Town Alleyways and City Streets

Today I did something I haven’t done for a long time. I went around town on my own.  Anyone with small people will understand how fantastic and freeing this is.  No one pulling you in the opposite direction just when you get to where you want to be, no one wanting a wee when you are standing in a queue waiting to buy that special something,  no-one  moaning when you go into a fabric shop,  etc etc

It was a lovely sunny and peaceful morning as I ambled around town.  I think I walked miles.

Our town is not a big shopping centre, but it is an old historic town that has evolved over hundreds of years. The layout is strongly molded by the huge loop in the river and the hill that sits within the loop. It’s detailed layout was determined by the desire to protect the town from all invaders : be it the Welsh to the East or the English to the West.

shrews-map

From Google Maps

Getting from place to place can be particularly difficult if you are not used to the town.  We all know that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. So being rational, you aim up one of the narrow streets, only to find it twists and turns and you end up back near where you started or on the river bank – always the river bank.

There are many ways to get from A to B if you know how, but the unwary visitor could get lost for days… amongst the haunted alleyways of Ye Olde Shrewsbury Towne. 

map-2

From Google Maps

Modern towns are built on open land. Built not for historic strategy but to provide housing, work areas, modern and clinical shopping areas, etc, for a rapidly growing population.

These layouts consist of straight lines all in a grid.  Easy to navigate, easy to follow and, to me at least, totally lacking in character and atmosphere. 

The patchwork quilt block ‘City Streets’ is a more modern quilt block based upon this second type of town.  Lots of straight lines to reflect the modern town layout, rather than looking like a drunken spider let loose with a pot of paint like the roads in my home town.

cs-blockI have searched to try and find who first designed this block, but have only found conflicting answers. If you know please let me know so credit can be given where credit is due. 

Meanwhile, here is a link to the tutorial of this, my newest video.  I hope you enjoy it.  It is wonderfully simple to sew and yet very gorgeous. With some small changes a huge variety of results can be achieved, as shown at the end of the video.

I’m now off to hide my newest stash of fabric before husband notices it…

Bye for now

Alison

ps. In case you are following the symmetry issue (click here for a re-cap) this block has two lines of symmetry!

pps. Note to self : don’t write that you are hiding things from husband in a blog that you know he always reads!!!

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