Saturday, September 28, 2013

Stews and Brews

Happy autumn!

I started this first, blissfully temperate week of the season by giving the lake quilt a title (Still Waters) and making and attaching a sleeve and a label. Then it was time to figure out where and how to store it until it's sold.

So, on to the next project. I had been working on a beach scene with some funky palm trees, but here's where they are at the moment--in pieces, waiting for re-piecing and fusing.

And I'm just not feeling it right now. I think it will happen, but something else has been brewing on the creative burner for a while, and it feels like time to turn up the heat. It started with a photo of me that my husband took in February on Lookout Mountain in Tennessee.

In my imagination, this industrial-strength railing was gone. (Do you remember the days when historical landmarks had no railings? I do, because I'm no spring chicken, as you can see in the photo. But apparently these days we need protection from some insane contemporary urge to hurl ourselves off high places. Personally, I always maintained a healthy distance from edges like this, and my family and friends were kind enough not to push me over.)

Also in my imagination, a young lady hurried down the flagstone path (no concrete sidewalks in my head) toward this garrison, and she was dressed in something from well before before the Civil War. Long story short, she was a Medieval chick, and this garrison was part of a castle somewhere in old England. I don't care if the terrain and trees aren't quite authentic for that part of the globe...when it's your quilt, you get to make it your world! So a few months ago, I went online and looked at sites with free stock photos, and found this one...

...and pasted her (minus the log and surrounding greenery) over me in that photo. Then I proceeded to obliterate the railing, bit by bit, by cloning nearby parts of the forest and pasting them over it.

Today I digitally manipulated the photo so that just the main outlines and shadows were visible in a stark black-and-white version, and printed it out in 4x4 poster mode (16 printer pages).

Then the work began, cutting off the margins and matching up the pages and taping them together to get a roughly 32" x 40" photo.

At least I thought that was work. The real work began with the freezer paper overlay. Tracing solid lines from this etchy-sketchy, shadow/highlight photo (and no lightbox) proved to be somewhat challenging. After two hours of tracing (and a fair amount of erasing) I left it sitting and will resume tomorrow.

So that's it for this week, except to say that Wednesday my husband and I tried an incredibly delicious Oktoberfest Stew recipe that my daughter-in-law had found on Pinterest. We scarfed it in two days. If you like that sort of thing, head for But don't do it until you check out Leah Day's FMQ Friday post and look at the reader hookups there. And if you have a blog about free-motion quilting, please consider hooking up there if you haven't already and sharing what you're up to (it's easy; instructions are near the bottom of the page). I don't know about you, but my greatest inspiration comes from seeing what other people are doing. And it's a good excuse to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine ;).

Enjoy the season!


  1. I look forward to watching this newest quilt unfold. Thanks for sharing your process.

    1. Joni, thank you, I very much enjoy sharing.

  2. Hello Linda,

    Congratulations on a fantastic finish. The depth and perspective in Still Waters are wonderful, and as for the detail...!!!

    That is a really interesting juxtaposition of the two photos. The trees could quite easily be in England. The dank mossy atmosphere is just right. Can I persuade you change the window into an arrow slit? That would make the building really look like the outer wall of a castle.

    That laced back coat is completely gorgeous. I want one.

    Love from You Know Where,

    1. Hi Muv! Oh good, I see my comment finally made it through!! Thank you, I'm happy to be moving on to this next project. I'm glad the forest doesn't look too far off the mark, that is really good to know. Funny, up until about 2 hours ago, I would have agreed about changing that window--but at that time I suddenly realized there's something I want to put behind the bars in the window. Something that I hope will add an intriguing element to whatever story this quilt will end up telling. Oh, I so agree about the coat. I don't know where it could be worn, but I'd figure something out!
      Love right back from KY,

  3. Bravo! Stills Waters is a beauty! I like that you will switch gears when you are not "feeling it" on a project.

    1. Hi, thank you! There is one downside to that tendency, which is it makes it tough to work on commission--so I don't. lol


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