And sure enough, geese were the first elements to go on the quilt top. Their original home was in this drapery/upholstery fabric my friend Kathy bought at a yard sale for $1. I trimmed the bottom of the gander to make it appear he's swimming instead of wading.
The turtles were patterned from a photo I took at Bernheim Forrest in Claremont, KY, and the rocks were cut from the strange but awesome fabric on the right. I stared at it until the rock shapes started popping out at me and I knew where to cut. Large and small pieces were overlapped and glued onto the quilt top to make a more natural-looking sort of 'rock jetty.' Fabric markers were used to shade various areas of the rocks.
The flowers, both the blue ones and the dogwood blossoms, came from the same fabric--an old sheet. Cutting these out was quite a project, especially those skinny little stems. I fused the fabric to some Steam-a-Seam2 first; otherwise it would have been nearly impossible, both to cut the flowers and then to apply them to the quilt top. Fabric markers were used to shade and deepen the color of the flowers.
The grass in the foreground is made up of 3 or 4 sections of the grass landscape fabric below, and the larger dogwood branches came from the beautiful 'burl' woodgrain fabric on the right. The smaller, more twiggy branches were drawn in with a brown Sharpie and then thread-painted with a variegated thread. The same thread was used to free-motion stitch the larger branches, pretty much just following the printed grain of the wood. That's one thing about landscape quilting--you rarely have to come up with a particular free-motion stitch, because it usually works better and looks more natural if you just follow the lines of the element you're quilting. Then again, if you want to use a specific stitch design, you can--it's up to you!
The aquatic grass came from a strip of the fat quarter pictured below. I used fabric markers to shade it in some areas. That wavy green area integrated well with the background (lake) fabric, since it was just about the same shade.
When the piecing was finished (except for the caladiums, a recent save) and everything was tacked down with 100-wt. thread, I realized there simply wasn't enough space in my tiny bedroom to quilt this. So the finished (minus caladiums) quilt-top languished for many months in a closet (alongside my lizard totem quilt)--until our son's old room was made into the new quilting studio and everything could spread out again. Hallelujah! That was a big day for me!
I thought it might be fun to look at some 'before and after' photos. Until I see them, I forget what an amazing difference the actual quilting makes. However, if your time is short and you want to skip on down to the photo of the finished quilt, it won't hurt my feelings. :)
First, the geese:
|Sorry about the pins!|
Then the turtles (which were embellished with fabric paint) and the rocks (which were embellished with lots of fabric marker and free-motion satin stitching):
And, the entire quilt:
All right, cutting to the chase, here's a bigger photo of the finished quilt:
|Again...sorry about the pins, but this time they're just holding the quilt up on the design wall!|
All that's left to do is to make a sleeve and a label. Some people say your quilt isn't finished until you've done those things, but by golly it's been long enough, and I say it's finished! :)
Hooking up a day later than usual with Leah Day's FMQ Friday and Sarah Craig's Whoop Whoop Fridays. Leah's up to a secret project again (and she turned a pen--how cool is that? I've always wished I knew how to do woodworking. My husband and son do, so I should be able to learn, right?) Sarah has had company this week, so she's again very generously sharing other folks' work. Check them both out; you won't be sorry you did. Don't forget to look at their reader hookups, either. Lots of inspiration!
Happy almost fall, everyone--my favorite season!! :)