As if there’s not enough stuff to want already, I was recent tipped off by Apartment Therapy to the wonder of soft maps.  The example at hand is from Haptic Labs in Brookyn.  They make a variety of things, but it’s the quilts and pillows featuring hand-stitched maps that grabbed my attention.   This waterfront pillow gives an idea of the possibilities.

Haptic Labs soft map pillow (Brooklyn)

Of course, I can’t stop here.  I remember seeing a nice world map pillow cover on display at IKEA but couldn’t find the actual article in the bins.  It’s called Ketty Värld and it comes in three colors for $15.  The picture on the IKEA site was lousy so I found this shot at Plurielles.

I also figured Etsy would have some cool mappy stuff but was largely disappointed with the exception of this this cool pillow, Topography in Blue, in felt made from recycled plastic bottles from seller diffractionfiber.  It reminds me of a Wayne Pommnitz photo I have.  I also dig their state pillows, which you can adorn with a star on the city of your choice.

Further searches came up with this amazing patchwork quilt of Africa.  Note the hands along the top to get a sense of scale.  Those are 3″ squares.  Wow.

IKEA Ketty Värld pillow Topography in Blue by Diffraction Fiber on Etsy Africa Quilt

Some of these map textiles are more literal and some more abstracted, but all are fascinating to me because of their use of the visual language of maps.  It brought to mind the drawings of Daniel Zeller which I saw not too long ago at the DeCordova’s drawing show, and the paintings of David Palmquist, which were on view at Somerville Open Studios at the Vernon Street Studios.  Zeller’s drawings are abstract but look like maps; Palmquist’s paintings are of satellite views of the world, but are somewhat abstracted.

Much more on the fine art side than the bedspread side is the textile art of Leah Evans which is inspiring for the level of detail and work, but also for compositional beauty.  I like how the irregular shapes recall both the process of quilting and the collages of satellite pictures that create flat views of the round world.

David Palmquist Leah Evans