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Street Level by Joy by Robin

Part of street level by Joy by Robin

Part of street level by Joy by Robin

The street level is 2.5″ x 6″ … there are 18 pieced pieces of fabric within that area!
Street Level with Entrance by Joy by Robin

Street Level with Entrance by Joy by Robin

Columns in Process by Joy by Robin

Columns from inside the building

Columns from inside the building by Joy by Robin


Columns in process by Joy by Robin

Columns in process by Joy by Robin


Columns Completed

Columns Completed

Columns without the distinguishing “shell” on the top. These are pieced. The shells will be “needle turned” in order to create curves. These represent the columns on each side of the doorway when exiting the CBOT to Jackson Boulevard at LaSalle Street. Once the shells were attached the columns were placed on the background.  Notice the colors of the inspiration quilt shown on the right.  My drawing is on the left.

Background is assembled!

My Interpretation of the Board of Trade with Chicago flag assembled for the background by Joy by Robin

My Interpretation of the Board of Trade with Chicago flag assembled for the background by Joy by Robin

The representation of the Chicago flag is the background for the quilt. The level of detail needs to exist for my quilt because Mr. Rowley was a draftsman and the detail in his quilt is accurate to the layout of the fairgrounds. My inspiration quilt for the Quilt Alliance “Inspired By” contest is Richard Henry Rowley’s “Bird’s Eye View of the Chicago World’s Fair 1933 from Waldvogel Archival Collection. The documentation is available at and the contest information is at

For those who know the flag … there will be a red star to represent the 1933 Exposition/World’s Fair.

Chicago Board of Trade à la moi

“Inspired By,” is the theme for the Quilt Alliance annual contest. My inspiration is a quilt from the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933, A Century of Progress. The quilt was said to have been made by one, but when purchased by Merikay Waldvogel, a note said that the son, Richard Henry Rowley was the actual quilt maker! Sears Roebuck held the largest quilt contest with some winning quilts shown at the fair. Check the information at and be inspired.

The aerial view of the fairgrounds, the quilted waves of Lake Michigan, the fun colors of the time, Chicago … Mr. Rowley’s quilt inspired me to create my memory of Chicago, the Chicago Board of Trade which was built before the World’s Fair and down the street from the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower).

I remembered a field trip to the Board of Trade’s trading floor, eating lunches at the restaurant when I worked downtown, the exquisite features inside and outside of the building, and the magnificent view down LaSalle Street from the river toward the building.

My drawing includes features inside the building placed on the outside of the building to create movement, showing the deliberate design of the building, its location at the south end of LaSalle Street, the beautiful lines in the building are outside, and the inside of the Jackson Boulevard entrance sits on each side outside my rendition, modern representation of a great Chicago landmark!

Background for “Inspired By”

Background of "Inspired By" Quilt Alliance quilt

Background of “Inspired By” Quilt Alliance quilt

The background is the flag of Chicago. There will be one red star to represent the Century of Progress 1933 Chicago World’s Fair!

“Inspired By”

20140401-004208.jpgThis year the Quilt Alliance chose inspiration for the annual contest, from either The Quilt Index or the Q.S.O.S. (Quilters’ Save Our Stories).

When I reviewed quilts from Illinois on The Quilt Index, I found a quilt from the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago when Sears, Roebuck & Co. sponsored a quilt contest for the fair. The quilt was entered by a woman, Louise Rowley, but in fact was made by her son, Richard, a draftsman. The pattern name called A Century of Progress is an aerial view of the fairgrounds and was entered in the contest at the State Street store.

The quilt spoke to me .. the bright blue and waves of Lake Michigan, the architecture of the buildings, the sunny yellow orange, purples, appliquéd pieces on the quilt; mesmerizing.

The Chicago Century of Progress was the theme of the fair. I own the book by Merikay Waldvogel and Barbara Brackman which features quilts and the history from the Sears competition. Recently I acquired the booklet from the competition.

The links to me include: from Chicago, worked downtown in the loop near the Sears Tower, love Chicago architecture, near and dear.

This inspiration led to my quilt design of the Chicago Board of Trade which was built in the same time period (1930).

Red & White

I first saw a red and white folded log cabin quilt in 2007. In 2011, the American Folk Art Museum displayed a portion of the collection of Joanna Rose called “The Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red & White Quilts.” The 2011 exhibit was magnificent!

This year, the International Quilt Festival will present an exhibit to celebrate its 40 years as the largest quilt show in the US. The 2011 NYC exhibit was mentioned as part of the inspiration and theme for their special exhibit.

Deciding this was the time to make a timeless red and white quilt, I designed a quilt. It is in process. Photo will be here at a later time.

The Quilt Alliance also has a quilt contest, “Inspired by.” This 16″ x 16″ quilt should be inspired by a quilt that is documented on The Quilt Index or Q.S.O.S. Not a copy of one but an original design. This quilt design came first but was also the basis for the IQF red and white quilt. More details to follow …