Evolution of Zaatari

I took a lot of geography courses in university, and always found a map could say so much more that text. That might explain why I am a bit obsessed with Valerie Goodwin’s Art Quilt Maps book- I have it as an e-book, and as a “real” book.

I saw a series of photos of a refugee camp in Jordan (Zaatari), which became Jordan’s third largest city- over the course of 18 months the population grew from about 15,000 to over 75,000 refugees. There is so much in the news these days about refugees fleeing Syria, and I was drawn to those maps over and over again. I realized I needed to create wall art based on these photos, using some of the techniques that Valerie Goodwin describes.  Since I wanted to make this a large wall quilt, I needed to practise some of the techniques from her book- here is a small map I created of the area of Montreal I grew up in- it was totally remote and undeveloped when my parents moved there (1946), but it quickly grew to become what is now Montreal’s Little Italy. As a child, everything seemed a VERY long walk away, but I see now school was about a mile away, the library maybe 1.5 miles away. All of us kids would regularly make the trip to school, the park and the library. Here is the map I constructed… local street names are printed around the border.


Such fun to make!

The reality is my Zaatari quilt is changing quite a bit day-to-day so I thought I would post my progress.

Stage 1: I got stuck here for a long time, and after painting the background desert in oranges and yellows, I decided it was too dominant and needed to be quieter to make the camp stand out. Scrap this.. lesson learned.Zmap1

Stage 2: I found this way of representing people(center of photo), and will figure how where/how to place them on my map.. later. The dark blue represents the size of the camp in Sept 2012, mid blue = Jan 2013, light blue = Dec 2013.

Stage 3: I have pinned up the black lines (main roads) to get a sense of what it will look like when I add them- much later! Next steps: painting the background, adding people, stamping, hand stitching, etc etc!

2 responses to “Evolution of Zaatari”

  1. Sandy Avatar

    Wow Val — that looks great!!

  2. Bev Avatar

    I LOVE the idea of map quilts – thanks for posting your ideas and progress on this one! I wonder if our library has Valerie’s book….

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