Thursday, October 1, 2015

Bird's-Eye View

This week the birdhouse in the Overlook quilt was designed and pieced, off-site. Meaning, on my ironing board. (And a light box.)

Made the birdhouse body from a light woodgrain fabric, edges pressed under and ready to fuse to the quilt. Fused Steam-a-Seam 2 Lite to the back of a nearly-black woodgrain fabic to make the openings.

Cut out the roof after tracing shingles and shadows onto medium-gray woodgrain fabric. Edges are pressed under and ready to fuse to the quilt. Cut the post from two different woodgrain fabrics, black fused to gray, as one whole side is in shadow. Shaded the body of the house with gray Sharpie (only after testing on scrap fabric). Drew the perches with black and gray Sharpies.

Changed some of the gray shading to black--just wasn't enough contrast in pure gray. Is it scary, shading finished construction with a permanent marker? You bet it is! But it almost always works out okay--especially if you've tested it first on scrap fabric. Just need to take your time. And you could shade it before all the construction is done. It seems to be one of the few instances where I like living on the edge.

Ready to cut the finial out of rock fabric. Didn't want a solid. Going for a patinaed pewter look.
Test-fitted the birdhouse (sans finial) on top of the vinyl overlay.

It works! Some touch-ups are needed (blacking out the woodgrain in the black metal base under the house, for instance), but we'll get there.

This may be the first time I've turned under my applique edges. This method of applique has its perks, obviously, but has drawbacks as well. For example, the roof edges. There's no way to turn the fabric precisely under all those shingle overhangs without lots of detailed clipping and pressing. I just turned under the whole edge--and close up, you can tell. Then again, landscape quilts are meant to be viewed from some distance. And sometimes I have to remind myself that they are quilts--not photographs. Purely representational.

Coincidentally, VVHH and I made the 45-minute drive to have lunch at the Overlook Restaurant last week. It sits at the top of the hill that you see in the quilt.

Overlook Restaurant, Leavenworth, IN

Great views of the Ohio River abound, with decking galore and windows on all sides of several bump-out dining rooms. Here's one of the views.

Note the cabin roof among the trees.

Speaking of birds-eye views, groups of buzzards often float on the air currents above the river, putting on quite the graceful ballet very close to the restaurant windows. In tribute to those underrated birds, a couple of eagles will probably be added to the quilt. I've yet to see buzzard fabric anywhere.

Off subject, the Lucy drawer now holds two sets of knee pads for those days when she's practicing walking (and falling)...and it won't be long now!

Deborah Norville's self-striping Serenity Baby yarn

Linking up with Whoop Whoop Fridays, where I think Sarah might have set a record for quilt production this week. Tons of great hookups there with her readers, too.

Have a wonderful weekend!



  1. An oh so interesting post - I've got to discard the idea that one has to find the ideal and exact fabric for whatever I need representing. I'll have to go to a Michael's and buy some pens for shading. Love those knee pads.

    1. Angie, I LOVE coloring on problem is, I tend to go ape-crazy with it. I need marker police!

  2. I would not have noticed the roof being turned under and not exactly in sync with the shingles. you have done a great job with the shading. Sharpies are hard - they tend to bleed and yes are very scary but this worked. Have you ever tried inktense pencils for shading. I love, love

    those knee pads are adorable and we need to a pic of the lovely Lucy wearing them

    1. Carol, good, and thank you. I have not tried inktense for shading, but I do have a small set so definitely need to test them. The markers have made me a bit lazy, but their colors are so limited.

      I will indeed share a photo of Lucy wearing those pads, thank you for that idea! Now, if we can just get her to keep them on!

  3. Hello Linda,

    I'm always fascinated to see how you put your pictures together. It is definitely Big Girls' Fuzzy Felt.

    The knee pads are hilarious.

    Well, we've sorted robins out, but what are your buzzards like? Here are ours:-

    Love, Muv

    1. Well, guess what, your buzzards are also different from ours. What passes for a buzzard around here is a turkey buzzard, which is actually a bald, red-headed (and some black-headed) vulture. They are nasty pieces of work up close, but absolute ballerinas in the air. I once had the privilege of observing 13 of them doing a spiral dance on the currents, all very close together but with no collisions. I actually pulled the car off the road to watch. I did pull up to one in the road one time, rolled my window down and said hello (they are very tall). He looked at me like I'd lost my mind and then flapped his giant wings and took off. I secretly like them, can you tell?



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