Sunday, January 29, 2012

I love the Metro (or, Dana's DC Metro quilt pattern)

Hi all, I'm Dana from the DC Modern Quilt Guild. Heather asked me to guest post over here about my Metro Map quilt pattern. I've been talking about making a pattern since I made this quilt in August 2011, so when Heather emailed me a few weeks ago asking about a pattern, that was the kick in the butt that I've been needing.

This quilt is completely inspired by my love for the DC Metro system. Even as I type that sentence, I can't believe I mean it. There are certainly days that being car-less makes me want to cry, but I have to admit, I am so grateful for the great public transportation options I have.

I grew up in suburban Maryland and after my parents got divorced, my brother and I spent every other weekend with my dad. As a way to fill time (and spend quality time bonding?) my dad would frequently take up to the closest Metro station, get day passes, and take us downtown. We would go to the mall, the monuments, and the museums. I remember feeling so special and glamourous on the Metro, hoping that one day I'd get to ride the Metro ALL. THE. TIME.

Fast forward 20-some years and I moved to Philadelphia for grad school. I took the bus all the time there and avoided their subway like the plague (sorry Philly people!). When I'd take Amtrak home to see my mom, I always felt like I was really home as soon as I got on the red line at Union Station.

When I moved back to DC, my main requirement for living was to be close to Metro. I guess my wish to ride the Metro all the time mostly came true and now I take two buses to get to work most days, and take the metro at least twice a week. The glamour has definitely ceded to necessity and there are many times where I wish I drove to and from work, but when I really think about it, I have a passive commute. My husband talks about other drivers and the stress of traffic and I realize how lucky I am to just sit and read or close my eyes if I want. I get 35 minutes of uninterrupted time each way all to myself. Can't really beat that, can you?

Don't get me wrong, I know this love affair with the Metro is WEIRD. It's slow, sometimes it smells weird, the wait times are long, it makes people (me) a bit motion sick, blah, blah blah. There are many things to hate. But, I have such great memories tied to it. It allows me uninterrupted time every day to reflect. And with the buses, it provides almost door to door service.

So there you have it, the story/blathering behind this quilt. It's also the first quilt that I've ever hung on a wall. After I hung it, my husband said "I don't really like handmade stuff, but I like your quilts". I think he meant "NO QUILTS ON THE WALLS!", but he knows which arguments he can and can't win. Smart man.

If you are interested in making your own Metro quilt, the pattern is for sale in my etsy shop and if you use coupon code BALTMOD you will get a special discount.

Come visit me at my blog and let me know if you have any questions about the pattern.

Many thanks to Heather for letting me post!!


  1. Dana, I love your quilt and the story behind it! (I think the best quilts have great stories.) Thanks so much for sharing with us, and for being our first guest blogger! Hope you'll come visit us again soon!

  2. Great idea for a quilt! I love the DC Metro too. When my best friend and I were in High School we used to get day passes and station hop and shop all day long ~ We thought we were so grown up :) I still love to take the Metro into town and visit museums for the day :)

  3. I love the quilt! I've been wanting to do something similar based on Chicago's EL system. This gives me some inspiration.