Joan Brailsford – Reflections – City windows

I found this month’s challenge quite difficult because I couldn’t quite distill my ideas into a design that worked for me. However with a bit of persistence I eventually got to the final result you see here, which is my impression of the reflections seen in the glass and shiny surfaces of large city buildings.

I started by finding, manipulating and printing pictures of building reflections, on transfer fabric. These were cut into window shapes and added to the commercial fabric that I used for the background. I didn’t want the windows to fill the piece, because a city scape contains gaps and open spaces between and among the buildings. I therefore left one ‘window’ open, and positioned the ‘building’ so that there is open space to one side. To emphasise the geometric nature of city architecture, I decided to use straight line machine quilting, and I tried to pick up and extend some of the lines within the pictures. I used a gold thread for the quilting to depict the glints and shafts of light that come between buildings and that reflect off the shiny surfaces.

I added a few hand stitched wiggly lines in the open areas, to echo the contortion of the straight lines that form in the reflections. I also used metallic acrylic paint to highlight a few of the shapes produced by the intersecting lines. I did not want to add too many of these extra elements as I wanted the overall look to be clean and crisp, and to stay true to an urban sleek feel. To this end I used a plain binding, but once it was done, I decided it was too drab, so I extended the quilting lines into the binding, and this was much more in keeping with the effect I wanted.

Since most of my work involves a great deal of hand stitching, this is quite a departure for me, but I did enjoy the change of pace.

Close up views:



  1. Well done, it has come together beautifully, I really like the way that you have quilted it treating it as a whole and extending to the edges.

  2. What a view! Love the way you thought out the theme and your quilt. It has balance and is powerful, great use of space in it too.

  3. Good job. The idea of the reflection on the windows of a large building is successful, and the linear and geometric quilting gives even more of modern architecture. Well done.

  4. Very interesting rendition and cool perspective. I really like the piece. Nice use of color.

  5. Chantal Guillermet

    You may have found it difficult Joan but the result is striking ! Very good use of colours and quilting. Your quilt is well balanced. Beautiful piece

  6. What a wonderful idea to use all this different reflections in the windows of city buildings. The result is stunning. Stepping out of your comfort zone was successful!

  7. Joan, this is so different and it reflects (sorry about the pun) your imagination and creativity.

  8. A great idea. I like the use of photos in your windows and I like the continuation of the quilting lines into the binding.

  9. I’m also fascinated by reflections in windows. I really love the result. What a great idea to paint some of the shapes with metallic paint.

  10. Very well thought out Joan, all your techniques flow together and create a balanced and beautiful cityscape reflection.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: