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The World Turned Upside Down

The World Turned Upside Down

Every day, it feels like something else happens that makes the world feel less stable. I wanted to create a piece that captured that sense of feeling off balance. While my last piece pictured an open field, I wanted this one to depict a city. I started with black and white city fabric that I had in the studio, but after cutting out the pieces, I realized those buildings were too small. So I started over and printed my own city using photos I took myself as well as others.


Next, I had to choose the sky and water fabrics. Below were some that I sampled.


Once I had the fabrics chosen, I took a photo and printed several copies on paper. That allowed me to cut up the paper and try out several designs before cutting the real fabric.

With a plan in place, I layered the piece with batting and a muslin backing and started sewing the buildings, grass, water, and clouds.



Once the whole piece was quilted, it was hard to make the decision to keep going and cut it up! Below is the quilted city scene (front and back).


After taking a deep breath, I marked the cutting lines in chalk and started cutting the piece into strips.


And then stitched them back together with some upside-down.


Next, it was time to fit it onto the canvas. I selected a 1.5″ deep wrapped canvas and flipped it so the front became the back and the back became the front. Again, there was much measuring and chalk lining before I was ready to cut and sew!


Once the piece was glued and stapled to the canvas, I had to decide where to add a figure. The original figure was too big, but making a smaller fabric person seemed impossible.

So I made one out of a purple pipe cleaner. One loan person walking in the crazy world was one option, but I decided to make two people – one helping another about to fall off the topsy turvy world. After sampling several people, I decided to stick with two purple people and hang the piece on an angle with eye hooks and hanging wire.




The final piece shows that, even though the world has turned upside down, people still reach out to help each other. In these uncertain times, it’s important to reach out to help those around us and to remember that others are there to help us too.

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