I did on these panels —

Scraps and trims that have been painted with textile paint.

— but it turned out I liked the bright colors of the scraps just as they were.

Detail of the town areas.

At some point I will go back and add some more shapes into the white areas, and I will quilt the pathways with pebbles –taking this picture out in the sun really shows the necessity for that! But I got a late start on this challenge and I ran out of time.

I found this old map (and 174 more!) in the a book called The Map Book, edited by Peter Barber.  I also like the book Map Art Lab by Jill K. Berry and Linden McNeilly.

To see more interpretations of our map challenge, please visit The Endeavourers!