Nadia Arbach
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Brooklyn Bridge Quilt I made this quilt for my husband's birthday. It's a lap-sized quilt rather than a full one so he can easily bring it from room to room and use it all over the house, particularly (right now, anyway) in the study, which is the site of most of his PhD work. His thesis is on an American modernist poet, Hart Crane, whose most famous work is an epic poem about the Brooklyn Bridge. The centre panel is a black and white photograph of the Brooklyn Bridge I found on Flickr (with Creative Commons licence) and printed onto a piece of silk fabric during one of the V&A's digital textile design courses. I got most of the gray fabric on the front from a V&A colleague, and the back of the quilt is made entirely from old pairs of blue and navy trousers belonging to both myself and my husband. I hand-embroidered some of the strips in bright orange perle cotton, which I wasn't sure would look good but ended up giving a lovely texture and complementing the grays and blues very well.
 
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Surprise Birthday Quilt I made this quilt as a surprise for my sister's birthday. It started with some undersea-themed fabric by Anna Griffin and grew from there; I wanted to make some very wide strips with high-contrast colours in greens, blues and reds. I ended up buying so much fabric for the quilt that I decided that I could make two different sides so that it was reversible instead of having just a plain backing. A red, pink and blue colour scheme with a large diamond feature in the middle just sort of took shape as I went. Putting the front and the back together and making sure my quilting lines weren't ruining the design was the hardest part; in the end I just quilted straight vertical lines with two different colours. Six months after the quilting was done I finally got the chance to bring it to Canada and give it to my sister as a very belated birthday present.
 
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Husband's Shirts Quilt This was the first quilt I ever created. I made it out of my husband's old shirts and one old red sheet that had a hole in it. Luckily my husband wears a lot of blue so all the fabrics matched! I created a zigzag pattern and then randomly replaced some of the squares with red ones, giving the quilt a less orderly look. It took a long time to get the placement right, but the sewing was easy because squares are pretty simple to match up. I made a log cabin section for each of the corners. Since all the fabric in this quilt was from used garments, it's soft and comfortable and we love having it on our bed.