Saturday, April 18, 2015

Last Hurrah for Winter 2014-15

...and something for winter of 2015-16! The little hooded sweater pictured below is for my granddaughter, and was just finished this week. (As always, click on any photo to enlarge.)

This was made with the same yarn as Lucy's baby blanket--Flutterby Chunky by James C. Brett. It's by far the softest yarn I've ever found in my 44 years of knitting.

This second just-finished project is something that's been in the works for several weeks now (it was winter when I started), between other projects. It began with this piece of fabric. It's been in the 'forest' stash for a while, and every time I saw it, it intrigued me. It looked very mysterious, and made me think of moonlight just barely filtering through a thick forest in winter.

Some snow pieces were added (actually, practically thrown onto the design wall and left where they landed. I was determined this wasn't going to be a long, drawn-out, labor-intensive project.)

Next I envisioned a stream running through those low-looking areas. Tracing paper was laid over the snow, and lines were drawn where I thought the stream would most likely run. A light box was used to trace the stream outline onto scraps of blue-gray batik, which I then fused to the snow with Mistyfuse. (No throwing and landing during this step.)

Next up were some trees, cut very quickly from different fabrics--some specifically for landscapes and some not. The tree trunk at center-left and the one at the far right were cut freehand from Stonehenge fabric by Northcott. I love that whole line and have many colors.

Some little bushes were cut from two different fabrics and pinned here and there, the larger ones placed in the foreground to maintain perspective.

By this time, I was lamenting the lack of any more snow fabric to add to the foreground. Sure, the quilt could end here, but I had really wanted it longer to give the scene more depth.

There was nothing in the stash that could even begin to pass for snow or combine well with the snow fabric already in the foreground.

Then my eyes lit on one of my favorite landscape fabrics...such a favorite that I bought 3 yards when I finally located more of it last year. That's a lot of yardage for one landscape fabric!

This is Modascapes Stone Wall in gray, by Moda. I used it in The Tower (last photo on that blog) and in The Visit. I love, love, love this fabric.

So I decided there would be part of a terrace wall in this quilt, built with Moda fabric and capped with Stonehenge fabric.

Then a buck and a doe were cut out and prepared for fusing, along with two ducks.
(The buck isn't showing here.)

The trees were all glued down (edges only), not fused.

Quilting was free motion, and was done far less densely than usual. I didn't want this to be a long-term project, nor was I willing to re-live the months of neck and shoulder pain that ensued after quilting The Visit.

Because of the consistent, wider spacing, there was no warping. For that reason and because I feared puckering in the deer and the water, I decided not to steam-block the quilt....a first for me. Instead, an extension strip cut from scrap fabric was basted to the top of the quilt and used to hang it on a wall rod. The bottom of the quilt was turned up and pinned to hold two 3/4" diameter wooden dowels for weights. It hung for about 10 days before I felt that any stretching it might do on a rod was done. Time to take it down, square it, and trim it to finished size.

View from a Terrace is 30 inches wide by 36 inches long. The dark-brown binding worked better than anything else I had in my stash.

I'm still thinking about adding the bush I embroidered last year using Alison Holt's directions (see the blog post titled Aye, There's the Shrub). It might make the quilt look a bit cluttered, though. You can only add so many elements to your landscape before you cross the line between finished and overdone.

Hooking up here with Confessions of a Fabric Addict's Whoop Whoop Friday post. Take a look at Sarah's beautiful quilt for Emmy and catch up on the exciting news about the adoption of Nathaneal. Don't miss the reader linkups. Also hooking up with the latest of fab Lizzie Lenard's Vintage Sewing Free Motion Mavericks posts (where Muv is absent without leave, as far as I'm concerned. I'm beginning to think she is actually a spy for the British government. She says she'll be back soon, though. Meanwhile we are eating cakes from her auto-timed oven, and they are delicious! :) Also linking up with A Quilting Reader's Garden's WIPs Be Gone. Angie has been busy!

