This is the ideal gift for a Pittsburgh quilter. I realize that this gift isn’t for everyone, but it is such a spectacular idea I decided it deserved a spot on the list. Meet the Pittsburgh Quilt Pattern from Haptic Lab. Haptic Lab calls this a kit, but it is really just the map of Pittsburgh for stitching, you will have to get all of the other stuff to make this a quilt, so I am calling it a pattern. (Apologies if I am not using the correct quilting terms here, please correct me in the comments below. )
I love quilts, probably because quilts were like the first analog blogs. Long before blogging came on the scene, some quilts were created to tell a story. Not only can a quilt tell a story, but they are a fairly functional item that can be used everyday. I’m pretty sure a quilt is more useful than a blog when it comes to providing comfort and warmth. I am a want-to-be quilter. I’ve never completed a quilt, but I have purchased enough fabric from Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse to possibly make a quilt for everyone in my neighborhood. (By the way, Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse is THE BEST place to buy gift wrapping supplies around).
Also, one of my most favorite things I’ve visited in the name of documenting Pittsburgh was going to the Quilt Company East Quilt Show to see the Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt. If you went on a field trip to the Science Center in the late 80s you might remember signing your name to a 2.25″ x 2.25″ square of fabric. Fascinating story of how the Science Center lost the quilt – how you lose something this big is another story, but the Quilt Company East found the thing and restored it piece by piece. You can see more, not-so-great, taken with my Blackberry Pearl, photos of the Pittsburgh Friendship Quilt here.
If you are a knitter, then you have likely seen the website Purl Soho. It is a blog and store in New York that has some of the most beautiful and not so difficult patterns out there. If you aren’t a knitter, there are tons of knitting patterns out there, but not many that make things you might actually want to wear.
A knitting friend of mine discovered these city quilts on the Purl Soho website and has begun work on stitching her own version of the city. Because Pittsburgh is Pittsburgh and not Hollywood or Boston or Brooklyn, Haptic Lab only sells the Pittsburgh version as a kit and the photos of the Pittsburgh map don’t do it justice, so for the sake of showing you the potential of this quilt and pattern, here is what the Haptic Lab Paris Quilt looks like. (Pittsburgh is often considered the Paris of Appalachia, so at least there is some common thread).
Anyone interested in a quilting class and quilt-a-long to make the Pittsburgh quilt in 2016?
You can see all of the 24 Gifts of Pittsburgh here.