Timna Tarr » Improv Map Quilt Supply List

Improv Map Quilt Supply List

Use fabric to capture a special location. Maybe it’s your favorite vacation spot, your neighborhood, or your hometown. Over the course of the workshop, participants learn both pattern-making and improvisational quilting techniques to create personal map quilts. Bring a large paper map of a location you would like to replicate (approx. 24”x36”), your favorite fabrics and threads, and a willingness to experiment. Mark your place in the world!

Since this class is improvisational and everyone is working from a different map I have not included specific amounts of fabric, fusible etc. Use your best judgment as to what you think you may need.

Depending on the technique chosen, not everyone will get to a point where they will need their sewing machine during the class, but some will. I suggest that you bring your machine, but leave it in the car until you know what path you are taking.

This workshop is improvisational, so come ready to experiment and we will make whatever you have with you work! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions at timnatarr@gmail.com.


  • Paper map of a location important to you. Have the map enlarged at a copy shop to approximately 24”x36”. A black and white copy is fine.
  • Basic sewing supplies including: rotary cutter, rulers, small sharp fabric scissors, pins, seam ripper etc.
  • One yard of good quality white fabric for foundation/background
  • Assorted fabrics to use for map features (water, roads, landscape etc.)
  • Neutral colored threads, or threads that generally match your fabrics
  • Double sided, paper-backed fusible, such as Heat and Bond Lite or Steam-a-Seam II
  • Water-soluble blue marker
  • Pencil
  • Black Sharpie
  • Glue stick
  • Paper scissors
  • Optional Supplies:
  • Silicone pressing sheet
  • Freezer paper

Some thoughts on finding source maps:

Most maps are copyrighted, including Google and Yahoo maps.

If I plan to make a quilt for display or sale, I always use a copyright free map so as not to infringe on anyone’s copyright.

That said…there are loads of places to look for copyright free maps. If you have a map that is copyrighted, ask the owner if you can use it – they just might say yes!

  • Most maps produced by the federal government are copyright free. Those include maps from the National Park Service, Army Corps of Engineers, USGS, NOAA, NASA etc. USGS is one of my favorite places to search for maps. The interface is clunky, but they have many maps to choose from. https://nationalmap.gov/historical/
  • Every state has different laws, but many maps produced by state and local governments are copyright free.
  • Local town offices will often print town maps, although there might be a small fee.
  • Maps and documents published before 1922 are copyright free in the US. 

Other places to search for copyright free maps: