Inspired by Architecture with David Owen Hasting

Author: Pam Holt, SVMQG Member

The SVMQG Programs Committee arranged an intriguing art quilting class on 24, April 2021.  David Owen Hasting presented a virtual workshop entitled Inspired by Architecture for approximately 18 members of the SVMQG.  


During the 6-hour workshop, our members were guided by David through his process for creating a modern, mini fabric quilt of an architectural feature using the quilt-as-you-go method. The goal was to design and construct a mini quilt during the class.  Believe it or not, several quilters were able to design, pattern, construct and finish their wall hanging the day of class.


We prepped basic quilting, design and pattern making supplies for the class including solid and subtly textured quilting cottons in strong, bright colors, as well as neutral fabrics for backgrounds.  Black fabrics were used for the back and binding.  

We also brought in a few of our own photos of architecture that were shared with David and the class.  David kindly guided us to select photos that showcased an interesting architectural feature, whether it be large or small.  Selections ranged from the corner of a door leading to a hall, to an interesting angle of a building, or window, and an unusual lighthouse.  I personally had some trouble with this as I had brought in mostly landscapes, but David gently guided me to choose a photo that would allow me to follow his process.  The key to David’s method was to zoom in on spare, simple, geometric shapes to keep a clean and modern look to the quilt.  

After selecting our architectural element, we sketched out our designs and David helped us to simplify our designs to use straight lines that are simply pieced.  He also showed us his clever technique of sizing up the design to fill the 12×12 mini quilt and create our paper pattern. The paper pattern is then transferred to batting to allow us to quilt the composition as we sew pieces together. 

Julie’s quilt-as-you-go pattern transferred to batting

David recommended that we plan our quilt intentionally to allow both the fabrics and the quilting to showcase significant design elements.  He uses walking foot quilting to repeat significant patterns across the surface of the quilt.  Most quilting is straight lines or gentle curves.  One member commented that his method for drawing an arc was mind opening.  David used a piece of twine and a paperclip to draw an arc or a circle.  This is a great method if you don’t have a compass of an appropriate size and don’t want to grab a dinner plate for tracing.  

David also demonstrated a very quick and efficient facing technique for our binding which gave our quilts an excellent finish.


Here are some of the photos from our members.  Thanks to those who were kind enough to share the process and final result.  

Lisbeth really took David’s idea of repeating architectural elements in her quilting to heart.

I love how Darla was inspired to create two different distinctive quilts from her one photo.

Amanda M

Amanda got the prize for incorporating a Y seam into her quilt, which certainly impressed David.

Final Thoughts

Our guild strives to live up to the name “Silicon Valley Modern Quilt Guild”.  David’s class was an excellent way to expose members to innovative thinking in Modern Quilting.  David gently guided us to employ modern quilt principles of simplicity, minimalism, negative space and more into our compositions. 

Personally, I have always admired architecture and spent some time in high school and college thinking that I would love to become an architect.  Life meandered and other passions fueled my career, but now I am able to revisit childhood interests in my quilting.  David’s class was a great way to do this while exploring modern quilting in an innovative way.  I’m pretty sure that more architecture inspired modern quilts are in my future.  

Contributors: Kristine Tsai, Darla Gallentine, Lisbeth Polavarapu, Bev Thompson, Heidi Mackessy, Amanda Morris, Julie Sweetkind-Singer

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