April 29, 2016

588 Steps

For those of you who have visited the Greek island of Santorini, you might recognize these steps that start at the old port of Gialos and lead up the capital city of Fira.  I snapped a photo just as we were about to descend the long, steeply angled, donkey poop covered Karavolades stairs, all 588 of them. This mini quilt was made for the Photo Inspiration Challenge issued by Alison Glass as part of the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club.

588 Steps by Paige Alexander
My quilt was inspired by this photo taken in May 2011 late in the day as we leaving Santorini for the next stop on our curise.  You can see I decided to leave out a couple of elements.  For one, I didn't know those feet so those were not included.  I had planned to 'quilt' the grates, but forgot as I was quilting.

Steps leading to Fira, capital of Santorini
I also changed the shadow on the top step from curved to straight for ease of piecing.

Detail show angle of the shadow where it was changed slightly.
I failed to follow the assignment completely as Alison suggested 'improv' piecing.  I actually printed the photo in black and white and had it enlarged.  I then traced over the enlargement using waxed paper and cut it apart for templates.  I originally planned to use solids but didn't have enough variety in the light and dark grays so I use these Alison Glass prints from her Sun Print 2015 and Sun Print 2016 collections.

588 Steps completed quilt top

Originally, I didn't plan to include the the numbers which were painted on the steps but thought it might help recognize the steps easier.  To recreate them as close a possible, I traced the numbers onto vinyl tablecloth material and then flipped them over to trace onto the no sew Heat'n Bond Ultra Hold.

I quilted pebbles on the steps starting out with larger pebbles at the bottom and reduced them in size with each step trying to create perspective.  This picture is really not in focus but shows the pebbles more. And you will see why I had difficulty getting a better shot by looking at the video I posted on Instagram.

588 Steps on the fence blowing in the wind

Here is another picture taken of the steps to give your a better idea of what they were like.

Steps leading to Fira, capital of Santorini

And here's the reason for the all the poop.  This is just one donkey, but there were many more.  They made the trip up and down a little scary at times.  When they would come by, I would try to hide behind a telephone poll or lean far over the side.

And here are a few pictures of flowers taken on Santorini.

I am looking forward to more challenges in the Mightly Lucky Quilting Club.

Quilt Stats:

  • Finished size:  15 1/2" x 15 1/2"
  • Pattern:  Original design from my photograph inspired by the Photo Inspiration challenge by Alison Glass and the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club
  • Binding: 1/4" bias binding from 2" strips and sewn down by hand
  • Fabrics: Sun Print 2015 and Sun Print 2016 collections by Alison Glass for Andover Fabricsplus a sliver of Kona white in the top step
  • Thread: Aurifil for piecing and some quilting plus a few others
  • Batting: 100% Cotton Warm & White by the Warm Company
  • Completed: April 27, 2016

Linking up to Finish Up FridayWhoop Whoop Friday, Fiona at Celtic Thistle Stitches hosting Thank Goodness Its Finished Friday this week, Fabric Frenzy Friday and Show Off Saturday.

And next week, May 2nd through the 6th is the blog tour for Quiltmaker's 100 blocks Vol. 13.  Be sure to visit their blog, Quiltly Pleasures, each day for each stop on the blog tour and chances to win your own copy of 100 Blocks and more.  I'm so excited to have a block published in this issue and my date for the blog tour is Friday, May 6th.  Please join me on the tour.


  1. That's a lovely mini Paige, andd a wonderful moment of your holiday. Thank you for taking me through the process, it was interesting and great attention to detail. I loved seeing your other pics too, it looks lovely.

  2. You overcame the challenge of your wind, which is making me hopeful that maybe I can get some quilt photographs today, too. I think you captured the photograph really well with the mini quilt and I like the details that you added in with the quilting. Adding the numbers does help a lot, too. I wonder how often they have to go and touch up that paint? Can you imagine doing that and dodging the donkeys?

  3. I think you did a wonderful job recreating those steps. And I love the way the pebbles mimic the stones in the steps. Plus pebbles always create great texture. I would probably shy away from the donkeys as well. Those steps just don't quite seem wide enough for people and donkeys :)

  4. Your steps are amazing! What an amazing challenge. The pebbles were perfect for the stones in the stairs. I'm so happy you decided to put the numbers on the stairs...great job Paige!!

  5. This is so fun, Paige!! Santorini is very high on our bucket list of places to visit when our kids are older and we (hopefully) have a bit more spending money!! It looks and sounds SO amazingly gorgeous! This mini is such a fun rendition of the steps--I definitely agree that the numbers are a key element. The pebbling quilting is right on. Lovely approach to the challenge!

  6. Beautiful! Love the inspiration! Great pictures!

  7. What a wonderful inspiration and the little mini looks amazing! I love the numbers on the steps and the pebble quilting is fantastic!


  8. You did an amazing job with this month's challenge. You captured the picture so well and I agree with everyone here, the numbers and the pebbles are perfect.

  9. Wow! Thats one of h best ML challenges ive seen this month Paige! I think the color choices are great...maybe its a good thing you didnt have the right array of greys? And i agree with Yvonne, the numbers really do help one recognize the steps. Fabulous job

  10. Great job of capturing the elements in the photo. What great memories will be wrapped up in this little quilt! Loved your windy video on Instagram, too.

  11. This is a wonderful quilt of the photo. I'm impressed that you are working on the challenges I haven't found the time to do even one of them , although I feel reading them is useful to me as well....maybe I'll do them all a year late.

  12. I love your fiber art from a photo. What fun to recreate a memory from your trip. I too like the numbers on the steps. I think it helps identify the place you took the photo. What fun fun fun!!!