Everyone, have a great weekend! We're having our dogwood festival right now, and they couldn't be any prettier with full blooms and spotlights on the trees everywhere in the neighborhood. It looks like a fairyland. Also, Thunder Over Louisville, a pre-Kentucky Derby event and one of the biggest fireworks displays in the world, will be on the river tonight. We'll hear them better than we can see them from our house, but they're always on tv, too.

Whatever you're up to in your neck of the woods, enjoy!



  1. When I see all the fabric together it is obvious to me they are perfect. I don't think I'd ever see it when they are in "the pile". You have such an amazing eye and ability to put things just where they go. Another lovely finish! :)

    1. Thanks so much, Susan. If only I could develop that same eye for bed quilts. Maybe with more practice...sure hope so!

  2. Both quilt and sweater beautiful. I love the soft color on the sweater. And your landscape is stunning!

  3. oh Linda it's so inviting. I loved every minute of your process description too. Thank you

    1. Thanks, LeeAnne. I meant to show the before-and-after tree trunks side by side, but maybe that would have been too much! :)

  4. I love it! I never seem to have the right fabrics, but you sure do.

    1. Thanks! I have quite a landscape stash, but when I go to make a bed quilt, it's a whole different story! LOL

  5. I learn so much from you! Thank you for being so generous with the details of your process. The quilt so gorgeous and I was wondering of you use monofilament thread or match the colors and thus change the thread a lot when you quilt. And are you as obsessive as I am about having to quilt around every little piece that I put down?

    1. Whoa, Carol, I just went over to your blog and realized I've got lots of wonderful reading to catch up on there!! Can't wait to get back at it tomorrow (almost time to cook). Thank you. You know I love sharing the process, because of all the awesome tips I've picked up from reading about other folks' process. Regarding the monofilament, I only use it when I feel I have little choice, as my dealer advised that. Even thought monofilament isn't nearly as thick as it used to be, a lot of people seem to feel it's still hard on the tension disks. I used it on the ducks, the deer, and the little bushes. Everything else was matching thread. Yes, I do quilt around every piece, and if there's a splice, which there usually is in those tall tree trunks, I try to make it work right in with the quilting I'm doing on the trunk. However, there is far less quilting on these trunks than I normally do. I left everything fairly 'puffy,' which is why I was so afraid to steam-block. The hang & stretch method seems to have worked really well, but if the quilt had been at all warped I would have steam-blocked (shaking in my boots all the while, lol).

  6. What a darling sweater! It looks so cozy, warm and pretty! I so enjoyed all the photos about the process on this wonderful quilt. Thank you, Linda! You neighborhood dogwood photo looks good enough to make another landscape.

    1. Thanks, Angie! I'm thinking about doing a landscape quilt with that very photo, or maybe a thread-painted scene. Lots of embroidery material there. We also have some amazing old trees around here that I'd like to include in a landscape. Just need to get out there with the camera.

  7. Hello Linda,

    My report is with Top Brass at MI5 and they have filed it with their tea rooms.

    Seeing the landscape taking shape is really fascinating. I love the way it doesn't happen all at once. In fact it sounds as though it took a while for the water to settle at its own level. Depicting the ground can be the hardest part of a landscape, and the ground here is almost a picture in itself.

    Now for a barmy question - are the coping stones on the wall flat, pitched or shaped?

    Lovely little jacket for Lucy. She will look so sweet in it.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks while I was away on operations.

    Love, Muv

    1. Muv, really do 'get it'...can't tell you how long or how many times I sat in a chair and stared at that to figure out where the water should be.

      LOL, you got me on the stone wall....let's face it, I took more than my fair share of artistic license with that. As you know, you'll never in real life find a drystone wall topped with mold-cast capstones!

      Thanks, can't wait 'till Lucy's old enough to wear that, because it means she'll be crawling if not walking already AND maybe even saying a couple of words!

      Thanks for popping in!

      Love, Linda

    2. P.S. If you run into Benedict Cumberbatch during future operations, please give him my regards.

    3. Just off on operations again in a couple of hours.

      You will find some interesting real life pictures on my blog later today....


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