Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Awhile back I saw some photos of small fabric houses in a French quilting magazine. They were very charming and I haven't been able to stop thinking about them. I finally decided I had to give it a try and I have been working obsessively for the past two days on a house. I have these wild hairs every so often and get fixated on something and nothing will do until I work it out. And, of course, a simple little house would never do. I had to concoct something a little bit complicated.

I started with some old file folders and cut them up and taped them together to get a basic pattern. I was reminded, a little, of the scene in the movie about Frank Gehry where he and his assistant are cutting up paper to design a building. Except my building was not nearly as creative and complex as Gehry's.

My favorite part of any project is choosing the fabrics. I actually have quite a few fabrics that would work for buildings—texture, geometry. I was particularly pleased with the Japanese wave pattern that I chose for the roof and the woven plaid that is the perfect little windowpane pattern. Once those decisions were made, I started cutting fabrics and fusing them to stiff interfacing to give the structure some form.

Here are all the flat pieces finished. When I started assembling them I discovered that I had measured incorrectly and one row of windows was off on one side, so I had to unstitch and then pry them off and redo them. I used to wish I had become an architect. If I had mis-measured the placement of real windows on a real building that would have been a very expensive redo. Probably better that I do these things with relatively inexpensive materials. Also, as I am putting this thing together I am finding that it doesn't all fit quite as I had planned. I wonder if architects have that problem.
I'm getting a little tired of looking at it, but I will post pictures when I finish it. I don't think this is the first of a series of houses—just something I had to get out of my head!


  1. Anonymous7:21 PM

    Before I got thsat far, I already had an iage of Frank Gehry and his paper constructions in my head. This is good. You are playing. A very creative activity. I will look forward to seeing the end result.

  2. Anonymous7:50 PM

    yes, me to, I can't wait to see the finished project. You reminded me about an old project of mine, from 1983! that never got framed up, I dug it out and might finish it today! thanks

  3. you always come up with the coolest things. can't wait to see how you finish it.

  4. I appreciate that you mention the point when you are tired of looking at a project. We all must feel that sometimes. I love the whole concept! Can't wait to see more.

  5. Ah, now I see how you did it -- at least the basics. I have so much "textured" fabrics -- stones, brick, wood, etc. -- in my stash; I'm really tempted to try something like this.