Terry Aske makes a Map

Terry Aske is our latest map maker, and below are her notes on the quilt she made for Quilts at the Creek. And what a stunning quilt it is- can’t wait to see it in person this summer!  Terry is a textile artist who creates her art with fabric, thread and a sewing machine. Primarily self-taught, Terry designs and creates contemporary quilts in her home studio in New Westminster, BC, Canada. I fell in love with her modern aesthetic the first time I saw a piece she had made, and have followed her ever since. She showed a quilt at Q@C in 2017 too, as part of our Canada 150 series.  Thanks, Terry!


I based my quilt on a map of my city, New Westminster BC. The city’s location on the banks of the Fraser River and the diagonal street grid make for a visually interesting map. I love the contrast of the natural curving lines of the river and the geometric shapes of man-made streets and transit lines. I’m attracted to bright colors on dark backgrounds, and have long been a fan of the stylized look of transit maps.

I thought about using a black solid background, but decided it would be more interesting to use a scrappy background of various black and dark gray prints (which I happen to have a lot of in my stash). I used gray bias tape to indicate the major roads.

I drew a full-size map on freezer paper showing the major roads, then cut up the freezer paper and used it as templates for the background fabrics. I pinned it all to my design wall, then sewed the background pieces together. Then I positioned and sewed the gray bias tape. The fun part was adding the colorful bias tape to indicate bus routes and transit lines.

I quilted with vertical straight lines about 1 inch apart.  I was concerned about keeping the lines straight, and the challenge of quilting over the bumps created where several bias tapes overlapped.  The backing fabric is  a bright purple stripe, and I decide to try quilting from the back following the lines on the fabric.  It worked like a charm!

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