Quilt This! Inspiration: Patchwork Earth

Here at 24 Blocks we love to share inspirational work by quilters around the world. Today we feature the work of artist Linda Gass, and offer some ideas for creating your own aerial map quilt.


Linda Gass South Bay

Have you ever flown over the midwestern United States (or any farm country) and been awestruck by the miles and miles of beautiful countryside? Have you ever thought the earth resembled a patchwork quilt from that height?

Quilter and Artsit Linda Gass made that connection. She has brought the beauty of aerial landscapes to life with vivid colors and a uniquely detailed quilting style. What’s more is that she quilts not just the boxy quilt-like farmland – she quilts bays, rivers, tributaries and coastlines. Her work is intended to bring attention to environmental problems like coastline degradation and pollution.

  • Artist Statement on “South Bay” (above): “This is the view of the southernmost part of San Francisco Bay. What appears to be fields of farmland are actually salt ponds, basins of highly salinated water for industrial salt production. These ponds occupy the space where essential wetlands once thrived. My hope is to interest people in restoring these wetlands through the beauty of my artwork.”
  • Dimensions: 29.75″ w x 29″ h
  • Materials and Techniques: Silk crepe de chine hand painted using acid dyes and gutta-serti. Silk broadcloth backing and polyester batting; machine quilted with rayon embroidery thread.

Linda Gass Fields of Salt

Making a map-inspired quilt would not have to be quite so elaborate. If you live in or around farmland, head over to Google Maps and click on “satellite view” to get an image of your surroundings from the sky. Maybe you can find inspiration based on your own backyard! Take a look at these pattern ideas:

I tried it myself, using the town where I grew up. Unfortunately there are no huge swaths of farmland near me, but I did uncover areas like this one that come close to the patchwork effect:


What do you think: would you try coming up with a pattern like this? Have you before? Share your experience (and patterns) if you like!

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